If you are one of my Garden Basket Subscribers, you will undoubtedly be seeing more and more kale. While it looks beautiful and you feel healthier by just having it in your home, the next step is to actually eat it. And not just eat it, but enjoy it!
I'll get straight to the recipes so you don't have to scroll through my history of kale and all the health properties. You can search that on your own. I just want to help you make it delicious!
Roasted Kale - a Schaub family favorite and oh! so easy. Wash and dry the kale. Trim out the stem and spine and set aside. Lightly brush olive oil on the front and back of each leaf. Lightly salt and pepper the leaves and lay them out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Roast at 350 F until the leaves are crisp, approximately 5-7 minutes, but ovens do vary.
Freezing Kale - If you find yourself with a surplus of kale, you can freeze it for the upcoming winter soup months. Blanch the kale for 2 minutes in boiling water, then submerge in ice cold water until they are cold. Use a salad spinner and spin until they are dry, or in a pinch, pat dry with a clean, lint-free towel. (honestly, the salad spinner is easier. If you don't have one, I highly recommend one.) Portion out the greens for your needs. A family will need 1 1/2 cups of cooked greens is equivalent to 1 pound of fresh greens. To store the greens in the freezer, store in a plastic bag and remove as much air a possible. These will last for a year. To use in soup, I take out the frozen brick of greens and use a sharp knife and shave off the amount I want to use in soup, pasta sauce or any other dinner I want to sneak in a few extra dark greens.
Dehydrated Kale - Much like roasted kale, dehydrating kale is prepared with oil and your choice spices. After removing the spine, we do a light coating on one side of the leaf with olive oil, then a light sprinkling of salt. Set the dehydrator settings to vegetable. Each dehydrator has different times, so just check it once an hour until it is crispy. Dehydrated kale can be stored for months in mason jars. I heat mine in the oven on a low setting and place the freshly dehydrated leaved inside, then top with a hot lid and tighten it all down with a ring. Most of these jars seal. The ones that don't are eaten first.
Kale spines - those dark green spines that you removed from the leaf can be eaten as well. We dice them up and add them to salads, tuna or chicken salad, or even into soups. Nothing goes to waste!
5. Cow Kale - This is what I call the late fall crop of kale that I just can't even look at anymore. I harvest a basket full of the last of the kale each time I walk to my cow pasture. They see me and come running! Nothing goes to waste. That kale comes back to us in rich, creamy cow's milk or beef, but mostly, I just love being able to hand-feed the cows and scratch their noses.