How Long Does Kale Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on December 25th, 2022

If you’re looking for ways to ensure your kale stays fresh for as long as possible, this blog post is for you! We’ll go through the storage and shelf-life of kale, how to tell when it’s gone bad, and tips on how to prepare and store it properly. So whether you’re a kale connoisseur or just getting started with the leafy green, read on – we’ve got all the information you need!

Introduction: How Long Does Kale Last?

Kale is a dark-green leafy vegetable packed with essential vitamins and minerals, making it a popular choice for many diets. But how long does this nutrient-dense produce last? The shelf life of kale depends on the type of kale, how it is stored, and how it is prepared. This blog will discuss the different types of kale and their shelf lives, factors that affect their shelf life, and methods of storing and preserving kale to maximize its freshness. We will also answer common questions about eating and storing kale and provide tips for buying quality produce. By the end of this blog, you will have all the information you need to get the most out of your fresh produce!


What is Kale?

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family. It is known for its nutrient-dense health benefits and mild, earthy flavor. Kale can be cooked or eaten raw, making it a versatile ingredient for many dishes.

Types of Kale and Their Shelf Lives

Kale comes in various forms, including fresh, frozen, and prewashed bagged kale.

  • Fresh kale lasts up to a week in the refrigerator, while cooked kale lasts only three to five days.
  • Bagged prewashed kale will stay fresh for up to 5 days after opening the bag.
  • Frozen kale has the longest shelf life and can last up to six months in the freezer.

No matter what type of kale you have, proper storage is key to extending its shelf life.

Factors Affecting the Shelf Life of Kale

Kale is a nutritious and versatile vegetable with a short shelf life. Several factors can affect the length of time that kale will last, such as the type of kale, storage conditions, and how it is prepared. Below we’ll explore the factors that will affect the shelf life of kale and how you can use them to maximize the longevity of your fresh produce.

Temperature and humidity play a major role in determining how long kale will last. Kale stored at cooler temperatures (below 40°F) will last longer than kale stored at warmer temperatures (above 40°F). Additionally, kale stored in a humid environment will stay longer than kale stored in a dry environment.

The type of kale you buy can also affect its shelf life. Bagged prewashed kale tends to last longer than fresh kale that is sold loose. Fresh kale stored in the refrigerator should last up to one week, while prewashed bagged kale can last up to two weeks.

The way you prepare your kale can also affect its shelf life. Raw kale will last longer than cooked kale, with raw kale lasting up to a week in the refrigerator and cooked kale lasting for three to five days.

Finally, proper storage is key for extending the shelf life of your fresh produce. Kale should be stored in a loose plastic bag in the refrigerator and can keep for up to one week. For longer-term storage, you can freeze,

Storing Kale to Increase Its Shelf Life

Storing your kale correctly can help to maximize its shelf life. Fresh kale can last up to one week in the refrigerator, while prewashed and bagged kale can last up to two weeks. It’s best to store kale in an airtight container or plastic bag. You can also wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel to help keep them fresh and crisp. If you’re not going to use the kale immediately, it’s best to freeze it.

Preparing Kale for Cooking and Storage

Kale is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. When preparing kale for cooking or storage, cleaning and preparing the vegetable properly is important. Before using kale, it should be washed with cool water to remove any dirt and debris.

To ensure the kale is properly washed, it may help to swirl the leaves in a bowl of cool water. After washing, the leaves should be dried with a clean towel or paper towel to remove excess water.

Once the kale is washed and dried, it can be chopped and stored. To chop the leaves, hold them firmly in one hand and use a sharp knife to cut them into thin strips. Once the leaves are chopped, they are ready to be cooked or stored in the refrigerator for later use.

When storing kale, it is important to wrap it tightly in a damp or paper towel. This will help keep the leaves moist and prevent them from drying out. The kale should then be placed in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. Proper storage of kale will help ensure it stays fresh for up to one week.

