Today, I’m sharing 3 great ways to use up surplus greens from your garden and how to store them so you can enjoy them all winter long!
I love growing greens. They’re delicious, packed with vitamins, and work well for so many recipes!
In my garden, I grow kale, collards, and tatsoi. I want to add spinach this fall. I quickly learned with the cut and come again wonders that I couldn’t possibly consume all of them even if I ate them every day!
But that’s okay because I now know what to do with them so that I can continue using them long after the garden is gone.
Ways to use up surplus greens #1: Freeze them!
Many garden greens freeze beautifully and can be kept for up to 12 months in your freezer! A lot of people suggest blanching raw greens for a minute before freezing, but I never do and haven’t had any issues.
I do, however, wash and dry my greens to make sure they are clean and free from bugs, then seal them with a vacuum sealer or place them in a Ziploc freezer bag and then freeze them.
You can add greens to anything to elevate the nutritional value of a dish. Often, I will cook up some greens until tender and then blend them into a sauce so my picky eaters won’t notice them.
Kale has a stronger flavor, so I find that spinach works best in sauces that you know kiddos will be consuming. I have successfully blended kale into more robust sauces and chilis though.
Otherwise, you can simply add the number of frozen greens to any dish you are making and cook them into it. I do this a lot with Asian cuisine with fantastic results.
Ways to use up surplus greens #2: Dehydrate them!
I use dehydrated greens in everything. I make powders from them and add them to soups, chilis, eggs, smoothies, and sauces. It’s another wonderful way to boost dishes with nutrition.
Dehydrating greens and storing them properly preserves nutrients and reduces the amount of space you need to store them long-term. If you’re looking for a good dehydrator, this is the one I use.
There are also a lot of great books (this is my favorite one!) to learn how to dehydrate and store food in your pantry.
Ways to use up surplus greens #3: Make Smoothie Packs!
I also make smoothie packs in advance as part of my weekly meal prep and freeze the greens along with fruit and seeds for quick breakfasts!
This is how we make them:
In a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag put:
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
- 2 cups greens of your choice- kale, spinach, etc…
- 1/2-1 banana (I use a whole banana for the kids’ smoothies)
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds or hemp hearts
Seal the bag (press out the air first!) and freeze until you want to use them.
To make your smoothie:
- Dump the contents of the frozen pack into a high-powered blender. (like a Vitamix) (aff. link)
- Add 1.5 cups of plant milk of choice to the blender. (We like oat, almond and soy milks best)
- Begin blending on low and increase the speed gradually to high.
- Add water to the consistency that you prefer.
- Blend for a few more minutes until you no longer see any particles and the smoothie is “smooth” and completely liquified. (If you like a frosty smoothie, add ice cubes to the frozen consistency that you prefer)
- Pour into a 32 oz mason jar and serve. This smoothie can also be split between two smaller servings.
You can switch out the fruits as you wish, but we have found this is the combination our household loves the most.
Help- I don’t have a garden but I want to do this!
If you don’t have surplus greens from a garden, but you still want to have greens on hand in bulk to use at home, I’ve got good news! GREENS ARE CHEAP. I have been known to hit the market and buy up greens when they are on sale by the CASE. I take them home and dehydrate them or freeze them for later use!
Do you have creative ways to use up surplus greens from your garden? Tell me some of your favorite ways in the comments below!
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