How to freeze collard greens

How to freeze collard greensCollard greens are vegetables that belong to the cabbage class; they are tasty and have a relishing taste. They are used in several recipes and this gives them a wide range of use for preparing various dishes. In this post, I’ll show you how to freeze Collard Greens.

If you would like to preserve some of your greens for use for a later time which is about 10 to 12 months long, you can rinse and boil them for some minutes.

After cooling the collard greens, store them in a cooling safe plastic bag where you can keep them for up to 10 to 12 months. After then, you can enjoy using your collard greens as an ingredient for your meals for the next few months.

Part 1 (Boiling Greens to Retain the Taste and Texture)

1. Rinse the Collard Green with Cold Running Water

The first step is to wash and clean the two sides of the leaves, do this under cold running water and ensure you remove dirt and insects as you wash them. Use your fingers to remove all visible patches of dirt on the leaves. Once you are done washing the leaves, place them separately on a dry paper or cutting slab.

You can also place the collard greens inside a sieve to rinse them. However, ensure that both sides of the leaves are properly cleaned if you are using this process.

Did you know that..Boiling (also known as blanching) your collard greens helps you put a stop to the actions of enzymes which normally lead to change in coloration, change in texture, and spoiling of the leaves?

Even though boiling is actually not a compulsory step in preserving your collard greens, it is advised for people who want to keep their collard greens for a longer time than a year. If you only want to freeze your collard greens for a few weeks, you don’t have to bother about the boiling step too much.

2. Trim Off Excess Stems from the LeavesHow to freeze collard greens

With the aid of a knife, trim off the collard greens till only the leaves are left. At this stage, you can cut the greens into smaller chunks. It is not compulsory to cut them into fine pieces, cut them into two if you find it necessary.

It is easier to store the smaller pieces than the bigger ones and they are easier to use while cooking in the future as this will save you the stress of cutting when you want to use them.

3. Boil Some Water in a Large Pot

Fill up a pot with enough water and put the collard greens into it; make sure the water level is above that of the greens (the leaves are totally submerged in water). Increase the intensity of heat from the heating source and place the pot on it to enable the water to boil faster. Before you continue, let the water boil for a while.

The use of boiling water is very important in order to remove the raw outer surface layer of the leaves.

4. Leave the Collard Greens to Boil for About 3 Minutes

Put the washed collard greens into the pot and pour water into it, make sure the water covers the leaves. Use a toothed tong or wooden spoon to push down the leaves that are present at the surface in an attempt to submerge all the leaves.

To keep the temperature of the water hot, cover the pot with its lid and leave the leaves to boil for 3 minutes on fire. The process of boiling the collard green is otherwise known as blanching.

Part 2 (Packaging and Storing the Collards Green)

1. Cool the Boiled Leaves in a Bowl Containing Ice Water for 3 Minutes

Fill up a bowl with cold water and place ice cubes in the bowl. Use the toothed tong to transfer the greens from the pot into the bowl of ice. After transferring them, leave the collard greens in the bowl of cold water for about 3 minutes in order to stop the cooking action from taking place on the leaves.

If you have a lot of collard greens you want to store, you can cool your leaves in the cold water in batches

2. Drain out Excess Water from the Greens

Place the wet leaves in a sieve, hold it over a sink, and drain the water. Wait for a while to allow all the water to drip out, you can also shake the sieve to bring out the remaining droplets of water present in the leaves; once the collard greens are no longer dripping with water, put the sieve aside on the tabletop.

If there are still some droplets of water on the leaves when they go into the freezer, the extra water also freezes alongside the leaves.

Even though it is okay for the leaves to be a bit wet, you can dry them up with the aid of a paper towel.

3. Place the Leaves in a Freezer-safe Plastic Bag and Seal it

After draining out water from the leaves, put the collard greens aside in a big, freezer-safe plastic bag. Ensure that air is not trapped in the bag while packaging it. Leave a space of about 0.5 inches (1.3cm) at the top of the plastic bag; this will enable you to seal the bag more easily.

If you have many collard greens that you want to package, you can use more than one bag to store them.

4. Put the Collard Greens in the Freezer and Use those Within 10 to12 Months

Put a label on each of the plastic bags showing the date the collard greens were actually stored; this will help you keep a record of when you actually stored them, and hence you will know they will be due for use.

