DIY Frozen Greens
Preserve Fall’s Bounty for the Lean Months Ahead
With the fall frost lurking and the long, dormant winter months ahead, now is the time to put up nutrient-packed foods. Consider preserving chard, spinach, kale, beet and turnip greens, bok choi and broccoli leaves: They require only steaming, blending and freezing, for which you’ll be rewarded with vitamins and minerals all winter long.
Additionally, the leafy bits come out so small, so unthreatening (I’m thinking here of children, and some husbands) that the thawed product blends seamlessly and indistinguishably into soups, omelets, casseroles, lasagna, pasta sauce, dips, smoothies and more.
This is not the sexiest food you’ll preserve; in fact you may feel a little like Popeye’s mother, hunched over the blender with your heels and cigarette. It also feels like something Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle might engineer for veggie-phobic kids: a delivery system of vital nutrients to children. But, really, it’s not just for kids: We could all use a wallop of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, calcium, betacarotene, iron, potassium, antioxidants and lutein in our diet.
Wash greens. Steam until just wilted. Blend briefly in food processor or blender (too long and it will turn to mush). Cool a few minutes and divide into small portions. Ice cube trays work well for freezing, then transfer cubes to labeled freezer bags. Alternatively, fill 4- to 8-ounce canning jars (leave 1 inch at top and add lids after freezing). When ready to use, thaw at room temperature and toss into your favorite meal.