How long does kale last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does kale last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of kale. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to store kale and the ways to spot bad kale.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does kale last?

When it comes to kale the shelf life depends upon several factors including whether kale is bagged or fresh and the storage conditions in which it is kept.

Bagged kale

Unopened bagged kale lasts for about 7-10 days when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But it is recommended to consider the date written on the package as the reference point.

Once opened bagged kale lasts for about 5 days when stored in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fresh kale

Fresh kale lasts for about 5-7 days when it is stored properly in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooked kale

Cooked kale lasts for about 3-5 days when stored in the fridge in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bag at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, cooked kale lasts for about 2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria grow at a faster pace between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit therefore it is recommended to discard the cooked kale that is left in open for more than 2 hours as there is a great chance that the bacteria would have already spread over it and would have spoiled it.

If the outside temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit then cooked kale lasts for only about an hour when left out in the open. 

It is worth mentioning that these figures are just the estimated shelf life of kale and within this time you can enjoy the best quality of the kale.

Can you freeze kale?

Yes, you can freeze kale but it is worth mentioning that you will notice a change in the texture of the frozen kale once it is thawed. Frozen kale lasts for 10-12 months when stored properly.

So what you gotta do to freeze kale is to wash the kale thoroughly and afterward cut the stems and blanch the leaves by putting them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and afterward cooling them in the ice-cold water. Afterward, drain the water and pat dry the kale leaves. Line these kale leaves on the cookie tray and let them freeze. Once they get frozen, transfer them to the plastic freezer bag and store them in the freezer.

Now when you want to thaw frozen kale, you can either thaw them by leaving them in the fridge overnight or if you are going to add them to a cooked dish then you can directly add the frozen kale to the dish during cooking, but do not forget to adjust the time of the dish according to the time it takes for the kale to defrost

You can also use frozen kale in making healthy green smoothies. You can read how to make kale pineapple smoothie here.

How to properly store kale?

  1. It is recommended to properly store fresh kale in the refrigerator.
  2. In case of fresh kale, when you are going to refrigerate it, what you can do is to put it in a plastic zipper bag wrapped in a paper towel, and when you are going to seal the bag, leave some space open to make sure that it gets the required steady airflow.
  3. You should store your cooked kale in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  4. You should cool your cooked kale before putting it in the air-tight container or plastic zipper bag. If you store hot cooked kale inside the air-tight container, moisture will build up inside it and will provide a suitable environment for microbes to grow.

How to tell if kale has gone bad?

There are a couple of indications that point out that your kale has gone bad. You should consider the appearance, color, texture, and smell of kale to give a final verdict about whether or not kale has gone bad.

Appearance

If you spot some dark-colored spots or specks on your kale, then it is an indication that it is going to go bad within some time.

Color

If you notice that the dark green color of your kale has changed to pale green color, then it means that your kale is past its prime age.

Texture

If you notice that the leaves of kale have become soggy, wilt, and limp them it is better to discard such kale as it has gone bad.

Smell

If you smell an off-smell or sulfur-like smell when you take a sniff test then it is better to get rid of such kale.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does kale last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of kale. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to store kale and the ways to spot bad kale.

Citations

https://www.doesitgobad.com/does-kale-go-bad/

https://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/17471

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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