Vegetables for Emergencies

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Greetings! Fully understanding I have strayed quite far from philosophy and theology in my last few posts, I’m going to… stray even further, today! I thought I would share a food related tip which I think is really valuable.

Due to the pandemic and the uncertain times we live in, a lot of people (myself included) are making contingency plans. I realise for some this can manifest as buying copious amounts of toilet paper, but for me personally it manifests as buying copious amounts of kale!

You see, the thing is, kale keeps for ages in the freezer. You can freeze it straight from the supermarket and it will last a couple of months, but if you blanche it (I’ll explain!) then it can keep for up to a year. It’s difficult to find vegetables that will keep for so long (leave a comment if you know otherwise!).

So, here’s my kale before I blanched it:

I actually didn’t blanche all of that because I ran out of patience and space in my freezer. I would say I blanched about two thirds of what you see in the picture. Here’s the process:

  1. Boil some water in a large pan. You don’t need much water because the kale leaves will shrink.
  2. Add handfuls of kale (chopped) to the boiling water.
  3. Cook (blanche) for two minutes. Maybe set a timer.
  4. Prepare another saucepan with ice cold water.
  5. After two minutes cooking, drain the pan with the kale under a cold tap and add the kale to the icy water. This will have the effect of stopping the kale from cooking any further, which is what we want.
  6. Place a towel on the work surface, then put handfuls of kale onto the towel, then roll the kale up in the towel to get rid of as much moisture as possible.
  7. Separate out the kale and freeze in freezer bags (write the date on the bags for reference if possible!)

Here’s what my cooker looked like when I finished the process:

And below we have the kale in freezer bags (they look a bit icy because I put them in the freezer before I felt inspired to write this post!). I like to put about two portions worth in a single bag. I produced more bags than are pictured, the rest are in the freezer…

So all you need to do when you want to eat some is transfer a bag from freezer to fridge, let it defrost, and then cook it for a further 5 minutes or so to have with a meal. Ta dah!

Let me know if you think you’d like to try doing the same, or if you have any tips for how to make food-related contingency plans in case the pandemic goes on for many more months.

We’ll get back to philosophy soon, promise!

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