July 28, 2011

Kale... It Isn't Just For Decorations Anymore!

About three years ago that I discovered how delicious kale really is! Up until this time, the only thing I knew it was used for was to decorate a plate with a couple of slices of twisted oranges in restaurants! How wrong I was! It grows pretty hardily here in the north east... maybe it grows well everywhere, I really don't know.

I was invited to a friend's house for a visit and lunch one day....  she made Portuguese Soup. I'd never tried it before but basically it has a clear broth with white potatoes, mild but spicey Portuguese sausage and kale as main ingedients. It was VERY good! But KALE... ??

Well, I decided to buy some and to try my own hand at using this new, odd veggie! I came up with my own version of Kale Soup. It has been a HUGE HIT at our house ever since!! I've shared the recipe before... check out KALE SOUP if you want to check it out it!

After purchasing the kale and making my soup, we decided to try growing it...  viola! We discovered it grew VERY WELL! Still being on the learning curve, I wasn't sure how well it would 'freeze' or 'dry' or 'can'...  I did try to freeze it and it was... ahhhh, ok. THEN... I pulled out the dehydrator to try that method and can now say, it is totally amazing! The 'queen of green' has found its way into our hearts! :) 

Last year I dehyrated a few batches... enough to fill up a 60 oz. plastic 'pretzel container' that I get when I buy bulk and then I crushed some to fill a quart sized canning jar. (An easy way to add the nutrition to spaghetti sauce or other sauces!)

THIS YEAR... I have already picked three times! My newest discovery is that the more often I pick, the more I'll get! It keeps growing back ... like spinach! I am already almost done filling my second LARGE plastic container and I have at least a couple months left!
Maybe you already know all this .... but just in case you didn't, I wanted to share with you! Plant kale, pick often, try new recips and methods of food storage! You'll be glad you did! Oh and by the way... check out the nutritional value too!

Sharing this on Simple Lives Thursday!


Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

I'm a big kale lover, too, though the rest of my family isn't into it. However, I'm drying the leaves and adding them to sauces and dishes like stuffed shells. Little does my family know...

Rachel said...

I actually haven't had kale, but would love to try it! I have heard of the kale chips & would love to try them * for my kiddos to try them!

I'd love to invtite you to share this post and others as you see fit in my recently new link up, Healthy 2day Wednesdsays! Hope you'll join in!

Sandy@American Way Farm said...

I'm one of those that just thought it was pretty much decoration. I'll have to try making something with it now. Thanks for the inspiration.

Donna said...

Awesome. I am a new Kale lover myself and am growing some right now. I can't wait for them to get big enough to start harvesting. I make Kale chips, and the idea of just drying and saving for winter, is a great idea. Thanks.

Rachel said...

Thanks for linking up at Healthy 2day Wednesdays last week! Hope to see you add a post this week!

Katie said...

Love this! This is what we do too! I use mason jars and a food saver to create a seal on the jars. It has really helped my dried foods last longer.