Yes, kale powder. A dried vegetable powder that I discovered can add a nutrional punch to some lovely drinks I mix up in the blender. Or I can easily sneak vegetables into salad dressings and sauces. With kale powder, I feel like I’ve suddenly harnessed a superfood and stealthily boosted my vitamin intake!
I discovered kale powder last year when I was going through a smoothie phase. I didn’t find it at the supermarket, but instead, hatched the notion myself as I considered a way to convert my bushy, overgrown kale plants into a palatable drink. Greens are great. And green smoothies are great. But I realized that if there was such a thing as kale powder that would make blended drinks come together easier.
Google revealed that kale powder was indeed a thing! And really this is SO EASY to make!
Kale, that everlasting plant!
You can buy kale powder in stores, but if you’ve ever grown kale, you know that a few plants yield a never ending supply. It’s one of those plants that you can continually snip off leaves and new ones will grow. My kale plants from last year actually survived the winter, but I pulled them up to plant new ones. I thought if I left those roots in the ground one more year, I may never get them out! So with plenty of kale on hand, I set out to make my own kale powder!
Easiest recipe ever
So the beautiful simplicity of kale powder…basically wash it, remove stems, spread it on cookie sheets and bake for hours on your lowest oven temperature until it’s dehydrated. Of course, using a dehydrator would also be dandy. It seems the more slowly you can dry it, the more nutrition it maintains.
Some recipes I saw used oil. Nope, I didn’t do that. Generally most recipes suggested 3-6 hours of drying time. The lowest my oven would go is 175 degrees Fahrenheit so mine was done rather quickly. I would guess it was about 4 hours for my drying time. I piled a lot on my cookie sheet (actually more than pictured), but they shrink as they dry and I occasionally separated leaves as I was checking in on them. You want all the moisture out of them so that they’re completely crumbly.
After the kale was nice and dry, I let it cool completely before I put it in a clean Ziploc bag to crush it. I’d put some kale leaves in and crush them with my hand before adding more. When the bag was full, I rolled over it with my rolling pin. Any stems I had left were easy to separate as I poured the powder into my clean glass jar.
Two extra large, full cookie sheets resulted in a pint of kale powder. Which may sound like I didn’t get much out of this project, but that’s the wrong way to think of it. What I really did was condense the nutrional value of several cups of kale into a compact 2 cups. Which has lasted me for a whole year. I ususally only use about 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
The health benefits of kale
Kale is widely acclaimed for being a rich source of antioxidants, calcium, iron, vitamins C and K, and fiber – all things I need more of. Granted, you’re nixing some of the fiber benefits by pulverizing it, but most everything else you are concentrating! One half teaspoon of powder is about equivalent to one serving of the fresh greens. Nutritional value gets altered a little during dehydration, but your results are still pretty awesome! Usually there is plenty of other roughage in my smoothie so that I don’t mind giving up some for the concentrated benefits of kale powder.
Remember this is concentrated so I wouldn’t recommend going crazy with it. Adding more than a teaspoon per serving could leave you gassy.
I will admit that raw veggies are always gonna pack the most punch nutritionally speaking. But kale powder is easier than raw to quickly pump up the health benefits of my food. And this has been a great way of preserving my kale for use in the winter.
What to do with it
So hooray! I know you’re thinking kale powder is easy and amazing! But what do I do with it?
I mentioned before that I like to disguise kale by slipping it into sauces. Want some green eggs with your ham? No problem if you sprinkle on a little kale powder.
But by far, my favorite use for kale powder is in something wonderful I make with coffee and chocolate! Stay tuned for that post next week!