In order to preserve and retain the taste of the collard greens, try to consume them within a time frame of 10 to 12 months.


Did you know? Sometimes, you might not have to bring out your collard greens and reheat them when you want to use them but this actually depends on your recipe. If you want to heat your collard greens quickly, put them in a pot containing boiling water until they look soft enough for use in your recipe. Make sure the collard greens are properly drained before using them to cook. Check out your recipe ahead of time; this will enable you to know if the collard greens are to be thawed or not.

Hope you enjoy reading these articles and if you have any question about or any suggestions please leave your message below and I’ll be happy to write back to you.

How to freeze collard greens

Until this spring, we never had the need to preserve garden greens in this household. We easily ate the bit of greens coming out of our garden. We typically consume store-bought greens immediately or end up composting the green slime they turn into. (I am sure we are the only household that does not finish their greens….)

However, this year we harvested a bumper crop of greens from the spring garden and, around the same time, foraged nearly one hundred pounds of lambs quarters. My fingers are green as I type from plucking the leaves off about 42,000 lambs quarters stems. There were thousands of pounds we left in the field — you can see my mother lost in a sea of these wild greens.

After eating gallons of very green soup, we decided that such abundance would
require a mixed-strategy. There was no way we could eat it all.

We froze about half of our greens collection, part of which was frozen raw and part boiled. The best freezing solution for your greens will depend on your own kitchen management and how you plan to use the greens.

Freezing Raw Versus Boiled: Oxalic Acid Considerations

How to freeze collard greensFreezing greens raw is by far the quicker solution. The raw greens are easy to pop into a soup or stir fry later and will cook quickly. This strategy would be ideal if it were not for the oxalic acid in the greens themselves.

Oxalic acid is a mineral inhibitor found in leafy greens, in particular in spinach, collards, lambs quarters, and chard. Oxalic acid will also cause kidney stones, particularly in people prone to kidney stones. If you are using the greens as we do in our extremely green soup, you will want to take measures to reduce the oxalic acid content.

Boiling the greens and discarding the boiling water is by far the best strategy to reduce oxalic acid. (I detail the research on calcium and oxalic acid here.)

If I am freezing greens high in oxalic acid, I freeze them already boiled so that I can just pop them in a soup later. If the greens are just going to add a bit of flavor and texture to a dish, frozen raw greens win for their ease of freezing and convenience in defrosting.

Freezing Greens Raw

How to freeze collard greens

Freezing greens raw is extremely simple. If you fear that your store-bought greens are headed to
green mush and you are pressed for time, this is a great strategy. Simply do the following:

  1. Tear the greens into usable cooking sizes if they are large.
  2. Wash the leaves well and allow them to drain and dry.
  3. Drain the leaves overnight or towel-dry them if you need to turn the
    project around quickly.

With this method some of your leaves will stick together, but you will be able to pull out a handful pretty easily as you need them.

Freezing Greens Boiled

This is actually my preferred method for high oxalate greens because I end up with quart-sized baggies of cooked greens, enough to add great nutrition to soup, already boiled and ready to use.

How to freeze collard greens

  1. Put on a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Tear the greens into usable cooking sizes if they are large.
  3. Wash the leaves well.
  4. Add the leaves to boiling water. Allow them to boil for at least five minutes.
  5. Discard the boiling water through a strainer or colander.
  6. Run cool water over the leaves to cool them quickly. Swish them around under cold water for best results.
  7. Once the leaves are cool, grab a handful, squeeze out the water, and place the leaves in a quart-sized freezer bag.

With this method, your leaves will freeze in one quart-sized lump. Depending on how you use your greens, consider measuring quantities you typically use into each bag. For instance, fill each bag with two cups of cooked greens.

Of course, you could just make a giant batch of extra green soup and gobble it up. That was our first course of action with our foraging bounty.

How to freeze collard greens

Collard greens are a popular vegetable during the summer. These leafy greens can be used for making smoothies, casseroles, and soups, and stews. Collard greens are only available during the summer. If you want to save them to eat throughout the year, would freezing collard greens be possible?

So can you freeze collard greens? Yes, you can freeze collard greens. These leafy greens will need to be blanched first before freezing. Otherwise, you’ll end up with mushy vegetables. Collard greens that are blanched and properly stored will last for up to a year in the freezer.

