Can You Freeze Fresh Collard Greens Without Blanching?
Freezing greens is one of the most popular techniques of preserving them. But can you freeze collard greens without blanching? Read the article to know more.
Often you freeze a specific element, you can use it for later use easily. The low temperature of the refrigerator allows it to stay afresh, and hence, there is no need to buy them every time you want to use it in your meal or cooking. One such element are the collard greens. These greens are used in various kinds of foods, starting with salad to soups and so on. This is the reason why you need to know the ways of freezing them. However, often people blanch the leaves and then freeze them, which cause the greens to lose its freshness and a certain amount of nutritional content. This is why we will discuss ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching.’
What Are Collard Greens?
Greens are of various types, starting from the herbs you use daily in your cooking to the occasionally used ingredient like the cabbages or the turnip leaves. But, the collard greens are the most famous one amongst all. These have large edible leaves, and hence, they are grown and cultivated in mass in various countries as one of the primary food ingredients. The collard greens are a group of cultivars, which belong to the same floral family as broccoli and the cabbage. This is why they have large leaves that almost resemble the entire Brassica species.
There are different varieties of greens, starting with the biennial plants to the perennial ones. The best part of the collard greens is that they have been in use since the early Greek civilization, and hence, you won’t have to surf the entire internet to get a recipe for the greens. However, since the greens have large leaves, keeping them out in the open will only increase the spoilage chances. This is the reason why you need to learn about ’can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching.’
What Are The Types Of Collard Greens?
Before moving onto the discussion of freezing leafy greens without blanching, let’s learn a little more about the varieties of the collard greens that you can find in the market or grow in the backyard of your home.
- Tiger hybrid
- Morris Heading
- Ellen Felton Dard
- Old-Timey Blue
What Are The Benefits Of The Greens?
Though we will talk about ‘can you freeze collard greens’, let us talk about the benefits of greens.’ The collard greens might be a cultivar variety. But you cannot ignore the various health benefits of the leaves, which have been tempting the human race for a long time. However, since most of you ignore this particular green type, thinking it might be some engineered variety. Here, we will make you familiar with the benefits of the same.
- The collard greens are loaded with Vitamin K, a booster for the body’s calcium absorption process. This will help in your bone health, and hence, you will be able to avoid any bone-related diseases.
- The high amount of antioxidants in the body acts as a barrier for people having a huge concentration of free radicals and mutagenic compounds in the blood. As a result, collard greens are very effective in preventing the development of cancers.
- Results have shown that people who have Diabetes Type 1 can keep their sugar level in control after including the collard greens in their diet.
- The presence of iron in the leaves helps in the proper working of the blood and increases hemoglobin concentration in anemic patients.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin A present in the collard beans are perfect for the skin and hair.
- The presence of multiple vitamins and minerals make the greens perfect for strengthening the immunity system and keeping you protected against microorganisms of any kind.
Blanching Collard Greens
When people store the green vegetables, they blanch them so that the raw vegetable’s moisture does not spoil the leaves and the stems. This is why blanching can be seen in the collard greens before storing them in the refrigerator for further use. Since we discuss ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching,’ a little introduction on the blanching method will give you a clear idea about why this method isn’t a lot helpful. Read on to know how to blanch greens for freezing.
- After washing the greens, use a chef’s knife to cut off the stem’s thick part from below.
- Use a small knife to make a narrow cut along the stem’s spine. Ensure the cut is such that you can press the leaf flat on a surface without breaking the spine.
- When all the leaves are prepared, add the bunch to a water pot and put it on the flame. Allow the water to simmer.
- In the meantime, take another large bowl and then fill it with cold water. You also need to add ice cubes to make the temperature of the cold water mixture constant.
- After a minute of simmering the water, remove the pan from the flame. Strain the water, and then put the leaves into the ice bowl.
- Completely submerge the leaves into the ice water for ten to fifteen seconds before taking them out and placing them on a dry paper towel.
- The paper towel will soak the excess water from the leaves. Make sure to continue this process without fail until all the leaves are dried.
- After this, put these blanched leaves in a container and put it inside the refrigerator. The blanched leaves can be frozen up to five days, depending on the leaves’ use and variety.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Blanching Greens?
For learning more about can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching, you need to understand the disadvantages of the process first. Here, we have discussed certain bad effects of blanching, which will wreck your collard beans. So, let’s hear them out!
- Loss of nutrition: If the collard green leaves are blanched in hot water for longer than a minute, it can cause an excessive loss of nutrients.
- Loss of fresh green color: Blanching has another major disadvantage – the loss of the fresh green color of the leaves. No matter what variety you are choosing, it will lose a certain amount of the original color.
- Cannot be frozen for a long time: Since blanching means the addition of more moisture and softening of the many tissues, these leaves cannot be stored for too long. This is why people ask about ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching’ or not.
- Cannot be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches: The softening of the tissue causes the leaves to droop and lose their crunchiness. This is the reason why these can’t be used in salads, sandwiches, burgers, and other foods where the crunchiness of the leaves matters the most. This is why many are eager to learn how to freeze collard greens without destroying its crunchy texture.
So, now the question is can you freeze greens without blanching? Let us find out the answer to can you freeze collard greens without blanching.
Can You Freeze Fresh Collard Greens Without Blanching?
