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somewhat overwhelmed

Post  johnp on 6/4/2013, 10:50 am

This spring I planted four new vegtables that I have never grown before; kale, broccoli, raab and bok choy. Someone from this forum told me to cover them to protect them from the white butterfly which I did. The results are that I have so much Kale that we can't use it fast enough. Can I freeze kale? The bok choy is starting to go to seed and I haven't even used any yet (tonight we will). Does it hurt the bok choy to go to seed? The broccoli has large heads in the center so I will keep aan eye on them as I know what to do but I have no idea what you do with the Raab. It looks like it is ready, it's about 2 feet tall. The rest of my garden looks like the day it was planted as nothing else except the lettuce is growing.

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  GWN on 6/4/2013, 11:04 am

The only one I have experience with is KALE and what most people suggest is to make Kale chips with it ... drying.. I did not really care for them, and so I then took the dried Kale and put it in the blender and made it into an additive for soups and casseroles...... I think broccoli can be frozen, but will be interested in others responses. Hard to know why nothing else is growing, in my garden everything is slow, but I am WAY further north to you...BUT the warm nights start tonite flower

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  sanderson on 6/4/2013, 11:27 am

Remember those frozen boxes of spinach? If I had a bounty of kale, bok choy, Swiss chard, etc., I would steam until wilted, drain, then freeze in zip locks, eliminating as much air as possible.

Last summer I experimented with dehydrating fruits and veggies, then storing in mylar bags. (I added OxyTabs then used a reversed shop vac to get out most of the air before ironing the corner closed.)
I dipped in boiling water or boiled all the veggies and some of the fruit to kill most pathogens before dehydrating. Another story . .

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  JocyMc on 6/4/2013, 11:47 am

Here's a great link on freezing bok choy

I've made the kale chips and they turned out horrible. I used store bought baby kale and dried it in my oven.

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  camprn on 6/4/2013, 12:09 pm

I freeze all my extra kale. I was eating kale from my garden (via the freezer) in March. Very Happy
Freezing kale is simple:
Wash kale
Fold leaf and cut out stalk
chop if you like
blanch; drop leaf into boiling water for 2 minutes only
drain
freeze.

I like to freeze dinner size portions in wax paper and then put those in a larger freezer bag.

Good luck and congrats on your garden bounty!

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  boffer on 6/4/2013, 12:34 pm

@GWN wrote:... I think broccoli can be frozen, but will be interested in others responses...

Yes it can, but blanch it first. Being the lazy person that I am, I tried freezing without blanching first. Blanched broccoli is better.

Another option for you is to let the broccoli freeze on the plant, then harvest and stick in the freezer. My non-veggie son thinks that my broccoli frozen on the stalk is the best he's ever eaten.

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  herblover on 6/4/2013, 3:11 pm

I freeze lots of kale and chard; very easy to do. One thing I would add to the previous post, after blanching you need to put the veggies in ice cold water to stop the cooking for twice the amount of time you blanched it. I don't chop mine before freezing; it is simple to do after you thaw it out.

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  sanderson on 6/4/2013, 6:13 pm

Camp RN, Blanche, that was the word I was trying to remember. Thanks

Herb Lover, Ice bath to stop the cooking process. Thanks

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  dvelten on 6/4/2013, 7:04 pm

johnp, Raab is a great vegetable and extremely healthy. It is stronger flavored than broccoli, actually being closer related to the turnip than to broccoli. So it has a little hotter, more mustard-like taste to it. Before they flower you cut the little flower buds several inches below, including several of the leaves. You can cook it by sauteing in olive oil with a little chopped garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. After it starts to wilt, turn down the heat and cover it to steam a little. If you like, add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve it as a side. Or toss it with pasta (typically Orrecchiette or gnocchi, but you can use what you have). Also good with Italian sausages.

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Re: somewhat overwhelmed

Post  mschaef on 6/4/2013, 11:19 pm

Kale- go right a head and freeze it just blanch it first like e everyone above have mentions.
Bok choy- trim the flower buds off with a few of the leaves beneath the buds.
As for the rest of the garden not doing too well well maybe you temperatures have yet to get warm enough for you other crops to grow. The crop you mention in your post are cold weather crops so they love this time of year. In a few more week they won't be to happy but other crops with thrive. Let us know if they do pick up here soon if not post pictures and we will help you figure out how to get them growing.

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