Dehydrating Kale

While kale is one of those amazing vegetables that can withstand a good frost, I have been getting a little worried with the canned dehydrated kaledipping 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.

soaking kale

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.

kale on the dehydrator

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!

kale stalks

chickens eating kale

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.

dried kale

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.

canning dried kale

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.

This blog post was shared at: From the Farm Blog Hop

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10 responses to “Dehydrating Kale”

  1. Eliza Waters says :

    I don’t have a dehydrator, can it be done in an oven? Love the picture of the chickens– they look so happy – yum, kale!

    • vermontfarmheart says :

      Well, I’m not exactly sure. The dehydrator is effective for preserving kale because it dries the food. The oven and microwave cook the kale and can turn the kale bitter. They also tend to turn brown in the oven and microwave but stay nice and green in the dehydrator.

      If I were to try drying kale in the oven I would make sure they were super DRY (after you rinse the leaves) before putting them in the oven as that will help the process. In the dehydrator you don’t need to worry about them being dry or not when they go in. I would set the oven as low as possible, maybe at 150°F or 200°F and spread the kale out on baking sheets. My guess is to not let them overlap or touch like you would in a dehydrator – just to give them the best possible drying atmosphere you can. I’m not sure how long to let them dry – might take up to an hour in the oven at those low temperatures (you might want to rotate trays so they don’t burn if your oven is hotter in some spots). Basically let them go until they feel crispy.

      Hope that helps! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  2. Kris ~ Big Rigs 'n Lil Cookies says :

    This is my first year with kale in the garden, so I have been a little bit at a loss how to handle it all. Now I know 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  3. Laurie Bowen says :

    Thank you! None of the other sites I’ve visited have explained how to rehydrate the kale! I have kale and a lot of other greens to dehydrate and don’t plan on using them in smoothies but in one lets and such would be nice. Have to rehydrate the greens first though. Thanks!

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