Preserving Kale to Extend Its Shelf Life

Kale is a nutritious vegetable that can be enjoyed in many ways. To ensure you get the most out of it, storing and preserving it properly is important. Several methods for preserving kale can extend its shelf life and make it last longer.

Freezing is one of the most popular ways to preserve kale. It’s best to freeze the leaves after washing them and patting them dry. For raw kale, blanching the leaves before freezing is recommended. This helps to preserve the color and texture of the leaves.

You can freeze cooked kale, either with or without blanching it first. To freeze cooked kale, spread it out on a baking sheet and freeze it until solid. Once frozen, transfer the kale to an airtight container.

Canning is another great way to preserve kale. You can either can uncook or cooked kale for long-term storage. For uncooked kale, blanch it first before adding it to the jars and then processing them in a boiling water bath. For cooked kale, blanch and drain it before packing it into jars, adding a teaspoon of salt to each jar, and then processing them in a boiling water bath.

Drying is another easy way to extend the shelf life of kale. To dry raw kale, spread the leaves out on dehydrator trays or place them in an oven set at a low temperature (around 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Once

Freezing Fresh and Cooked Kale for Long-Term Storage

Freezing is a great way to store kale for long-term use. Fresh raw kale can be frozen for up to six months. To freeze raw kale, wash and dry it thoroughly, cut it into small pieces, and place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Cooked kale can be frozen for up to two months.

To freeze cooked kale, blanch it in boiling water for one minute, cool it in an ice bath, then drain and pat dry with paper towels. Place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. For best results, use frozen kale within six months of freezing.

Canning Cooked and Uncooked Kale for Long-Term Storage

Canning is a great way to extend the shelf life of your fresh produce. It’s a safe, easy method for preserving kale for long-term storage. When canning kale, you must first choose the correct type of jar and ensure it is properly sterilized.

Depending on your preferred method, you can scan your kale raw or cooked. When canning raw kale, you must blanch it before packing it in the jars. To can-cooked kale, add the cooked kale and liquid (like water or stock) to the jars and seal them.

Once sealed, place the jars in a boiling water bath for the appropriate time (usually around 45 minutes), then remove them and cool them. This method is a great way to preserve your kale and keep it safe for months.

Drying Cooked and Uncooked Kale for Long-Term Storage

Drying cooked and uncooked kale is an excellent way to extend its shelf life. Dried kale can be stored for up to a year and reconstituted by adding hot water. To dry your kale, use a dehydrator or an oven set to its lowest temperature.

Lay your leaves on parchment paper on baking sheets or in a single layer in the dehydrator. Dry for 4-6 hours or until completely dry and crisp. Once cooled, store in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to a year. Dried kale can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, and salads for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Pickling Cooked and Uncooked Kale for Long-Term Storage

Pickling is an excellent way to extend the shelf life of kale. This method works well with both cooked and uncooked kale. You should start with fresh, clean kale washed and drained well for pickling. Cut the kale into thin strips or slices to prepare the pickling.

Once you have your prepared kale, pickle it in a vinegar-based solution. You can also add herbs, spices, and other seasonings to the pickling liquid to give it a unique flavor. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pickling liquid carefully, and remember to keep the pickled kale refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Tips For Buying Fresh, Quality Produce

When buying fresh kale, it is important to look for dark green leaves, firm and not wilted or yellowing. Avoid any kale that shows signs of browning or spotting. Ensure the leaves are not slimy or wet, a sign of decay. If the leaves are wilted or yellowing, the produce is past its prime and will not last as long.

To ensure you get the freshest produce possible, buy locally-grown kale whenever possible. This will ensure you get the freshest product with a longer shelf life. Additionally, buy only what you need and plan to use it within a few days, as this will reduce food waste and help you make the most of your produce.


Kale is an incredibly versatile vegetable, offering various health benefits and culinary possibilities. With proper storage and preparation, kale can last up to six months in the freezer, a week in the refrigerator, and up to three to five days when cooked. By understanding the shelf life of different types of kale and selecting the highest quality products, you can ensure that your kale remains fresh and delicious for as long as possible.


Editorial Staff

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