Do Collard Greens Freeze Well?

If the collard greens are blanched, they tend to freezer very well. However, the vegetable will have a small change in texture and flavor.

After thawing, the collard greens will become softer and retain more moisture. This happens to all leafy greens.

Using frozen collard greens for salads or eating them fresh will not taste very good.

On the other hand, if you’re going to use them for cooking, you won’t notice any difference.


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Collard greens are packed with nutrition and great for your health. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have them stored in the freezer.

Before you can freeze collard greens, you’ll need to prep them first. This means the leafy greens need to be blanched first.

While you don’t need to blanch them, the greens will not last very long in the freezer. Also, their texture will be mushy and have a loss of flavor.

Below are the steps in detail to freezing collard greens:

1. Choosing the Freshest Greens

Always make sure the collard greens are the freshest. The leafy greens should have undamaged stems and no tears or blemishes on the leaves.

If you’ve grown them yourselves, harvest them on the day you’re preparing them for the freezer.

2. Wash

Wash them under cold running water for a minute or so. This will help remove any dirt, bugs, and grit from the leaves. The last thing you want to do is freeze bugs with the greens.

3. Cut the Leaves

Collard greens have very large leaves. You may want to cut them into smaller sizes to make it easier to freeze them.

4. Boil Water

Using a large pot, pour water about a quarter full. Heat the water until it starts to boil.

5. Prepare for Blanching

Grab another pot or use a container. Pour water halfway and add ice. Then place them close to the pot on the stove. This is needed to cool down the collard greens once it’s blanched.

6. Blanching

Once the water in the pot starts to boil, place the collard greens into the pot. Blanch the vegetables for about 3 minutes.

Blanching is an important process prior to freezing. Doing so will ensure the collard greens will retain their texture, taste, and nutrition while it’s in the freezer.

7. Ice Water

After about 3 minutes, using a tong, grab the leaves and transfer them to the ice bucket immediately. This will stop the cooking process.

Let the blanched collard greens sit for about 5-10 minutes.

8. Drain

After that, scoop the leafy greens and place them into a colander. Allow them to drain off water and dry for about 10 minutes.

You can use a paper towel to gently wipe any excess moisture from the leaves. The drier the leaves are the better they will freeze.

9. Storage Container

Put the collard greens into the freezer bag or an airtight container. Try not to put too much that the leaves will become cramped.

For an airtight container, check the seal in the lid for any damages. If there are none, secure the lid to the container tightly.

If you’re using a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air from the bag before sealing it.

10. Label and Freeze

Using a marker, write the date of freezing on the container or bag. Then place them into the freezer for storage.

How Long Can You Freeze Collard Greens?

It will depend on if the collard greens are blanched or not. Collard greens that are blanched will last for up to 12 months in the freezer. After that time, it will still be safe to eat them, but the quality of the leafy greens will deteriorate.

On the other hand, collard greens that are not blanched will last for about 1 to 2 months. For the best quality, you’ll want to use them within that time.

How Do You Defrost Collard Greens?

The great thing about collard greens is that they don’t need to be thawed. You can simply take them out from the freezer and place them directly into the recipe or cook them.

If you are not planning to use them right away, you can thaw them in the fridge. Place the frozen collard greens into a bowl and leave them overnight to thaw.

Can You Refreeze Collard Greens?

It’s not a good idea to refreeze collard greens. This vegetable has a very delicate texture, and freezing them more than once will cause them to be degraded in quality.

When you freeze and thaw them the second time, you may notice the collard greens will be mushy.

However, if you have a change in plan, you may be able to refreeze collard greens. Only if they have not completely thawed yet, you can refreeze them. There will be not a lot of change in texture or taste.

To avoid having to refreeze collard greens, try to portion them in small quantities. This way, you’ll only need to remove the amount you need from the freezer without having to worry about refreezing them.

Other Questions about Collard Greens

Can you freeze uncooked collard greens?

You can freeze uncooked collard greens, but it won’t last very long in the freezer. Blanching is the recommended method before freezing the vegetable. Doing so will help retain their flavor, texture, and nutrition.

Can you freeze collard greens juice?

Yes, you can freeze collard greens juice. Once you’ve made the juice, pour them into an airtight container and seal it tightly. Then place them into the freezer for storage. For the best result, try to consume the collard greens juice within 3 months.

