Every year, I hope for a good deal on a big box of kale. I use this leafy superfood in so many ways – I can, make pesto, chips, and dehydrate it. This past weekend I got a box of 18 bundles for $30, and am still processing it as I also bought 24 bags of cranberries, 34 pounds of apples, and a heirloom pumpkin. It’s been a busy weekend.
Even though a giant box of kale looks daunting, it’s not difficult to process. You just strip the leaves from the stem, wash well, and blanch for a minute if canning or making pesto. If you are just dehydrating, stripping and washing is all that’s required.
Kale rehydrates beautifully, and can be used in soups for pasta or stir fry dishes. It turns out soft but sturdy when rehydrated. However when dehydrated, it’s fragile and bulky to store – try smooching it down in a jar and the kale will crumble. Dehydrated kale is a fantastic product so I just make room for it on my shelf. That said, you can also make your kale into powder for easier storage. Use kale powder in homemade pasta dough, sprinkle in meals or smoothies, and also make kale supplements. Here is my kale powder.
To dehydrate kale:
- Strip leaves and wash thoroughly in two changes of water – it’s often sandy.
- Place on dehydrating trays (no blanching necessary) and set your heat to 135.
- Drying time will depend on your dehydrator (some have a fan on top, and some on back)
- Your kale should be crispy when done. Always let dehydrated food cool completely to determine doneness.