Does Kale Go Bad?

Does kale go bad or not? We all know that kale is healthy, but it can go bad pretty quickly if you don't store it properly. Here's a simple guide.

If you need a boost of health benefits, kale is the way to go. It is one of the green, leafy vegetables that we know we’re meant to consume . . . but sometimes don’t quite manage it.

If you bought a bunch of kale, but haven’t got around to eating it, you may be concerned about the shelf-life of your kale. You may be asking yourself:

Has my kale gone bad? How long does it last?

Here’s what you need to know about the shelf-life of kale. It is dependent on what type of kale you are using. Fresh kale lasts 5-7 days, whereas cooked kale lasts 3-5 days.

How To Tell If Kale Is Bad?

fresh kale

The best way to check for signs that your kale has spoiled is to inspect its appearance. If you find any black specs on your kale, you should toss it out. You can throw out the leaves with black specs and use the rest if you wish.

If the leaves start to lose their color and turn pale green, either use it up immediately or throw it out. Once the leaves are pale green they will soon turn yellow, which is when you would discard it anyway.

Another sign of spoiled kale is wilted or soggy leaves. Make sure to get rid of these leaves. You can also use its smell to check if it has spoiled. If the kale gives off an off smell, it is probably best to get rid of it.

Storing Kale

A bag of kale has a similar storage routine as a bag of spinach. You place the bag of kale in the fridge and use it when you need it. Only wash the kale once you are just about to consume it.

Fresh kale follows the same instructions. Store it in a plastic bag in the fridge, and only wash it when you are about to use it.

You don’t want to seal the bag tightly. Instead, leave some air holes to promote airflow.

Another tip: use paper towels to absorb excess moisture if your kale tends to get soggy quickly.

Once your kale is cooked, store it in an airtight container and place it in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Kale?

salad with kale and quinoa

Freezing kale is a long-term storage option. When you freeze raw kale, this will change the texture of it. For that reason, you should either freeze cooked kale or blanch the leaves before freezing. Use paper towels to remove all excess moisture. Then place it on a tray to pre-freeze it. Once the kale is frozen, place it in freezer bags or containers for a long-term freeze.

How To Blanch Kale

First, you need to prep your vegetable by washing it and cutting off any unnecessary pieces like the stems. Then bring a pot of water to a boil.

Once the pot begins to boil, place your kale in the water. Make sure you have a bowl of cold water and ice cubes on hand and ready.

After about a minute, transfer your kale to the cold water and ice bowl. Leave it there for another minute. Then drain and dry your kale thoroughly.

How Long Does Kale Last?

kale juice

When it comes to its shelf-life, kale should follow its best-by date if packaged. A bag of kale that is unopened will keep to the date on the label. Once you open this bag, the time will shorten to last 5 days in the fridge.

As stated earlier, fresh kale lasts 5-7 days in the fridge, while cooked kale lasts an even shorter time of 3-5 days in the fridge.

In Summary

Kale is one of the healthiest veggies out there. It is rich in vitamin A, folate, zinc, calcium, potassium, and so much more. You’ll want to consume it if you’re trying to lower cholesterol, lose weight, and possibly prevent cancer.

Kale is not a vegetable that lasts long. You will want to consume it as soon as possible to make sure you’re getting the best quality.

Store your kale in the fridge, or it will go bad much quicker. Once in the fridge, it can last 5 days when opened from its bag or when it’s cooked.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.