Can you freeze collard greens soup?

Yes, you can freeze collard greens soup. With collard greens soup, you risk overcooking the vegetables when reheating. This will result in mushy, stringy, and overly grainy collard greens.

To prevent that problem, if you’re planning to freeze collard greens soup, try to undercook the vegetables before freezing them.

How long can I keep cooked collard greens in fridge?

How long can cooked collard greens last? Cooked collard greens last up to a week when you keep them in the fridge. No more than 3 to 4 days is preferable.

Can you freeze collard greens after cooking?

Can you freeze leftover cooked collard greens. Yes, you can freeze them if they have cooked are raw. This is how freezing greens boiled. Put them in the large pot of water and start boiling them.

Can you leave cooked collard greens out overnight?

Can cooked collards stay out overnight? While the odds are they would probably be fine, food safety experts recommend throwing them out after 6 hours. It’s entirely up to you if you want to risk it, but they have been shown to grow bacteria at room temp, and like you say collard greens are pretty cheap.

How do you reheat collard greens?

  1. Stovetop – Allow to reach room temp. Heat in a pot over medium low heat (stirring occasionally) until heated through.
  2. Slow cooker – Allow to reach room temp. Place collards in your slow cooker insert. Cover and heat on low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or high heat for 30 to 45 minutes.

Are wilted collard greens still good?

Wilted greens and lettuce are often just dried out, which can still occur even if the greens remain in constant refrigeration. Considering the high cost of food today, it pays to know how to revive your greens if you’ve kept them a little too long. Trust me, they’ll come back to life with these steps.

Do collard greens need to be refrigerated?

Short-term storage: Collard greens that are not put into a plastic bag, but are put into the refrigerator, will become wilted very quickly. … Then place the greens in an unsealed plastic bag. Put in fridge & the greens should keep crisp for several days.

How do you prepare collard greens for freezing?

Wash thoroughly and cut off woody stems. Water blanch collards 3 minutes and all other greens 2 minutes. Cool, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

Can you overcook collard greens?

I think it is nearly impossible to overcook collard greens. On the stove top this usually translates to anywhere between one and a half hours to four hours. In a slow-cooker -provided you have enough ‘pot liquor’ (cooking liquid) you can easily let them simmer away overnight.

Are collard greens better the next day?

Yes you can reheat collard greens. I’ve found that my collard greens taste much better the day after, which means they’re better tasting after being reheated. And yes you can cook your collard greens in advance…a day or two max.

How long can you soak collard greens?

Fill your kitchen sink with water and let the collards soak in it for about 10 minutes. Swish them up and down and side to side to try to loosen any lingering dirt. Then rinse them off individually to double check for any remaining sand. Remove the stem that runs down the center of the collard green leaf.

How long can fresh collard greens stay out?

While the odds are they would probably be fine, food safety experts recommend throwing them out after 6 hours. It’s entirely up to you if you want to risk it, but they have been shown to grow bacteria at room temp, and like you say collard greens are pretty cheap.

Can collard greens sit in water overnight?

I only soak my greens for 10 minutes in cold water. I know some people soak their greens as long as over night to remove any bitter flavor. However, through trial and error, I have found that the extra soaking time isn’t necessary. 10 minutes will do and your collards won’t be bitter.

Can you cook collard greens ahead of time?

The collard greens can be made a few hours ahead of time or up to a day in advance, which will really allow the flavors to deepen. Just keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Then reheat over low to medium-low heat until warm.

Do cooked greens freeze well?

Freezing Greens (Cooked) You can freeze greens raw or cooked.

How do you cut and cook collard greens?

Clean the collard greens in the sink or a large pan of water to remove any grit and then pat dry. Fold the collard green leaves in half lengthwise and use a Vegetable Knife to cut off their stems and thick ribs. Stack the halved leaves and slice to desired size.

How to freeze collard greens

Ah, summertime! What's not to love about this veritable playground of fresh, green, leafy produce? But even the most dedicated cooks can admit: It's hard to cook all of those summer greens as fast as they come rolling in from the field. If you're suffering from salad fatigue, or just can't eat another plate of sautéed spinach, we've got good news: Leafy greens are one of the easiest things to preserve. You can't preserve tender lettuce, but hardier greens like Swiss chard and kale lend themselves perfectly to freezing. Here's how to prepare hardy cooking greens so they'll keep for later use.

