About a month or so ago, I realized I wasn’t getting enough fresh produce in my diet. I wanted to eat more kale and other fruits and vegetables. And I figured blending a whole bunch of things together in a smoothie every morning would be fast, easy, and painless. But despite the Ecology Center’s instructions for storing produce without plastic , I couldn’t manage to keep kale from turn yellow before I could eat the entire bunch. I was avoiding plastic waste but producing food waste!
And then, one morning on the bus, it hit me: I wonder if you could freeze kale. I Googled “how to freeze kale” and bingo, there were instructions. I just had to figure out how to do it without Ziploc bags.
First, I washed and spun the kale and then cut it into pieces and laid them out on a tray in my freezer to freeze individually so they wouldn’t stick together after I put them all together in a container. (This step is especially necessary if you steam your kale first to destroy goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables. And the same goes for oxalates in spinach.)
My substitute for Ziploc bags? Life Without Plastic’s airtight glass containers or airtight stainless containers. They work great. Pack the kale in pretty tightly. As long as you’re eating it within a week or so, you don’t have to worry about freezer burn. I haven’t experimented to see how long it will last this way. But frozen raw kale is great in a smoothie.
So, here’s how I put my smoothie together without packaging waste:
- Farmers market fruit without sticker or packaging. I vary my fruit choices seasonally.
- Revive kombucha. Revive is a Bay Area company that sells live kombucha in returnable glass bottles that they refill. Kombucha tastes great in the morning and is great for the digestive system.
- Nuts and seeds bought from Whole Foods bulk bins in my own glass jars. To reduce the stress on my blender and produce a smoother smoothie, I soak my nuts and seeds overnight and store them in glass jars in the freezer. Plus, there is some thought that soaking reduces enzyme inhibitors in the skins that impede absorption of nutrients in nuts.
- Frozen kale or other leafy green vegetable
I put the first 5 ingredients in the blender
and blend for about 2 minutes.
Then I add the kale from the hole in the rubber lid and keep blending for about another 3 minutes so it’s really smooth.
Then pour and drink it down.
Cleaning up is super easy because I have the best blender ever. The glass pitcher and blade mechanism are all one piece, so there’s nothing to unscrew and no plastic in contact with my food. Just rinse it out immediately and its ready for the next day.
What blender is that, you ask? Patience. I’ll write about that in another post.