Skip to Content

How to Preserve Leafy Greens

I may earn a commission if you click on links in this post and make a purchase.

Those leafy greens that many of us start harvesting in early spring can be quite productive. They’re also delicious and nutritious. We eat them in salads, toss them in soups, blend them in smoothies and more. These greens can produce rapidly and often at a pace, along with everything else in a garden, that can be hard to keep up with before spoilage sets in. Rather than tossing them into the compost pile save them for later by learning how to preserve leafy greens with these easy methods.

A basket of beet greens with text overlay.

Canning

Leafy greens like collards, chard, and spinach can be canned. This is a very personal thing but I don’t find this to be a tasty option. Still, it can be done by first washing then blanching the greens in boiling water for 3-5 minutes (or until wilted). Drain and coarsely chop. Pack hot greens into jars and cover with boiling water, add salt if desired, leave 1″ headspace. Process pints 70 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes in a pressure canner (no water bath canning here) at the appropriate PSI for your elevation and type of canner.

Freezing

Rinse and trim off stems and ribs. Blanch in boiling water for two minutes. Stir a bit to keep it from clumping. Drain and cool. Chop if desired. Pack into freezer containers. Use a steamer basket or pasta pot to do multiple batches quickly by keeping the water hot.

Dehydrating

Rinse and dry the leaves. Trim off stems and ribs. Lay flat on dehydrator trays and dry until crisp. Store in airtight container.

How to Use Preserved Leafy Greens

Canned greens can be drained and tossed into soups or quiches.

Frozen greens make for lovely and delicious smoothies when fresh greens might not be available. They’re also good in soups, casseroles, and more.

Green powders are quite expensive but it’s simply a blend of dried greens that have been ground. Run dried greens through a blender to turn into a fine powder. Use that powder in soup broths, smoothies, even toss a spoon full into hot cereals, baked goods and more.

Learn how to preserve leafy greens to eat later when they're not as abundant and productive with these easy and delicious methods.

When preserving greens, don’t be afraid to mix up the varieties. I often mix whatever is ready: orach, spinach, kale, chard, dandelion, purslane, and more in my frozen smoothie green packets.

As the greens and weeds (these methods will work with dandelion greens, too) start producing be sure to preserve some for the seasons ahead.

Sharing is caring!

Tasty and healing make the most of prolific garden herbs by preserving mint for food and medicine to use throughout the year.
Preserving Mint for Food & Medicine
← Read Last Post
Make up a batch or several of this Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam to stock the pantry for winter and have tasty gifts on hand.
Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam
Read Next Post →

Kristin Grant

Sunday 13th of September 2020

i am trying to find if i could preserve collard greens rolled into bunches and put in jars with olive oil. i found i can use them like grape leaves to roll into dolmatas. thought i might blanch first and add salt and garlic to jars. the question is do they have to be pressure canned, water bath or frozen? i have cut up small and canned in past with water.

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 13th of September 2020

There is no way to can in oil safely that I know of... usually grape leaves are fermented or pickled before being canned or used at least in the methods I'm most familiar.

S

Monday 6th of April 2020

You could also use lacto-fermentation.

Anna

Saturday 6th of July 2019

Does anyone have experience with juicing (carrots, celery, spinach, kale) and then canning using presser cooker due to most of these veggies being low acidity? We love our daily juicing and have an abundance of leafy greens. I would love to figure out a way to preserve to then enjoy in the winter months.

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 7th of July 2019

You would definitely have to pressure can it but I would guess it's going to get quite bitter after all that heating. Freezing the juice would likely be better but, of course, not shelf stable.

Lisa Lombardo

Saturday 15th of June 2019

Swiss chard is my favorite to preserve...I freeze the extras for winter. But I think I need to get the dehydrator out and try making my own powdered greens for smoothies!

Rachel

Sunday 7th of April 2019

Toasted sandwiches/jaffles can hide a huge amount of wild greens in one meal. They steam down beautifully!

shares