How to Wash and Store Kale (for smoothies and salads)
The BEST method for how to wash and store kale, so that it stays fresh and ready for quick smoothies and salads! Using these easy tips, your kale will stay fresh for over a week, and up to two weeks.
I know what you’re thinking. How hard can it be to wash kale, right? It’s really not difficult at all, but I do have a few tips to make the process as simple as can be. This method will also help your kale to last longer, too! And that means more healthy salads and green smoothies for you and your family.
A while back I was doing my weekly grocery shopping on a Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to be shopping with just William that day, and he was helping me to pick out some fresh fruits and vegetables for the week.
As I was choosing a bunch of kale, a fellow shopper commented that he always has trouble keeping his kale fresh. He said he tries to eat a kale salad every day (good for him!), but had to shop for kale multiple times a week because it just wasn’t lasting. I buy a lot of kale, too, and was able to share my tips for keeping kale fresh in the refrigerator. I know many of you like to make kale smoothies and kale salads, so today I’m sharing my simple process in the hopes that it will help you, too!
I made you a quick video to show you my step by step process for prepping the kale my family will eat during the week. Written tips and instructions follow.
How to store kale
- Wash your kale as soon as you get it home from the grocery store. I’ve made the mistake of letting kale sit for a day (or more) in my refrigerator before washing and storing it properly, and regretted it later.
- Chop first, then wash. It’s much, much easier to get your kale clean when it’s already chopped.
- Store your kale in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to use a zip-top bag with the air squeezed out. You can also use a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, but I prefer the bag because I can squeeze the air out.
- Spin the kale to dry it well, and place a few paper towels in between the layers of kale in the bag. The paper towels will absorb extra moisture, helping your kale to stay fresh.
An easy way to prep kale for smoothies, salads, and other recipes:
- Use a sharp knife to slice the kale off of the tough middle stem, then chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.
- To wash the kale, we’re going to use a salad spinner. If you don’t have a salad spinner, I highly recommend investing in one. They’re cheap, and make it easy to always have fresh kale and lettuce washed and ready for healthy salads! Place the chopped kale in the salad spinner and fill the bowl with cold water. Give the kale some good swishes with your hands to help loosen any dirt.
- Lift the strainer insert (with the kale inside) out of the salad spinner and empty the water out of the bowl. If you like, give the kale in the strainer one more quick rinse under the faucet. Place the strainer and kale back in the bowl, put the lid on, and spin dry.
- Once your kale is dry, transfer it to a large zip-top bag. I like to label my bag with the date that I bought the kale. Place a few paper towels in between the layers of kale to absorb excess water.
- Place the kale in the refrigerator, where it will be ready for quick salads and smoothies. My kale usually lasts between 1 and 2 weeks.
Check back on Monday for a new kale recipe… it’s a delicious and healthy make-ahead lunch to take to work or enjoy at home during the week!
Now, how to best use that fresh kale? These are some of our favorite recipes:
- Avocado Kale Salad
- Kale Pesto Pasta
- Green Smoothie
- White Bean and Kale Soup
- Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad
- Kale and Mushroom Lasagna
What is your favorite kale recipe?
To make the kale more tender, massage the salad dressing into it. Easy easy!
Yes! That is a great tip, Marian!
I’m trying to figure out what all the white stuff that is floating on top of the water when I wash Kale.
Hello, can you please help me?
I have just introduced using kale in our diet….started with green smoothies. I am reading and doing research on kale….am getting a bit confused. Many of the articles I am reading are saying that consuming raw kale is harmful especially with regards to thyroid. Is this true? Thanks
Always wash before chopping any fruit/vegetable, not the other way around as suggested above. If there is any dirt or insect-related problem, you want to clean that before chopping. You don’t want to chop-up bugs/dirt with your veggies. You may also lose some vitamins/minerals by chopping before washing.