Eat sautéed spinach all year-round. Photo: Danny Kim

No matter where you got your greens—farmers' market, farm stand, CSA, grocery store, your garden—it's important to rinse them clean of any dirt or (eek!) bugs that may be clinging on the leaves. Use cold water so they don't wilt, and be sure to rinse them thoroughly. You can give them a rough chop if you'd like at this point, which will make them easier to work with later on.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil—no need to salt it as you would for pasta, or for actual cooking. You're just taking the raw edge off. Once the water's boiling, add the clean greens and use tongs or a spoon to submerge them completely underwater. The water temperature will drop, so be sure to keep it at a boil by covering the pot or turning up the heat. Let the greens swim around in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.

Using tongs or a wire spider strainer, transfer the greens to a large bowl or pot of ice water. This should be cold, cold, cold—plain tap water won't do. The near-freezing water will stop the greens from overcooking, and help them retain their vibrant green color. Let them swim around in the cold water, adding more ice as necessary, for two to three minutes.

Make this Collard Greens and Kale Pesto in January, thanks to frozen greens. Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Drain the water and ice, and gather the greens in your hands. Squeeze out as much water as possible—really put some muscle into it. Excess water will freeze, coating the greens with ice crystals that will degrade the flavor and texture as they sit in the fridge. It will take a few rounds of squeezing, so consider it your arm workout for the day.

Once the greens are pliable but dry, pack them very tightly into baseball-sized spheres, as if you were packing wet snow into a snowball. They'll stick together thanks to the dampness, but try not to manhandle them too much.

Space the balls of kale, chard, etc., out evenly on a sheet pan, maintaining their shape but not allowing them to touch. Cover the pan tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap; this will keep them from collecting ice crystals. Place it in the freezer for one to two hours, until the greens have frozen partially. Doing this rather then dumping them all in a bag will ensure that they stay separate and don't form into one big lump. This is helpful when you remove them from the freezer at a later date; you can just take out as many or as few as you need.

Once the greens have frozen partially, transfer them to heavy plastic bag; remove as much air as possible when you seal it. Store in the freezer, and remove the balls as needed. The balls are perfectly sized, so you never have to thaw an entire package (and waste half of it) again.

4. Blanch greens: Use one gallon water per pound of prepared vegetables. Put the vegetable into vigorously boiling water. Push down with tongs. The water should return to boiling within 1 minute, if it doesn’t, you are using too much vegetable for the amount of boiling water. Start counting blanching time as soon as you place the vegetables into the boiling water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and keep heat high for the time given in the directions for the vegetable you are freezing. In this case, 3 minutes. (Below is a chart of times for various vegetables)

What & Why? Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.

Blanching cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retard loss of vitamins. It also wilts or softens vegetables and makes them easier to pack.

Blanching time is crucial and varies with the vegetable and size. Underblanching stimulates the activity of enzymes and is worse than no blanching. Overblanching causes loss of flavor, color, vitamins and minerals.

5. Shock greens: Shocking vegetables is the process of plunging them into ice water to immediately stop the cooking process. This preserves the color, nutrients and flavor.

Fill clean sink basin or large bowl with fresh water and a lot of ice. Using tongs or slotted spoon to remove boiling vegetables, immediately transfer to ice bath and gently stir and submerge allowing them to cool for about the same time as they cooked.

6. Drain: I like to gently squeeze the water out of the chard so that I’m not freezing a lot of ice crystals. Here, I laid multiple layers of paper towel on my counter top and placed squeezed bundles of greens to drain. I measured the piles based on serving sizes. I used about 1 handful per person to amount to a serving. I bagged the greens according to the servings I would typically use for a given meal or recipe.

7. Bag: A lot of people like the Foodsaver system, but I don’t have one yet. I used Ziploc freezer bags and squeezed out as much air as possible. Make sure to label and date your packages! Greens can be kept frozen for 8 to 12 months.

About Jennifer

I am passionate about good food, cooking for family and friends, and creating recipes that form lasting memories from one generation to the next. I hope you find inspiration for cooking and creating here!

