Learning how to freeze kale and greens for smoothies, muffins, soups, and more can be a total game changer. It not only prevents food waste, but it makes the greens taste…less “green”!

kale in freezer bag on countertop

How to Freeze Kale

Whether it’s homegrown or from the store, freezing kale is one of my very favorite food storage hacks. It keeps the greens from going bad before we get a chance to use them and it’s a perfect way to keep greens on hand to make smoothies, muffins, soups, and more.

kale on tea towel

Greens for Smoothies

Green smoothies are a nutritious and easy family meal option for all ages. The classic options for green smoothies are kale and spinach, which are my go-tos as well. I like that they are easy to find and packed with iron, fiber, and Vitamin C.

The downside? Greens can go bad quickly in the fridge and they can often make a smoothie actually taste like a salad. Which no one wants!

The solution? Storing them in the freezer! This method totally knocks down the “green” flavor to virtually guarantee that your kale smoothie won’t actually taste like kale.

how to freeze greens step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the process involved in freezing kale. This maintains the nutrition, prevents food waste, and helps you keep a stash of greens on hand for whenever the smoothie urge strikes.

  1. Wash, dry, and remove kale leaves from the stems. Place into a zip top freezer bag.
  2. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze!
  3. Remove frozen kale from the freezer.
  4. Crush the leaves.
  5. Measure out some for your green smoothie.

TIP: Find my go-to Simple Green Smoothie here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which greens are best for smoothies?

I prefer kale, either curly or the flat kind, or spinach, baby or full size. Both work well with this method so you can try both and see if you have a preference.

Can you freeze fresh greens without blanching?

Yes, you can and it’s so easy. You simply need to wash, dry, remove from the stems, and place into a freezer bag. No blanching required!

Can you freeze raw greens?

Yes and it’s a great way to always have a supply of greens for smoothies, muffins, and more. (Don’t plan to eat thawed frozen greens like you would fresh greens though—they won’t work in a salad!)

Can I freeze spinach this way?

Yes, full size or baby spinach freeze really nicely this way and can be used similarly.

cheesy greens on divided plate with pink fork

Best Recipes to Use Frozen Kale

Once you have your frozen greens, you can use them in these recipes to share with the kids.

TIP: Find my full post on how to freeze spinach here.

toddler-drinking-green-smoothie

Making Green Smoothies Taste Better

The key is to not go overboard with the amount of greens! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using frozen greens in smoothies.

  • Don’t over do it because a smoothie that actually tastes like kale is one that no one will drink.
  • Keep fresh kale to no more than ½ cup of crushed frozen kale.

Best Tips for Success

  • Crush the frozen greens for a more compact bag in the freezer and for easier measuring.
  • Blend the smoothie very well to incorporate all of the greens.
  • You can experiment with adding more to a smoothie, but taste it before you give it to the kids to make sure it’s sweet enough.
  • You may also like How to Freeze Spinach, How to Freeze Bananas, and How to Freeze Peaches.

Have you tried this freezer hack? I’d love to know in the comments below!

kale-in-freezer-bag

How to Freeze Kale (and Greens) for Smoothies and Muffins

You can do as little or as much at a time as you like. I like to do enough to fill a gallon size freezer bag, or just freeze as many greens as I happen to have—even if it's just a small amount lingering in the fridge. Doing this also helpfully knocks down the "green" flavor!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Smoothies
Calories 5kcal
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale or bag of spinach

Instructions

  • Wash, dry, and remove kale leaves from the stems. Place into a zip top freezer bag.
  • Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze!
  • Remove frozen kale from the freezer.
  • Crush the leaves to make them easy to measure for smoothies and to help the bag take up less space in the freezer.
  • Measure out ½ cup for your green smoothie.

Notes

  • Crush the frozen greens for a more compact bag in the freezer and for easier measuring.
  • Blend the smoothie very well to incorporate all of the greens.
  • You can experiment with adding more to a smoothie, but taste it before you give it to the kids to make sure it's sweet enough.
Try the frozen greens in: 

Nutrition

Calories: 5kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 47mg, Vitamin A: 949IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been reading about the possibility of bacteria infiltrating the greens prior to freezing, and that blanching is the only way to prevent any remaining bacteria from becoming “active” again after removing the frozen kale for use. What are your thoughts?

    1. I am not familiar with that information, but if you have a link I can look into it. (You may be able to taste the kale a lot more if you blanch it first, so if you do that, you might want to change how you use it from frozen slightly.)

  2. How long will the kale or spinach last in the freezer with this method? I have read that blanched kale that is frozen lasts much longer.

    1. It will last this way up to a year. I’ve found that blanched greens are more likely to have freezer burn and more likely to freeze into a rock hard clump. I’ve had no issues with this method for long term storage!

  3. 5 stars
    I’m so thankful you break down things that may seem simple to others.
    Did this over the summer & just used my frozen kale in my first soup of the fall. It worked perfectly!