10 when should you throw out kale Ideas

Below is information and knowledge on the topic when should you throw out kale gather and compiled by the monanngon.net team. Along with other related topics like: What happens if you eat expired kale, How long does kale last in the fridge, Can you eat wilted kale, How long does kale last out of the fridge, How to tell if kale is bad, How long does kale last after expiration date, What to do with kale going bad, Can you eat yellow kale.


Does Kale Last and How to Tell It’s Bad? – Does It Go Bad?

Here’s all you need to know about the shelf life and spoilage of kale. Learn how long kale lasts in the fridge and how to tell if it’s spoiled.

Got a half-open bag of prewashed kale and need to know how long will it stay good for? How long does kale last?

Or maybe your kale has been sitting in the fridge for a few days already, and you want to make sure it’s still safe to eat before you use it.

Sounds familiar? If so, this short guide to kale is what you’re looking for.

Let’s jump right in.

Fresh kale
Image used under Creative Commons from Bobbi Bowers

Table of Contents

  • How Long Does Kale Last?
  • How to Tell if Kale Is Bad?
  • How To Store Kale
  • Can You Freeze Kale?
  • Kale Shelf Life and Spoilage Summary
  Fridge
Bagged kale (unopened) Printed date + 1 – 2 days
Bagged kale (opened) 5 days
Fresh kale 5 – 7 days
Cooked kale 3 – 4 days

Bagged prewashed kale lasts about a week and keeps for up to 5 days after opening the bag, depending on how soon you open it up. Fresh kale lasts between 5 and 7 days.

To maximize the shelf life, store kale in the fridge in a plastic bag, and postpone washing it until you’re ready to eat it.

Like most veggies, kale doesn’t last that long. And if you’re familiar with the shelf life of spinach, you should notice that kale’s is a bit shorter.

Bagged Kale

Commercially bagged kale comes with a date printed on the label, and that date is a good reference point. It’s usually between 5 and 10 days from the day you buy it, and you shouldn’t expect it to retain quality for more than an extra day or two.

(And if you squash your kale in your grocery bag, it will start to wilt much sooner.)

Once you open the bag, the degradation process accelerates, so try to finish or freeze the kale within five days. If that bag is already pushing the printed date, limit that to 1 to 2 days.

Fresh Kale

Fresh kale you buy at the farmer’s market lasts 5 to 7 days, assuming that it’s fresh and you do a good job storing it. If you just leave it on the counter, it will be done in a day or two.

Cooked Kale

Cooked kale lasts for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container or a lidded pot in the fridge. After cooking, let it cool to about room temperature before refrigerating, but make sure the cooling period isn’t longer than two hours, which is otherwise known as the 2-hour rule.

If those 3 to 4 days aren’t long enough, consider freezing the cooked leftovers.

Kale leaves
(credit: Laura Johnston)

How to Tell if Kale Is Bad?

Discard kale if:

  • The leaves are wilted or slimy. Over time, kale loses water, which results in wilted leaves that turn slimy at some point. You can discard those parts and use the rest if it’s early in the process and most of the leaf is still okay.
  • It gives off a bad, sulfur-like smell. If it doesn’t pass the sniff test, don’t eat it.
  • There are signs of decay. If there are some black, white, yellow, or rust-colored spots, or any other visual signs of decay, that kale is done.
  • It’s cooked and refrigerated for more than four days. You shouldn’t store kale leftovers for longer than about four days.

If you notice anything else that seems off, trust your intuition and toss the cruciferous veggie. Better safe than sorry.

Knowing if kale is bad is no rocket science – you’ll know it’s spoiled when you see it.

That said, one more thing that’s worth discussing here is leaf discoloration.

Leaves Turning Yellow

If stored long enough, kale leaves sometimes turn yellow.

If the whole leaf is losing its green color slowly, it’s most likely a natural byproduct of aging. That doesn’t make it spoiled, but that kale will probably taste bitter.

(Similarly, old broccoli turns yellow, too.)

In short, it’s up to you whether you use it or not, but I’d recommend tossing it if things get this far.

So if you notice that the leaves start losing their color and turning pale green, know that kale will be yellow in a day or so. In other words, it’s now or never if you want to use it without sacrificing the quality.

Finally, a whole leaf turning yellow isn’t the same thing as pale yellow spots here and there. The latter might be a symptom of black rot, and you should toss such leaves.

Fresh green kale in a white ceramic bowl
Fresh green kale in a white ceramic bowl

How To Store Kale

Most people buy kale bagged and prewashed. If that’s the case, put the bag in the fridge when you get home and store it there at all times. Then, when you need some kale, take as much as you need, reseal the bag, and return it to the fridge.

If you buy fresh kale that’s not commercially packaged, put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate. It’s probably better to place it in the crisper drawer, where the humidity is higher, but it’s okay if it ends up on a fridge shelf.

More importantly, you shouldn’t wash it until you need it. This way, there’s no excess water on the leaves that may cause the leafy green to spoil more quickly.

Next, make sure the airflow is steady, and the veggie can breathe.

Don’t try to seal the bag as tightly as you can. Instead, intentionally leave some holes to promote airflow. That should help kale get rid of excess moisture. Similarly, allowing ventilation helps cauliflower last longer.

