While kale is one of those amazing vegetables that can withstand a good frost, I have been getting a little worried with the dipping temperatures. It has made it so far in our garden but I wondered how much longer it would survive. Considering next week we head on into November, I thought it would be prudent to start saving kale for the winter months.
We love kale in our house and use it in so many dishes. Soups, stews, dips, stir-fry’s, smoothies, and casseroles. It is one of those great greens that can go in just about any recipe even if it does not necessarily have it in the original list of ingredients!
Now yes, you can freeze kale by blanching it – put it in boiling water for a few seconds and then immediately in cold water before bagging and placing in the freezer. Right now my freezer is getting full and dried kale in my opinion is much more user friendly. Plus, I have a lot more room on the canning shelves in the basement!
To dry kale:
Gather good sturdy dark green leaves and soak them in water for a bit, gently agitating them to get rid of any dirt or bugs.
Once clean, tear off (you can use a knife to cut out the stalks but I find using your hands is easier) the kale from the stalk and arrange on dehydrator trays. It is okay that the leaf pieces are touching or overlapping. No need to salt, oil, or season these kale pieces in any way.
Save your stalks and you can either use them to make kale juice if you have a juicer, you can throw them into your kale smoothies, or if you have chickens you can toss them a treat!
Turn on your dehydrator according to the instructions and let the kale dry until brittle. You want to make sure they are super dry otherwise they will mold in storage.
Once dry, pack into clean dry canning jars and screw on the lid tightly. As I don’t mind small pieces, I really pack the jars full.
And that is all it takes! Now you have preserved kale that you can drop into soups, stews, and any recipe that has some liquid in it that will rehydrate the kale. For soups, stews, and casseroles I simply toss a handful of dried kale into the recipe. For some recipes like stir-fry’s or scrambled eggs and smoothies I rehydrate them in a bit of hot water and then add them to the dish just like you would with fresh greens.
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