It’s that time of year when you have too much spinach and/or kale and want to use it up fast before it dries up for the summer. Although I use a lot of it in fresh salads and cook with it, my favorite ways to preserve it are pressure canning and freezing it.
Pressure Canning Spinach & Kale
I prefer to use half-pints or pint canning jars, because I use canned spinach and kale in soups, rice dishes, and other meals where I mix it in as part of the main dish. Therefore, I don’t need to use more than a pint. (I like to add a variety of vegetables to all my dishes.)
The process of pressure canning spinach or kale is very simple. Clean your fresh greens and slice into large strips, about an inch wide. Boil them down a bit to be able to put them easily into the jars. I put mine into a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes. They shrink down a lot, so if you don’t parboil, you won’t have nearly as much spinach or kale in your jar after you pressure can it. place the kale or spinach in clean, hot jars immediately and then add hot water leaving about 1″ headspace. Top your jars with 1 tsp. canning salt per pint or 1/2 per half pint. Dry the tops of your canning jars, place on the hot, clean, dried lids, and secure the rims. Remember to place the rims on securely but not too tight! Pressure can at 11# – 70 minutes for quarts, 45 minutes for pints and half pints.
Freezing Kale & Spinach
The process is very simple and easy to use. I rinse and drain my fresh greens, slice them into about 1.5 inch strips, and place into freezer bags. Push out excess air and freeze. When it’s time to use some, I just break off what I need. It’s very brittle and easy to break, which is how I like it – little pieces that my kids can’t easily pick out! 🙂
If you are pressed for time, freezing is the way to go, but if you have the time it’s nice to put it on the shelf where it will last longer.