And if you still see some water drops in the bag, wrap your kale with paper towels that will soak up that moisture.

(You can leave those towels to dry and reuse them if you want.)

Fresh bunch of kale
(credit: Adolfo Félix)

Does Kale Need to Be Refrigerated?

You should refrigerate kale unless you’re going to use it the day you buy it. This way, you prolong the storage time twofold from a day or two to at least 4 to 5 days. That’s why storing kale in the fridge is the de facto standard and why bagged kale sits in the refrigerated section in the grocery store.

Fresh, raw kale loses quality pretty quickly, so once you get home from the grocery store or farmers’ market, put it in the fridge without washing it first.

Can You Freeze Kale?

If you’d like to store kale long-term, freezing is an option. First and foremost, you should know that freezing alters the texture of raw kale.

Because of that, you should either freeze cooked kale or start by cutting off the stems and blanching the leaves. Drying the kale thoroughly with paper towels is the next step.

Once it’s prepared like that, you should pre-freeze it on a cookie tray. After that, the kale is ready for long-term freezing in freezer bags or containers. Add a label with the name and date if needed and chuck the bag or container into the freezer.

When it comes to thawing, thaw it in the fridge, or if you use it in a cooked dish, you can add it frozen.

If thawed kale doesn’t work in your usual dishes, try using it in a green smoothie. Other ingredients should make up for whatever kale is lacking.

Freshly harvested kale
Freshly harvested kale

Kale Shelf Life and Spoilage Summary

Thank you for reading this short guide on kale. Let’s briefly recap what we’ve covered above:

  • How long does kale last? Bagged kale has a shelf life of about 10 days and keeps for an extra day or two tops. Fresh kale lasts about 5 to 7 days, and cooked kale stays safe for only 4 days.
  • How to tell if kale is bad? Kale is bad if the leaves are wilted, soggy, slimy, or have other visual signs of decay such as black, white, yellow, or rust-colored spots. An off, sulfur-like smell also means that kale is spoiled. Finally, toss cooked kale after 4 days in the fridge.
  • How to store kale? Store your kale in a plastic bag in the fridge and postpone washing until you’re ready to use it. Make sure you allow the cruciferous veggie to breathe after opening the bag so that it can dispose of excess moisture. And if there’s too much moisture, use paper towels to absorb it.

Extra Information About when should you throw out kale That You May Find Interested

If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.

How Long Does Kale Last and How to Tell It's Bad?

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Can Kale Go Bad?

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Frequently Asked Questions About when should you throw out kale

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic when should you throw out kale, then this section may help you solve it.

Is kale still edible two weeks later?

Like all produce, the shelf-life of kale depends on how it is stored. Raw kale can be kept for up to a week in the fridge and for about six months in the freezer. however, cooked kale can only be kept for three to five days in the fridge.

Is kale okay to eat after 10 days?

It’s common for commercially bagged kale to have a date printed on the label, and that date is a good point of reference; you shouldn’t anticipate it to retain quality for more than an additional day or two.

Is kale okay to eat when it turns yellow?

While it is safe to eat the yellowed leaves, they taste bitter and are best thrown out or added to the compost pile. However, when kale is attacked by pests or wilts after too little water or too long in the refrigerator, the leaves turn an unappealing yellow.

Is wilted kale okay to eat?

Yes, wilted kale can be cooked and eaten as long as it doesn’t smell or grow bacteria, but before you cook wilted kale, you might as well try to revive it by chopping off the stems, filling your sink with water, and placing the wilted kale in the sink.

How long can kale be stored in the refrigerator?

You can store kale with stems as a whole or give it a rough chop and store it in the fridge to have it ready to use in recipes throughout the week. Proper kale storage will ensure the leaves last for at least 5-6 days, if not longer.

Is kale still edible after a month?

Avoid washing kale before use, as moisture shortens the lifespan of kale. You can store kale for baby in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but do consume kale as quickly as possible due to the increasing bitterness that occurs from storage.

Is kale that has turned brown still edible?

In conclusion, kale has gone bad if it is brown and no longer bright green, or if it has brown or black spots, or if it is slimy, or if it smells bad.

Can old kale cause food poisoning?

Because germs can adhere to the leaf’s surface and even penetrate it, washing leafy greens does not completely get rid of all of them. If you eat contaminated leafy greens raw, like in a salad or on a sandwich, you run the risk of becoming ill.

Does kale keep better in the refrigerator?

Whole kale leaves can keep for up to a week in the refrigerator; cut kale leaves typically keep for three to five days; and kale can keep for up to a year when frozen.

Does kale actually go bad?

An unopened bag of prewashed kale will typically keep well in the fridge for 7 to 10 days (or until the date on the package, if earlier) when properly stored.

Does kale go bad?

When kept in proper storage, kale can keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, though the time from the farm to the store needs to be considered. Kale can go bad like all fresh vegetables.

Can a 7-month-old eat kale?

6 to 9 months: While you can serve the minced cooked kale on its own, leafy greens can cling to the back of the throat, so folding it into other foods will minimize coughing and gagging.

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