what to do with extra kale

I have a lot of kale right now, and some of it needs to get pulled up because I want to plant carrots there. Any suggestions on ways to store some for later? Has anyone tried freezing it? Or kale chips? I don't have a dedicated dryer, just an oven.

What I usually do is stick it in every soup, stew, stir-fry, lentil-and-rice thing I make at this time of year, but I can't eat this much kale at once.

Sweet Tatorman's picture

I have success with freezing cooked kale. Typically I will harvest all that overwintered prior to doing the Spring bulk tilling. I don't care to work around any remaining crop while doing the Spring tillage. A couple weeks ago I harvested all, ~60 ft of row. I cooked and froze as much as I cared to and gave the rest to folks who were happy to receive it. My routine is to brown minced garlic in olive oil in a frypan while the kale is boiling/steaming in stockpots. Once tender I drain and combine with the garlic and oil and cook further to drive off some of the remaining water. I then vacuum bag and freeze.

Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like I don't have quite so much extra as I thought I would. I think I may try kale chips. They don't look too hard, and I am dubious about frozen kale. I don't like kale much if it gets overcooked. I tend to throw it in last and barely cook it.

mountainmoma's picture

First of all, it is hard to have too much kale as it holds well on the plant and it goes with everything. You should eat it daily if you can. Realy. But, if you have enough, it is good to store some for when it is not kale season. My favorite way to preserve it is to dry it. DOnt do anything fancy, just take it off the stem and roughly chop, and set it in a single layer on the counter, or by the woodstove, and let it dry until all the moisture is gone. Then store it in glass jars. It re-hydrates well, just put some in a bowl of water to rehydrate then you can let it drip dry if going in a stir fry, or leave more wet for other cooking uses. Some people crumble it in a powder after it is dry, you get more nutrients and servings in a glass jar that way. But then the uses are different. Add to smoothies like any other green powder. add to soups to thicken and add nutrients. add a bit to baked goods like muffins to bring in some vitamins

Mountainmoma, this is genius! I had only ever preserved kale by freezing it, and I have a tiny freezer, so i much prefer to keep things in a shelf stable manner. I really like this idea. I use local Tasmanian seaweed in this way - dried, and crumbled in a jar, which I add to soups and stews etc. Do you dry any other greens like this?

mountainmoma's picture

I dry magentra spreen lamsquarters, my main summer green, like this also. I dry green onion slices, parsley, sliced costata romanesca summer squash ( not all zuchini tastes good dried, so I am told, but that one does) diced peppers like itlaian frying peppers or bell pepper. Cabbage dries fine, slice it thin. If you think you have too large of a crop of storage onions to make it thru, you can dice and dry some of that too. I do apple slices on sheets just sitting out on the deck, it is a bit troublesome as I have to bundle it in every night to keep from being eaten by critters and then have to lay out the next day. I dry raisons on trays on the deck too, they take even longer. Year before last I did the persimmons the japanese way and had them hung up all down the length of the living room. Usually I have done persimmons in the dehydrator, but that uses alot of energy.

I preserve very little in a freezer, some berries because I like some that way, but my main way to store foods is dried or canned or just shelf stable ( onions, potatoes, winter squash...) My main amount of berries get canned as jam or pie fillings. So I dont count on any food staying preserved in teh freezer, any food I count on is made to be shelf storable.