Kale is a leafy green that is high in nutrients and offer a range of health benefits to your body. Because kale is so versatile, it is often frozen or bought frozen by many people. It is a great frozen vegetable to add into your smoothies to help increase the nutrients.
Kale is considered to be one of the few most nutrient dense foods. It is a superfood that really boosts up your smoothies when added. Kale is full of fibre, vitamins (A, B6, C, K), manganese, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium.
It is also full of antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol. These are substances that help you reduce the effects of oxidative damage by free radicals in your body. It is believed that oxidative damage is a big cause in aging and other diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Kale is considered to be one of the best sources of vitamin C. In fact, eating a cup of kale has even more vitamin C than eating a whole orange. Vitamin C is also considered to be an antioxidant that helps with your body. It is a nutrient that helps your body form blood vessels, muscles, cartilage and collagen. It is also vital for helping your body heal from injuries.
Kale has around 250mg of calcium per 100g, whereas cow milk only has 110mg of calcium per 100g. This makes it a great plant based source of calcium for those of you who are vegetarians or vegans. Calcium is a mineral that your body requires to function properly. Almost all the calcium in your body is stored in your bones and teeth to give it structure and strength. In addition, you also need calcium for your muscles to move.
Why should you freeze kale?
You can freeze almost everything, freezing kale is considered to be one of the best ways to preserve it. In fact, kale is considered to be a very good vegetable to freeze as it is one of the many foods that fare better than others when thawed.
Not only does freezing kale help keep it lasting longer. It also helps retain many of the nutrients you can find in kale. In addition, a study found that frozen uncooked kale had a higher amount of antioxidants than fresh kale. They suggested that the freezing process might have helped increase the antioxidant levels.
Frozen kale can also be prepared quickly with minimal effort. If you are like me and drink your smoothies in the morning, it might get annoying to prepare kale every morning for your smoothie. Personally, I am not a huge fan of making so much stuff in the morning. I prefer just dumping in all the ingredients in my smoothie and blending it. If you were preparing fresh kale, you might have to wash and chop, thereby taking up a bit more time. Whereas, frozen kale has already been prepared in advance and only requires you to take it out and put it into your smoothie.
Adding frozen kale also helps make your smoothie more smooth, thick, frothy and a nice chilly texture. It gives the smoothie a nice cool consistent body. Sometimes, when you make a smoothie without anything cold, the drink can end up slightly warmer than you want. Adding frozen kale lets it control the drink’s coldness without requiring you to add ice. In addition, when it gets warm, it is always nice to drink a cold smoothie.
Kale is also a vegetable with a strong and earthy taste. Trying out kale the first time might even be intimidating for some. Even after eating kale for many years, I still sometimes find the taste harder to tolerate than other leafy greens. I find that frozen kale is easier to drink in my smoothie than fresh kale. The taste is usually not as obvious when the kale has been frozen for me. I can’t guarantee it would be the same for you. But if you do try it out, please let me know if it is the same for you in the comments.
How to freeze kale
Before you freeze your kale, you have to make sure you wash it thoroughly. Soak it in a bowl of water and rub the leaves to make sure all the dirt and grime has been removed.
After it has been thoroughly washed, you have to dry the kale completely. You could use a towel to pat it dry, a salad spinner or just let it sit out and air dry. Make sure it is completely dry as any water that has been left on the leaf will most likely cause freezer burn.
Once it has been all dry, you can remove the stalks and stems. Those are usually not as appetising as the leaves but they are edible. If you are putting it in a smoothie, you can choose to keep the stalks and stems.
Once you have discarded the bits you won’t eat, you can chop it up and place it into a bag. You can use any type of storage containers to freeze, use the one that works best for you. I like to use zip up freezer bags as they can lay flat and do not take up as much space in the freezer compared to box containers.
You do not want to pack the kale too tightly packed. Avoid filling it up or squishing up the kale to fit more in as this might leave to a large amount of kale stuck and hard to take apart.
If you do not want the hassle of freezing kale yourself, you can always go to your local grocery store to buy a bag of frozen kale. Just make sure you check the ingredients and make sure there isn’t any added additives or preservatives.
Smoothies with kale
There are many different types of smoothies you can make with kale. Even if you do not have a recipe, you can always just toss a handful of kale into your smoothie to add more nutrients. Here are just some combinations that I have tried and tested myself.
- Kale, banana, protein powder and milk or dairy free alternatives
- Kale, banana, matcha and milk or dairy free alternatives
- Kale, banana, avocado and coconut water
- Kale, banana, cocoa powder and milk or dairy free alternatives
- Kale, blueberries, flax seed, protein powder and yogurt
- Kale, mango, flax seeds and almond milk
- Kale, apple, almond butter and milk or dairy free alternatives
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