Thursday, April 18, 2013

dehydrated kale smoothies

april 18

well friends, still not much in the way of spring updates here in minneapolis. currently we are being barraged with more and more snow...but i'll stop with the depressing weather reports already! in fact, i did discover some perennials trying their hardest to peek out from under the bits of remaining snow and their thick winter blanket of leaf mulch. so far i've spotted some borage, french sorrel, garlic chives, tulips, and just the teeniest bit of rhubarb showing their defiance against this cruel joke of a spring we're having.

but onward, right? this is essentially a post that i never got around to writing and sharing here last summer, so i'm revisiting it now. i'm talking about dehydrated kale. while natalie's post of her first harvest of greens left my mouth watering, i know i'm months away from that bounty here (i haven't even started my kale seeds yet! for shame!) so i'm savoring my dehydrated kale from last season.

dehydrated kale

maybe some of you, even those kale enthusiasts out there (of which i'm sure there are many) are thinking dehydrated kale? i thought the same thing until last summer when i was drowning in my abundant kale harvest and was looking for some other ways to preserve it all in addition to the standard blanching and freezing that i've always done. i was chatting with the master gardeners at my local farmers market (a wonderful resource that i'd highly recommend seeking out for any and all gardening questions if you have them in your area) and one of them suggested dehydrating. i could easily rehydrate later to put in soups, stews, smoothies and more. which is exactly what i've been doing all winter long.

first, a few tips on dehydrating kale.
  • cut out the stems since they hold much more moisture than the leaves and it will not dehydrate evenly if you try to do it all together (you can compost the stems, or i used them in vegetable juices!).
  • once you've removed the stems, chop the leaves into small pieces, but don't worry about the pieces being too big; you can crumble them into smaller flakes once they're dehydrated.
  • i used a dehydrator (set at 125 degrees for about 9 hours) but you could also use your oven on a very low temp if you don't have one (sorry, i don't have experience dehydrating in an oven, but i'm sure you can find tips on this on the internet)
  • once the leaves are fully dehydrated, crumble them into whatever size flakes you want (you could even grind them into a powder!) and store in a glass jar or other container until you're ready to use them.
and now...for the delicious smoothie! you could pretty much just add a handful of these flakes to whatever your favorite smoothie recipe is (you can really barely taste the kale so don't worry about messing with the flavor), but here's what i did. one other quick note: we don't buy a lot of juice in our house, so i usually just use whatever i have on hand. in this case, it was a mixed berry, but really orange, apple, or even mango would be delicious too!

dehydrated kale

banana blueberry kale smoothie
makes two 1.5 cup smoothies

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen peaches
1/4 cup dehydrated kale flakes
1 cup mixed berry juice
1/2 cup oat milk (or whatever nondairy/dairy milk you have on hand. plain yogurt would work too)

put all ingredients in a blender and go to town! enjoy your smoothie and dream of summer.

banana blueberry kale smoothies

ps: i HATE plastic and would normally not be using these straws, but someone gifted us a big bag of them, so we work our way through them slowly. once they're gone, i'd really like to get a couple of these.


  1. you are a trooper, Julia! I can't imagine snow right now. At all. I guess this is unusual for your area at this time in the spring?

    I have never thought to dehydrate kale, and will remember this. I love kale like crazy, and usually grow a ton of it, so it's nice to learn new ways to process it. I've learned a few helpful things from you over the last couple years. Thank you :)

  2. oh my, snow! wishing you warmer weather soon! i've been putting dehydrated nettle leaf in my morning smoothies lately!

  3. Might I recommend these:

    Wonderful for floats too!