What to Do When You Have Too Much Kale

Introduction: What to Do When You Have Too Much Kale

Please go easy on me, this is my first Instructable. 

This was our first year growing a garden, and it actually went very well. The kale grew incredibly fast and as you can see there is tons left over at the end of the season.

I didn't know what to do with all of it. There is no way we could eat this much before it went bad, and we don't have anywhere near enough freezer space for all of it so I had to do something.

I decided that dehydrating it and grinding it into a powder would be the best long-term solution and so I gave it a shot and  it tasted great! it is really nice in soups and smoothies, even in scrambled eggs.

Step 1: Wash the Leaves

Even if you grow "organic" and don't use pesticides and such you can get all sorts of nasty in your garden over a summer. Birds do their thing, bugs do their thing, various animals hang around your garden...  you get the idea. There are also bugs and egg sacks on the leaves that you will likely want to get rid of.

Salt water is the best way to do this.

Cut the leaves to remove the tough stem and throw the leaves in a salt water bath. Put the leaves in a salad spinner and/or pat dry with a towel. This step isn't really necessary but it will decrease your drying time.

Step 2: Dehydrate

Get yourself a cheap dehydrator, or you can use your oven. If you use the dehydrator simply put the leaves on the trays, turn it on and you will be good to go in 2-3 hours.

If you use the oven set the temperature to ~ 38 C(100 F), put the leaves on a cookie sheet (or several) and put them in the oven for 2-3 hours with the door slightly open to let the humid air out.

I chose to do both because I had lots of Kale and a very small dehydrator.

Step 3: Will It Blend?

Take the dry, crunchy leaves and put them in a blender, food processor, or one of those little personal blenders like this on and set it to low. I find rotating the unit to help quite a bit in getting all of the little bits into the blade, as it is spinning so fast that it just blows the extremely light particles around. Stop every now and then to check your work. Flip the entire thing upside down or shake the container a bit to expose the larger pieces. If you have a decent quantity of small particles move to the next step, as we can add the bigger stuff into the next batch.

Step 4: Sift

At this point I took a pot and a splatter screen and used these to sift the powder. You can use pretty much any type of screen to do this but this was there and seemed to do the trick.

Carefully move the screen around to get the powder to sift through. Move too fast and the material will fall off the edge of the screen and you have to start over. A flour sifter might actually work better for this.

Pour the left over pieces back into your blender/cup for the next round of dehydration. 

Pour the powder into a masonry jar or the like and store in a cool, dry place.

Step 5: The Best Part.

The powder you see here is after about 5 rounds of drying, and is about 1/3 of the garden so far. The jar is 1L. I am am considering trying this with other veggies, like lettuce, and starting a little stockpile.

My son tried a bit and insisted I give him some in a bowl with a spoon. I love that weird little guy.



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    8 Discussions

    No need for us to go easy on you whiteops: your 'ible describes a useful answer to a problem, states the problem clearly, and has well laid out steps with good photos - what's not to like.
    I wouldn't have thought of drying the stuff. Mind you our chickens get all that garden excess anyway.
    More Instructables from you please!

    This year (by which I mean next spring), I'm gonna drape netting over mine. A combo of short cool summers and little green mobsters have left me kale-less!

    1 reply

    I have been considering building an arduino automated greenhouse. I think that would be fun and then I would have fresh veggies year round with little ongoing effort.

    Perhaps my second Instructable? LOL.

    Great idea! You might also think about making kale crisps. Same exact process, except you add seasoning before drying the leaves. You want a tiny bit of sticky/wet stuff to hold your spices. I like teriyaki and sesame seeds. Experiment!
    Also, your stems are great for making juice, or purée. I am sooo jealous. My kale just attracts white butterfly caterpillars that destroy it.

    2 replies

    We actually got the white butterflies as well, that is the main reason I wash them well. The leaves with holes are fine for drying and I use the ones that came out looking good in cooking.

    Thanks for the comment!

    I make kale chips too! I use an oil sprayer to douse them lightly in olive oil and then add whatever spices I think of at the time. I am a bit of a cerebral cook.

    I did this as well. I dried the kale as I took it out of the garden. It dried in small batches and it was easy to do a little bit each weekend. I love the powdered kale. it works in so many dishes and is really high in nutrients! great 'ible :)

    1 reply

    Thank you very much! I have been on this site for years and years and always wanted to do one.