Collards are a member of the Brassica family and a cruciferous vegetable commonly used in many dishes across the world.
They’re packed with vitamins A, C, B6, K, folate, and iron.
They also have a reputation as one of the most bitter vegetables on the planet.
But if you’ve ever eaten collard greens, then you know they’re delicious!
But how do you prepare collard greens so that you can enjoy this nutritious veggie without being overwhelmed by its bitterness?
And what about freezing it?
Can you freeze collard greens?
Can you freeze collard greens?
Yes, you can freeze collard greens.
In fact, you’ll find that they become even more flavorful than when you first bought them fresh from your local grocery store.
It’s important to note that collard greens will continue to lose moisture over time.
This means that you should always buy them at or near the peak of their season.
That way, you’ll get the freshest, most flavorful greens possible.
If you’re buying collard greens frozen, be sure to remove and discard the thick stems before you start preparing them.
The stems contain a fair amount of salt, which can make your collard greens taste salty.
If you want to keep those stems, just rinse them well under running water after you thaw them out.
Next, blanch collard greens in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
This step helps reduce the bitterness of the leaves.
Once you’ve finished preparing your collard greens, you’ll need to put them into a container with enough air space to allow them to dry out slowly.
To do this, lay them out flat on a baking sheet (or use a mesh bag) and let them sit uncovered overnight.
You can also place them in the fridge for up to 72 hours to speed up the drying process.
Once you’ve dried them out, you can either freeze them immediately or you can store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
How do you freeze collard greens?
To freeze collard greens, you’ll need to remove the outer leaves and stem from each leaf before you pack them into a ziploc bag.
Then, add a few tablespoons of water per package of collard greens, seal the bags tightly, and place them in the freezer.
Once they reach 0 degrees Celsius, you can move them to another container and store them in the refrigerator.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of room in your freezer.
Even though collard greens are very dense, they’ll still take up less space than other food items.
Plus, once they’re defrosted, you can use them right away!
What is the best way to freeze collard greens?
The best way to freeze collard greens depends on whether you plan to eat them within 2 weeks or longer.
For example, if you plan to use them within 2 weeks, then you’ll want to freeze them using the vacuum-sealing method.
This method involves sealing the collard greens in a vacuum-sealed bag, then placing them in the freezer.
When you open the bag later, the contents will be completely frozen.
If you’d like to save your collard greens for longer than two weeks, then you’ll want to freeze them using the zipper-lock method.
This involves adding a tablespoon of water per package of collard greens, then sealing the bag and moving it to the freezer.
Once it reaches 0 degrees Celsius, you can transfer the bag to a larger container and store it in the refrigerator.
How long do frozen collard greens last?
Because collard greens are quite dense, they tend to hold onto more moisture than other foods.
So, you may end up having to re-blanch them every couple of months to ensure that they stay nice and crisp.
In general, the fresher the collard greens are when you purchase them, the better.
For this reason, it’s best to only freeze collard greens when they’re at their peak.
What is the best way to store frozen collard greens?
To store frozen collard greens, you’ll need to remove them from the containers and place them into a large bowl filled with cold water.
Let them soak for 5 minutes, then drain them thoroughly.
When you’re done draining them, you can either wrap them in paper towels and place them back in the original container, or simply lay them down on a baking sheet and let them air dry.
How do you thaw frozen collard greens?
Thawing frozen collard greens is pretty much the same as thawing frozen veggies.
Basically, all you need to do is submerge the collard greens in a large pot of hot water.
Let them sit for 10 minutes, then drain them thoroughly.
You can either serve them immediately or store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
Can you refreeze thawed collard greens?
Yes, you can refreeze thawed collard greens.
Just remember not to refreeze them too quickly.
Otherwise, you run the risk of causing freezer burn.
Freezer burn happens when vegetables are exposed to temperatures above -10 degrees Celsius for extended periods of time.
This causes the cells inside the vegetables to rupture and release harmful chemicals.
If you expose them to these conditions for too long, your vegetables could eventually go bad.
So, the key to preventing freezer burn is to give your vegetables plenty of time to cool down before you refreeze them.
In other words, wait at least 24 hours between thawing and refreezing.
How do you cook frozen collard greens?
Frozen collard greens are great to have around because they’re easy to prep.
Simply cut off the stems, chop the leaves, and boil them according to the instructions below.
For instance, if you’re making collard green soup, simply stir together 1 cup of stock, 3 cups of chopped collard greens, and 4 cloves of minced garlic.
Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
What are some good recipes for collard greens?
Collard greens are versatile.
They can be used in salads, soups, stews, side dishes, and main courses.
Here are some ideas:
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Collard Green Sauce
- Creamy Spinach & Collard Green Soup
- Sesame Chicken Salad with Crunchy Peanut Dressing
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Smoked Gouda
- Spicy Collard Green Quesadillas with Chipotle Crema
- Sweet Potato & Collard Green Hash Browns
Are there any health benefits to eating collard greens?
Collard greens are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants fight free radicals, which cause DNA damage and lead to cancer.
As a result, collard greens are considered beneficial for overall health.
What is the best way to clean collard greens?
Wash collard greens thoroughly before you begin cooking them.
Then, trim off the tough ends of the leaves, wash them again, and pat them dry with a paper towel.
You can also toss them in a salad spinner to help remove excess dirt and debris.
Quick Collard Greens
- 1 large bunch collard greens about 10 ounces
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 medium cloves garlic pressed or minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes optional, scale back or omit if sensitive to spice
- A couple lemon wedges for serving
- To get the collards ready: Remove each collard green’s thick center rib. The rib-free greens should be stacked and rolled like a cigar. To create lengthy strands, slice the “cigar” as thinly as you can (1/8″ to 14″). To make the greens’ strands shorter, cut and stir the greens.
- The olive oil is added once the large, heavy-bottomed skillet has reached medium-high heat. Add all of the collard greens and salt once the oil is shimmering.
- Greens should only be minimally oil-coated throughout the stirring process. After allowing the greens to simmer for around 30 seconds, stir one more. When the greens are wilted, dark green, and some are beginning to turn brown on the edges, keep stirring every 30 seconds (this is delicious). It will take 3 to 6 minutes to complete this.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes when the collards are almost done (if using). Cook the garlic for about 30 seconds, stirring to break up the cloves. Take the pan off the stove.
- Divide the cooked collards into serving portions and top each with a lemon wedge.