You buy an enormous bag of greens with the best intentions of making a nutritious smoothie every morning| but by day two| the fire under your smoothie obsession starts to fizzle out. And when you finally go to pull out that container a few days later| your heart sinks a little when you find yet another bag of wilted| slimy spinach. Here’s a simple solution for preserving those greens: freeze them instead.
Freezing your greens will save you the heartache of throwing out spoiled produce| and you can buy in bulk| which is much cheaper than picking up small containers. It’ll also save you time if you buy your greens like curly kale or swiss chard in bunches| since you can do all the prep work ahead of time. And since smoothie-making is now that much faster and easier| you’re more likely to make one instead of pouring a bowl of sugary cereal. Any type of greens will freeze well| so whether you prefer spinach| kale| chard| beet greens| arugula| or a combination| your green smoothies are practically made after these simple steps.
Since some greens like spinach can pull apart pretty easily once frozen| you could throw the whole bag in the freezer. But if you’re worried about whether it’s safe to freeze those produce bags| you’re better off using pint-sized freezer bags and freezing individual servings. It’ll save you space in the freezer| since it’s easier to stack these small bags| and you can also reuse them. If you’re buying bunches of kale and spinach| then wash and chop them before placing one- to two-cup servings in each freezer bag.
Pick up some BPA-free ice cube trays or baby food trays ¡ª I like the ones with lockable lids| so the trays can be stacked ¡ª and buy a variety of greens. You can puree them separately in a food processor or blender or puree them together| adding a little water to yield a smooth consistency. Pour into the little wells| attach the lids| and freeze them. Once the cubes are frozen| you can leave them in the trays or pop them out into gallon-sized freezer bags. When you’re ready to make your smoothie| just grab a few and throw them in your blender ¡ª it’s a great time saver. Just for reference| a packed NutriBullet (about four firmly packed cups) of kale with 1/3 cup water makes 12 one-ounce ice cubes| so if you want to add one cup of kale to your smoothie| then use three ice cubes. Aside from smoothies| here are some other ways you can use your frozen greens.