Greens have a lot of moisture in their cells. When they are frozen, the water particles transform into ice, which keeps the leaves fresh and prevents decaying. However, for a long time, people have been using the process of blanching. With a lot of information on freezing greens or ‘how to blanch collard greens for freezing’, more and more people have adopted this freezing technique.
However, recently, with the discovery of blanching disadvantages, people are now looking for the answer to can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching.
The collard greens can be frozen in many ways, blanching being one of the many processes. Without this technique also you can freeze these leaves and enjoy the vegetable a few days later. Henceforth, we will discuss how you can freeze the Greens without compromising its taste and nutritional content.
What Are The Ways Of Freezing Collard Greens Without Blanching?
In this section, we will describe the ways of freezing greens without blanching. So, instead of wasting time, let’s get on with the discussion on how to freeze greens.
In this technique, the primary aim is to freeze the leaves naked in the freezer before the storage freezing process.
- Wash the leaves properly and then cut them into small pieces. After this, place the leaves in a bowl and insert the bowl into the freezer with a low-temperature setting. Leave the setting for at least two to two and a half hours.
- Once the time will go off, take the greens out of the freezer and quickly put them into an airtight container or the freezer bag.
Dried freezing technique
This is one of the newest techniques you can implement after learning about ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching.’ Let’s see what needs to be done in this technique.
- Wash the leaves properly without leaving a speck of dirt on the greens.
- Once done, press these leaves in between a kitchen towel and slowly press them without tearing off the leaves. This will help you in drying the excess water from the surface of the leaves.
- After this, hang these leaves in an upside-down position from a drier or a high position. They should be in contact with warm air and line with direct sunlight.
- Leave this arrangement for half an hour to two hours. After this set time, take the greens and check whether the surface has dried up completely or not.
- Take an airtight container or a freezer bag and then insert these dried leaves into it. You can store this up to months provided you are not allowing air to come in contact with the leaves for too long.
Bulk sheet freezing
Another technique for freezing collard greens is by bulk sheet technique.
- Cut the washed collard green leaves in large sizes. You don’t have to give a fine cut to these leaves.
- Once done, place them on a baking tray and leave them overnight for drying. Try to keep it in a dry and warm place so that the leaves’ surface loses the water.
- After this, take another baking tray and place a paper sheet on it. Once done, place the dried leaves in the stack. You can go up to three layers.
- After the layers are built, place the tray inside the freezer and turn it to its lowest setting.
- Remember, at the time of building the layers of leaves, you are maintaining the uniformity throughout. This will prevent the uneven degree of freezing.
- After two hours, take out the tray and put all the frozen leaves inside an airtight container or the freezer bag.
So, these are a few ways of freezing greens.
For How Long The Raw Collard Green Can Be Kept In The Freezer? Can You Freeze Raw Collard Greens?
Since now you have your answer to the question of can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching, you need to understand the longevity factors of the raw greens in the freeze. The maximum time for which you can preserve the raw greens is 12 months. But, this time will get reduced if you are not following these rules :
- Keep the collard greens at a complete zero degrees Celsius. You cannot keep the greens in a normal refrigerator since the low temperature will destroy the greens.
- If you are using a regular bag or a container, the moisture inside the freezer will promote the leaves’ spoilage at the time of defrosting. This is why you need to keep the collard greens in freezer bags or airtight containers.
- Leaving the greens out in the open for too long will cause the leaves to lose the ice-particles. As a result, they will lose their sturdiness and crunchiness over time.
This is how to freeze collard greens.
In What Dishes Raw Frozen Greens Can Be Used?
The answer to ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching’ is now known. Don’t you think it’s finally time to learn some new cooking tricks for using these raw and frozen greens in your dishes? Obviously, yes, and that’s why we will be talking about the recipes made with frozen collard greens.
- Using the frozen greens in smoothies in addition to some fruits or other fresh greens.
- Putting the chopped collard greens in your pasta to enhance the taste.
- No salad will taste as good as the one with frozen collard greens.
- You can make crunchy chips out of the frozen greens by dipping those leaves in a batter and then frying them.
- After allowing the leaves to defrost, use them as a crunchy freshness source in sandwiches or burgers.
- A vegetarian burrito bowl is never complete without a mix of greens, including some frozen collard leaves.
- Adding the fresh and frozen greens to your chickpea salad will be a great idea for a starter.
- You can use these frozen leaves to make a dip or a ranch dressing.
- Adding the collard greens to your omelet will make the dish more delectable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on Collard Leaves :
Nicely washed and cut fruit can stay for 3 to 5 days, and then it begins losing its freshness. Cooked leftover greens can stay good for 3 to 7 days if stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge.
Take 1 cup of chicken broth, 1 pound thawed frozen collard greens, and water. Add these to the frozen collard greens. Simmer for around 20 minutes. This is how you can reheat it.
These are the foods that you cannot freeze :
- Soft cheeses
- Fruits and veggies that have a high water content
- Cream products
- Fried foods
You can make them a few hours or a day in advance. This can help the flavors to deepen. Ensure that you keep them in the fridge before they are good to serve. Reheat over medium-low heat till these are warm.
Learning about ‘can you freeze fresh collard greens without blanching’ or not is fun. But, this fun can be felt in real life only if you follow the rules for freezing the leaves without blanching. If you love to explore food, using our mentioned recipes will be a great idea to start your kitchen innovation.