This morning while it was cool–well, at least it wasn’t 95 F. like it is now-I picked a very large bowl of kale out of the garden. We didn’t need it to eat fresh, so I am dehydrating it. We have experimented with canning greens, but don’t like them canned very much. When I first started dehydrating greens, I did my obligatory internet search to find out how to do it, for example, whether to blanch them or not. I couldn’t find much information, and what I did find was conflicting. I have dried greens that I have blanched, and some I didn’t to experiment. It turned out I couldn’t tell the difference when I used them after drying them, so figured why go to the trouble. This bunch of kale was not blanched.
After washing the leaves twice and looking at it carefully for any insect eggs or other hitchhikers, I removed the stems. We leave the stems on when we cook it fresh, but the stems take forever to dry in the dehydrator, if at all. It is better to remove them for drying. Lay them out as flat as you can. The kale I picked today was just perfectly 9 trays worth, the size of my Excalibur Dehydrator. The kale is still drying, but I will post a picture of it when it is finished.
I store the dried greens in canning jars with desiccant and vacuum-sealed. I break the leaves up some to fit more in the jar. They end up being about the same size as I cut fresh greens into. We use dried greens for soup, stew, cooked with onions, or drizzled with my favorite warm pecan dressing.
We like to raise greens in our winter garden and preserve them. If we had to rely only on what we can produce, we want to insure we get plenty of vitamins that our ancestors were notoriously short of, especially during winter months.