This is what happens when a greens-lover discovers a local hydroponic picking farm with all-you-can-pick greens.
I used to buy greens by the bunch. Now I
hoard buy them by the pound. At around $1.50 a pound, I stock up until my little heart is content. Since the farm is about an hour drive for me, I’m sticking to bi-weekly trips.
And this time around guess what was finally ready to be picked?
Some friends and family have asked me recently if it’s okay to freeze your greens. Freezing produce comes in handy when you encounter a good sale on items in bulk, or if it’s a seasonal item that you want to enjoy throughout the year. And my answer is, yes!
Why yes, yes you can.
Kale freezes especially well, and it’s actually known that freezing the green produces a sweeter and more tender leaf.
Some tips for freezing greens:
- Wash thoroughly
- Allow greens to air-dry on paper towels (completely!)
- Chop as desired and store in quart-sized freezer baggies (gallon baggies will work but then you have to use it all at once when it comes time to thaw).
- Remove when ready for use, and allow to thaw for 20-30 minutes until softened
- Add to soups, stir-fries, casseroles or smoothies
Obviously you no longer have a “fresh green”, so adding to a salad will create a bit of a soggy mess. But otherwise previously frozen and thawed greens are perfect for cooking up or enjoying raw in a green smoothie. I’m guessing you could probably even juice them… but don’t quote me on that one, I’ve never tried it.
Since I’ve been stocking up on greens by the bucket-load, I’ve also been enjoying lots of yummy green juice with my new Omega juicer. This week I tried a new combo and added some green juice that I had made the night before and stored in a mason jar to my morning green smoothie.
I used: 8 oz. green juice (kale, collards, apples, pears) 2 c. fresh spinach, 1 c. strawberries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 c. soy yogurt, 1 tbs. flax oil
Blend on high until completely pulverized and smooth, pour and enjoy! The juice adds a sweetness to the smoothie that I really like. Plus it’s a great way to use up any leftover juice from the day before.
This is what happens when I cook up entirely too many grains and beans…
The first one is a spicy spanish-style salad with hulled barley, garbanzo beans, carrots, zucchini, red pepper, onion, jalepeno, cumin, paprika, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I was out of fresh cilantro but I plan on grabbing some tomorrow to add to this salad. Check out the recipe here.
The second is sort of a spin-off on Waldorf salad. I used my garbanzos and barley, and added fresh apples and carrots, dried cherries, walnuts, Vegenaise, and a bit of cinnamon and curry.
This salad gets better with age. Okay, not too much age obviously, but an overnight in the fridge allows the beans, grains and veggies to fully soak up the sauce and brings it to a whole new level. The cinnamon and curry give it just the right kick. I’ve posted the complete recipe here.
You can make either of these salads gluten free by either omitting the barley or substituting brown rice or quinoa.
Setting out to make one, but winding up with two… makes me and the fridge happy =)