I have been planting greens every 2 weeks for 6 weeks now and plan to continue throughout the summer/fall. It's wonderful to have greens galore for salads and smoothies and I feel I'm finally getting enough greens regularly.
It's very tough to get enough in the winter; the quality is so low around here and the best quality very expensive. I will have copious and extra amounts of greens this summer and fall including spinach, mesculin mix, green leaf, buttercrunch, not to mention wild greens (mostly sorrels and dandelion). I have a deep freezer, do you think it's worth it to harvest and freeze greens for winter time?
Have you ever done this? Any tips?
Would you be using them in smoothies? They'll be all limp and mushy nasty when they thaw, so that's probably about all they'd be good for. My boyfriend uses frozen spinach in his smoothies sometimes and I can tell when he does cause he smells different. Commercially frozen spinach is blanched, so maybe that's the difference I'm smelling. He says they don't taste as good as fresh spinach smoothies either. You should probably just freeze a test batch - and then let everyone else know how it works :)
yes definitely for smoothies. your testing idea sounds good, thanks!
My girlfriend and I harvest wild greens throughout the summer and dry them on a simple wooden rack (somewhere warm but out of direct sunlight). Once they are dry we grind them up into a green powder and add the powder to smoothies in winter, as an addition to the limited fresh greens we can get in the shops.
I honestly don't know if this approach is any better or worse than freezing greens though?
Interesting alternative, Richie. I would say that neither is optimal, but for making this diet work, either would be a second best type of compromise. Do you refridgerate the powder, or just store like any herb or spice?
We store it in airtight jars, just like dried herbs.
Food storage experts recommend blanching because otherwise the frozen spinach doesn't last as long. There are concerns that it isn't food safe because of bacteria. But I wouldn't be too concerned, especially if you are going to use them within a few months. If you have a deep freezer that holds a temp of 0 degrees all the time, your results will be better than just a frost-free freezer above your fridge.
The drying method Richie mentioned has some advantages, but only if you don't live in a humid climate. They'll mold before they dry where I live. But if you have a dehydrator...
Right, I've had luck in the past drying herbs as long as the humidity held off, but it's tricky. It'll be all almost dry and the humidity ruins it all. It's pretty humid here, too. And yeah, I think I'd rather just freeze than blanche and freeze, we do have what we used to call the meat freezer which is now filled with dates, berries and a bit of last year's garden veggies.
By the way I have frozen kale, which has proliferated all over our land ever since we let some go to seed as an experiment. I just pulled some I found in the freezer and tasted a bit of it...got an acidic taste right at first then it was fine, but I'm not that much for kale. Some was freezer burned. But it's been in there since Aug/Sept.