My Kids Can’t Get Enough KALE!

Kale Is Among The Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on The Planet

Early Summer, I planted a good number 10+ Dinosaur Kale plants into our community garden. It was ready to pluck this week with the heat creeping higher. It doesn’t like over 90 degree weather and we are getting 100’s this weekend. A good rule of thumb is to harvest it when it’s about 10 inches high. In taking off the outer leaves, the plant will produce more inner leaves and a larger harvest.

I know some don’t like Kale but I do! You can eat it raw, saute it, dehydrate and bake it. One way I alter Kale up for my family is by presenting it to them in a snack format that is great for at home or for all those on the go travels and adventures.

What I do to dehydrate Kale is to first wash it. I then remove the leaf from the stem part. The stem part can be tough and chewy and won’t make a very good chip. Currently I’m freezing the kale stems for a future vegetable broth/stock. You can also compost the stems back into the garden for future nutrients.

Once I have the kale washed and de-stemmed. I cut them into chip sizes. You don’t have to be precise and know the pieces will shrink a bit when dried.

I apply about a tablespoon of Olive oil, two teaspoons of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Some in the family did find them to be pretty salty so if you like salty keep the recipe as is but it won’t hurt to tone it down and use maybe less garlic powder or about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead.

Once tossed in the flavor/spice mixture and I place on my dehydrator trays making sure to not over layer. I set the heat time at 167 and cook for about 3.5 hours.

My kids a good share of vegetables but more often than not, it can be challenge to find one that all the kids will eat the same exact same way. These Kale chips have been an excellent addition to our snacking routine. I

like offering these because they are healthy, simple to make and easy to grow. I have grown Kale out of pots as well as just in the ground. It’s not a very finicky plant and it’s pretty pest resistant save for a bit o bunching by the cabbage moths.

The Benefits of Kale (according to WebMD)

At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale has:

Nearly 3 grams of protein

2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full)

Vitamins A, C, and K

Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development

Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.

Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green coloring and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc