Canning is a perfect way to store kale. It’s ready to heat and serve!
Drain and add to casseroles, pilafs, baked pasta dishes, etc., or tip canning liquid and all into soups or stews.
The Dutch use canned kale to make boerenkool stamppot : cooked, chopped kale mixed into mashed potato.
And while bags and bags of frozen kale can quickly eat up freezer space, jars of kale fit tidily in a small space on a shelf.
Even if you don’t grow your own, there’s always at least one or two weeks a year near the end of summer when it’s on sale for a fraction of its price the rest of the year.
It will be relatively dense when packed in the jar, so be prepared for a somewhat longish processing time.
Note: if you grow your own kale, you can harvest the kale as it wants harvesting, blanch and freeze it, then can it when you have sufficient quantity to justify firing up the pressure canner. See: Can your freezer.
- 1 Quantities of kale needed
- 2 The recipe
- 3 Canning kale
- 4 Reference information
- 5 Recipe source
- 6 Nutrition
- 7 Ball’s directions compared to USDA directions
- 8 Cooking with canning recipes
- 9 Further reading
Quantities of kale needed
Numbers are approximate guidelines.
On average, as a very rough guideline, expect to need about 1 ¾ kg (4 lbs) of kale per 1 litre (US quart) jar of canned kale.
- 12.5 kg (28 lb) of kale = 7 litres (US quarts) canned kale
- 8 kg (18 lbs ) of kale = 9 x ½ litres (US pints) canned kale
- 1 US bushel kale = 8 kg (18 lbs) = 3 to 9 litres (US quarts) canned kale
Jar size choices: Either half-litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 70 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes
- Wash a small amount of kale at a time, to ensure you are being thorough. Wash in a sink or tub of water, then drain and rinse until rinse water runs clear of any dirt or grit.
- Trim off and discard tough ribs and stems.
- Put about ½ kg (1 lb) of kale at a time in a cheesecloth bag, or a basket, and steam until well wilted -- about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pack loosely into half-litre (US pint) jars or 1 litre (US quart) jars.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Top up with clean boiling water (such as from a kettle, for instance), maintaining headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet)
- Processing time: half-litre (US pint) jars for 70 minutes OR 1 litre (US quart) jars for 90 minutes.
Processing guidelines below are for weighted-gauge pressure canner. See also if applicable: Dial-gauge pressures.
|Jar Size||Time||0 to 300 m (0 - 1000 feet) pressure||Above 300 m (1000 ft) pressure|
|½ litre (1 US pint)||70 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
|1 litre (1 US quart)||90 mins||10 lbs||15 lb|
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
More information about Salt-Free Canning in general.
Spinach and other greens. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 4-19.
Serving size: 125 g, drained (1 cup. About one half of a ½ litre / US pint jar.)
Per 125 g (1 cup):
- 35 calories, 29 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 0 points (kale is free on Weight Watchers).
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
Ball’s directions compared to USDA directions
The above directions are based on the USDA instructions for canning kale.
The Ball Blue Book (37th edition, 2014, page 113) also gives directions.
Ball’s directions differ from those of the USDA in two ways:
- The USDA says to steam blanch the kale in a bundle or basket. Ball says to simply boil it;
- The USDA says the jar filling liquid should be “fresh boiling water”. Ball says you can use fresh boiling water, or, the water you boiled the kale in.
Ball Blue Book (2014) directions for Kale (greens)
Wash greens thoroughly under cold running water, drain. Cut off large, tough stems.
Put greens in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to prevent sticking. Cook greens until wilted, stirring to cook evenly and to prevent sticking. Cut through greens several times using a sharp knife. Bring additional water for canning to a boil in a separate saucepan, reduce heat to a simmer (80 C / 180 F). Keep water hot.
Pack hot greens into a hot jar, leaving 2 cm (1-inch) headspace. Add ½ teaspoon salt to pint jar, 1 teaspoon salt to quart jar if desired. Ladle hot cooking liquid or boiling water over greens, leaving 2 cm (1-inch) headspace.
Remove air bubbles. Clean jar rim. Center lid on jar and adjust band to fingertip-tight. Place jar on the rack in pressure canner containing (5 cm) 2 inches of simmering water (80 C/ 180 F). Repeat until all jars are filled.
….. Process pint jars 1 hour and 10 minutes or quart jars 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 113.
Ball / Bernardin Complete Book (2015) directions for Kale (greens)
The Ball / Bernardin Complete Book, however, wants fresh water in the jars:
Wash greens thoroughly in several changes of water. Trim and discard large tough stems. In a stainless steel saucepan of boiling water, working in batches (1 lb / 500 g at a time), blanch greens until they are well wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, discarding cooking liquid. Using tongs, transfer greens to a cutting board. using a sharp knife, coarsely chop. Pack hot greens into hot jars… lading in fresh boiling water…” Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 389.
Cooking with canning recipes
National Center for Home Food Preservation. Got the Wintertime “Greens”? 28 January 2014.
So what exactly is the lbs of pressure and how many minutes. The pressure cooker I have I can’t seem to regulate the pressure and it doesn’t do 1to4 spins pre minute. It does it several times know matter what I do. So how can I make sure pressure cooking my kala or mixed greens are safe to eat.?,
You have to use a real, proper certified pressure canner. https://www.healthycanning.com/pressure-cookers-versus-pressure-canners/ This is non-optional
What, no salt? I’ve been canning kale for years and use a tsp of salt per liter. I also don’t use a pressure thingy, but I keep them in the fridge.
Seasoning with salt is optional; it depends on your taste, and any dietary precautions.
Can you cook kale for dinner and can the leaf overs?
None of the tested canning recipes are for canning leftovers of anything. Freeze it.
why does kale have to be pressured cook after putting it in bottles and why can I not boil the bottles in water pose tell me that .Thank you
It’s a basic food safety issue. All low-acid foods require canning in a pressure canner to kill botulism spores. Water bath canning cannot get anywhere near the temperatures required. If you don’t have a pressure canner, freeze the kale instead, or get a food dehydrator and dry it
what’s the nutritional value of the kale after pressure canning for 2 hours? If you freeze it, how long should you blanch it? I have nieghbors that freeze it without blancing and they throw into their smoothies.
For greens including kale here are freezing directions. Here is information on canned kale’s nutrition.
Does it matter what variety of kale I use? I am growing 4 variety- – Red Russian, Winterbor, dinosaur, and Portuguese.
I have the most of Portuguese and Red Russian.
Probably should not mix the varieties, except Red Russian and Winterbor are very similar leaf styles.
Every year I grow too much, and sometime in October (zone 4 here) it all blackens with frost/freeze.
So glad I found these instructions; am going to get an All American canner tomorrow and try pressure canning kale!
Yes, you will want to get some before the frost does, for sure.
Kale cans up beautifully.
The variety of kale does not matter, and you can mix the varieties in jars if you wish. The USDA researchers put no restrictions on that at all.
Later in the fall, when the canning rush is over, we’ll be posting a few sample dinner recipes using home canned kale in them.
Can I harvest the kale out of my garden, blanch and freeze it, then can it when I have sufficient quantity?
Absolutely Mona! See, can your freezer: https://www.healthycanning.com/can-your-freezer/
I was just wondering how long to process in a Water bath canner?
O minutes is the answer to that :} You absolutely cannot process kale in a water bath canner. If you hear any advice that you can, run don’t walk away from that advice as fast as you can :} But you’d love pressure canning, it’s really easy, very energy efficient so it reduces your carbon footprint, and it preserves optimum taste and nutrition. Give a pressure canner a try!