How do I freeze collard greens? Pour the collard greens into a colander and drain completely. Package them in a freezer storage bag or container. If you use a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible from the bag by pressing down on it while sealing. Freeze the collard greens immediately.

can I freeze cooked greens?

How do you blanch greens? Blanching Green Vegetables Bring salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Place green vegetable in boiling water until tender. Once the vegetable becomes tender and the green color is solidified, shock in ice water.

do collards freeze well?

Yes, to freeze: (1) Wash greens thoroughly and cut off woody stems; (2) Blanch (plunge into boiling water) for three minutes and chill quickly in ice cold water; (3) Drain off excess moisture, package in airtight containers or freezer bags and freeze immediately.

How do you freeze fresh greens? Wash thoroughly and cut off woody stems. Water blanch collards 3 minutes and all other greens 2 minutes. Cool, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.

how do you store cooked collard greens?


Can I freeze cooked spinach? Vacuum sealing systems work really well with spinach leaves. This frozen spinach works well in cooked dishes, but if you plan to use it as a stand-alone side dish, try a small batch before freezing a large portion without blanching. Another way to freeze spinach is to puree it with water and freeze in ice cube trays.

How long can you keep cooked greens in the freezer?

Properly stored, cooked green beans will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. To further extend the shelf life of cooked green beans, freeze them; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.

How do you blanch and freeze collard greens? greens requires a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam , to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for collards is 3 minutes and all other greens 2 minutes.. Begin counting the blanching time as soon as you place the greens in the boiling water.

Why do collard greens stink?

It is very important not to overcook collard greens. Like other cruciferous vegetables overcooked collard greens will begin to emit the unpleasant sulfur smell associated with overcooking. To help collard greens to cook more quickly, evenly slice the leaves into 1/2-inch slices and the stems into 1/4-inch pieces.

Can you freeze leafy greens?

How to freeze leafy greens. Spinach, kale, and chard all freeze beautifully. note: While frozen greens are fantastic for smoothies, don’t use them for your salads… you’ll be very disappointed! (Turns out, ice chunks aren’t as fun as croutons.)

How do you blanch?

Water Blanching Put the vegetable in a blanching basket and lower into vigorously boiling water. Place a lid on the blancher. The water should return to boiling within 1 minute, or you are using too much vegetable for the amount of boiling water. Start counting blanching time as soon as the water returns to a boil.

What can I do with lots of Swiss chard?

7 Things You Can Do with Swiss Chard Sautéd. A traditional take on greens is to braise or sauté them with garlic or other aromatics. Salad. Remove the stems and compost or save for another dish. Baked. Here’s a different take on swiss chard – bake the greens and stems under local pasture-raised pork chops! Creamed. Grain Salads. Frittata. Soup.

Do cooked collard greens need to be refrigerated?

Plants sometimes do start to smell, but if the collards were bought and refrigerated for only three days, they should be fine. Can I wash them 2 days before cooking? Yes, as long as you dry them before storing in the refrigerator. Cooked collard greens last up to a week when you keep them in the fridge.

How do you warm up collard greens?

The collard greens can be made a few hours ahead of time or up to a day in advance, which will really allow the flavors to deepen. Just keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Then reheat over low to medium-low heat until warm.

Can you leave cooked collard greens out overnight?

While the odds are they would probably be fine, food safety experts recommend throwing them out after 6 hours. It’s entirely up to you if you want to risk it, but they have been shown to grow bacteria at room temp, and like you say collard greens are pretty cheap.

How do you know when greens go bad?

To check if vegetables are spoiled, look for greens that are turning a yellowish color or appear slimy. If your vegetables are covered in mold, throw them out to avoid getting sick. You can also tell if your vegetables are spoiled by smelling them. If they smell foul or bitter, they’ve probably gone bad.

A variety of collard greens in your diet is a must. Pick your favourites from Spinach, kale, chard and other leafy greens and make sure you add plenty to your meals.

If you grow your own then you might find you have an overabundance when it comes to harvest time, so what do you do with the excess? Can you freeze collard greens?

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze collard greens. Collard greens can be frozen for up to 12 months so there is no need for any to go to waste. You do need to blanch the veggies first and then pack them in airtight bags in the freezer.

How to Freeze Collard Greens

Collard greens are delicious and great for your health, so it is worth having some in the freezer, but there is a little prep work involved to freeze them fully. This means you do need to blanch them first.

