Posted on | May 23, 2013 | 12 Comments
My oldest was picky, too. Now he’s a teen & eats anything that isn’t nailed, screwed or glued down. Ok, yes. That’s an exaggeration, but seriously, the boy.can.eat. I’m in awe daily of where he’s come from the scrawny little tot that we had to tell everything was pork. Or chicken. Or whatever the fancy of the moment was. I’ve always been a little sneaky. They’ve always known, though. They just might not know when.
I’ve spent years adding spinach to smoothies, liver to meat dishes, squash puree to mac & cheese, cauliflower to mashed potatoes, pumpkin to spaghetti sauce, etc. I’ve become quite the pro. Last fall I got some organic spinach on a great deal & dehydrated it. I vacuum sealed it & stashed it away in the pantry. And then I forgot about it. OOPS!
There goes your college funds, boys!
Anyhoo, I brought my bags of kale home & washed 2 bags to begin dehydrating. It took a couple of days, because kale is so big fresh. Here’s what I did. I do my sneaky spinach the same way, so if you have spinach, by all means try it!
Dehydrating Sneaky Kale
Wash the kale you’d like to dehydrate with a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts cold water. Allow kale to sit for 10-15 minutes, agitating 2-3 times. This loosens any dirt or bugs left on the kale. After 10-15 minutes is up, drain the kale. Shake out the water, run it through a salad spinner or do what I do. Place kale in the center of a large flour sack type towel. Pull corners together, & carry it outside. Swing it in a large circle so the centrifugal force forces the water out.
After you’ve drained your kale, destem it. I had 2 strapping young lads do this part for me using scissors. Once that’s done, load up your dehydrator. You can overlap your kale some, but try not to stack it too much. Normally, I’m an advocate of using the oven for dehydrating, but kale tends to turn yellow or brown if left to dehydrate too long, & the oven can quickly burn it. Kale is a tender vegetable when it comes to heat.
Keep an eye on your kale. If you do not have a fancy dehydrator or a dehydrator with the fan option, you’ll need to rotate your trays after just a couple of hours. By then you’ll notice your kale is already pretty dry or getting there. My kale was done in just 5-6 hours. You want your kale to be crispy & brittle. You want to be able to crumble it into tiny pieces. We’re going for a spice like texture by the time all is said & done.
When your kale is totally dry, allow it to cool. This shouldn’t take too long. If you live in a humid area, do not allow it to sit longer. It will become soft & pliable & won’t crumble (ask me how I know). Then crumble your kale so that it resembles an herb- oregano, basil, etc. Store your kale in an airtight container. A mason jar works well for this.
Add your kale to whatever you would add other spices & herbs- spaghetti, meatloaf, sauces, soups, etc. Hopefully your kiddo will look at it & think it’s just like the other herbs in your meal. Happy eating!
“Michaela– homeschooling Mom to 3 boys, wife to one wonderful Hubba, kitty-momma, likes gardening/sewing/baking/cooking/a multitude of other things.
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