Greens are so hot right now. Like seriously. Eating your greens has become a mantra for those concerned with healthier lifestyles. The claims made on behalf of these leafy vegetables range from amazing and inspiring, to totally unbelievable. Will eating my greens make me healthier? Absolutely. Will making sure to include green “superfoods” in my daily balanced diet work in my favour? Yup. We live in a green-eating world, my friend, where healthy people drop food words like kale, chard and dandelion greens like they’re no big deal. It’s easy to get carried away and start to think that if eating a little is great for you, then ingesting copious amounts can be your body’s answer to just about every woe (kale colonic anyone?!).
Regardless of the superfood zealots, kale and other greens (collards, spinach, romaine,chard: I’m talking to you!) remain an important part of our diet. Greens are our friends. Not only do they contain vitamins, antioxidants and fibre, they also contain phytochemicals which can help lower inflammation, and reduce carcinogens in our bodies.
Greens sound pretty awesome right about now. And they are. But they come with a disclaimer: it ain’t easy to get your greens everyday. Not gonna lie here. It is easy however, to eat a bag of chips instead (#askmehowiknow). But for the sake of health, longevity, colon love and all that good stuff, I try to get my greens everyday. Plus, I want my daughter to grow up understanding that it’s important to take care of our bodies by giving them good fuel and good brooms (that’s what we call fibre in our house. And yes, she knows what said broom does).
Most greens in our house are easy sells. Spinach in the soup? Sure. In the risotto? You bet. Lettuce on the tacos? Si. But kale?? Kale is a tricky vegetable for kids. Their taste buds are so alive that kale can be a bit overwhelming for their palates. Plus, it’s texture can be a bit, well, chewy. Sometimes I feel like a kale salad takes like 30 minutes to eat just because it takes so long to chew each bite. It’s like chewing gum, only without the bubbles (what a letdown). But since I want my family to eat their greens, I sometimes have to get a little creative (and sneaky). After growing kale in my garden, every year, and every year freezing massive quantities to use in soups and such, it hit me: dehydrate that kale!
Dehydrating is really easy. Just wash, dry, dehydrate, store. The only step Iadd is to grind up the dehydrated kale into a coarse powder. Then I can use the powder in smoothies, soups, and stews. No one has to know. It’s all very covert.
Dehydrated Kale Powder
Fresh kale, washed and dried
Wash kale well, and dry. layer in a dehydrator, following your particular brand’s instructions. Dehydrate until kale is evenly dried. Every dehydrator is a bit different–mine took somewhere between 6-10 hours (I removed trays that were done as I went along)–but yours could take longer, or shorter, so just keep an eye on it.
Grind up kale in coffee grinder until kale is as powdery as you can get it. Store in airtight container. Use a spoonful or two for smoothies, sauces, soups, stews, salad dressings, etc.