If you don’t follow the blanching method, then the greens are unlikely to survive without becoming a mushy mess in the freezer. It isn’t as difficult and daunting as it sounds, so let’s look at how you can freeze collard greens.

  1. Pick the Best
    Pick out the collard greens you want to freeze. Only pick out undamaged stems with no blemishes to ensure you can successfully freeze them.
  2. Wash
    Wash them well under cold running water to remove any dirt, grit and bugs that might be making their home in the leaves.
  3. Chop
    Chop or tear the leaves into manageable sizes. Small leaves should be fine to leave whole, but large leaves will need to be chopped.
  4. Boil Water
    Grab a large pot and boil some water on the cooker. You need enough water to ensure you can cover the greens you have. If you have a large number of collard greens, then you might need to blanch them in batches.
  5. Prepare for Blanching
    While the water is heating up, you need to grab some more equipment. A metal colander is perfect if you have one. If not, then you can use a plastic colander, but the method is slightly different. You also need to ensure you have a bowl of ice water next to the stove. You can either grab some water and pop ice cubes into it or pour a bowl of water and pop it into the fridge until it has cooled.
  6. Blanch
    When the water is boiling, you need to plunge the collard greens into the water. If you have a metal colander, you can put the leaves into it and plunge the whole colander into the water. If not, then pop the leaves in and get ready to pull them out again using tongs. Leave the collard greens in the water for three minutes. As soon as the three minutes is up, you need to take the collard greens out of the water and plunge them into the ice water.
  7. Drain
    Leave them there for three minutes and then take them out and drain them. Let the collard greens dry as much as possible.
  8. Bag Up
    When they are dry, pop the greens into freezer bags. If you prefer, you can make small portion size balls and then put them in freezer bags. Just be careful not to handle the greens too much.
  9. Seal
    Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags. If you have a straw handy, you can seal the bags almost all the way and then put the straw in to suck out all the air. When you are finished, seal the bags tightly.
  10. Label and Freeze
    Label with the date and contents. Pop the bags into the freezer to freeze.

3 Tips for Freezing Collard Greens

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing collard greens to have the best results:

  • Pack into Balls – To save space in your freezer, pack the collard greens into balls before freezing. The size of a tennis ball should work and provide a good portion of your favourite collard greens.
  • Airtight is Vital – Make sure you make your bags of collard greens as airtight as possible before popping them into the freezer. You can keep your greens in the freezer for a long time, and any air can cause the flavour of the greens to deteriorate.
  • Squeeze Excess Moisture – If you find your greens are retaining too much water, then you can give them a light squeeze as they are draining. These leafy greens tend to absorb moisture, so squeeing can help them freeze well.

How Long Can You Freeze Collard Greens?

If you blanch and then store your collard greens in the freezer, then they will keep well for a super long time! You can freeze them for up to twelve months before the veggies will start to deteriorate.

You Can Freeze Collard Greens for up to 12 Months

How Do You Defrost Collard Greens?

The best way to cook and heat your collard greens once they have been frozen is to not defrost them at all. Pop them into your recipe or cook them up using your favourite method right from frozen.

If you want to thaw the greens out before cooking, you can pop them into a bowl and put them into the fridge to thaw them out overnight.

This is likely to produce a bit of moisture, so don’t forget the bowl, or you could end up with the water leaking into your fridge.

Can You Refreeze Collard Greens?

No, you can’t refreeze collard greens. Their texture and structure will change a little in the freezer, and if you try and refreeze, you may find that the texture becomes too mushy to be edible.

Do Collard Greens Freeze Well?

Collard greens do freeze well, but they do change. They freeze well because they keep their goodness and can be kept for a really long time.

However, the texture of the green will have changed. The veg will be much softer and retain more water than if you cooked them freshly. This doesn’t stop them from being delicious, though, so there is no reason not to freeze up your excess collard greens.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing collard greens or greens in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Uncooked Collard Greens?

You can freeze uncooked collard greens, but we would still strongly recommend blanching them beforehand. This does not cook collard greens but helps to secure nutrients, flavour, texture and colour.

Can You Freeze Kale (And Other Greens)?

Kale, like most greens, can be frozen in the same way as collard greens. You need to clean it, blanch it, and store it in an airtight container or bag before freezing.

How to freeze collard greens

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