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uses for Dried kale  RSS feed

 
                    
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We made a solar dehydrator last summer per Mollison's design recommendations in his book "Ferment and Human Nutrition."  It worked great!  We still need to seal it up all the way for flies.  And we burnt tomato slices on a 110 degree day.....but anyway:

I ended up with two bags of dried kale leaves for the winter.  They're amazingly versatile!  Crumbled up, they can be added to soups, omelet fillings, cassarolls, WHATEVER, so long as you cook them in a moist environment (a lid on the cooking dish pretty much does it unless it's really dry stuff, then add a splash of water). 

And a picture of the dehydrator: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishermansdaughter/3908147560/
 
Jordan Lowery
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i plan on building a solar dehydrator this summer, i already have the solar heater, and i was going to build a decent sized box, but that huge one is looking nice! i want a big one like that now haha.

a friend of ours made dried kale chips. they were so good we would eat them just like that.
 
                    
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Oh weird did they season them with anything?  That doesn't appeal to me right off, but I believe that your friends' were good!

Our dehydrator ended up that large because we made it out of leaky solar hot water panels.  I thought it was going to be too big but it actually turned out to be great at getting quantities of things dried.  Things dry a little slower than in electric ones, from what I can tell.  It really depends on the weather.  Doesn't work at all when it's cloudy, and like I said we BURNED tomatoes on one really hot day. 
 
Ken Peavey
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I ran dried spinach through the grain mill, ended up with spinach powder.  Works
well when making pasta.  I can have spinach fettuccini any time of the year.
 
                    
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Oh thanks Ken, there's a use I hadn't considered at all.  Could you put it in breads too maybe?  We don't really have the facilities to make pasta, unless we did it with a rolling pin and knives.  Do you have a machine or do you do it manually? 
 
Ken Peavey
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I've put all sorts of stuff through the dehydrator and the grain mill.

Rosemary powder is unbelievable, don't taste too much of it, it will knock you over! 

Dried split peas can make a soup in a few hours.  If ground to a powder, it makes pea soup in 5 minutes. 

Dried onions make an easy onion powder.

Combine dried, ground onion, garlic, oregano, basil, cayenne pepper, you end up with cajun seasoning.  Whip out your cast iron and blacken chicken, add the chicken to the spinach fettucini, melts in your mouth.

I've made pasta with hard red wheat run through the mill.  I've put rice through the thing, flax, barley, made a multi-grain pasta.  White wheat makes a finer pasta, but there is nothing wrong with whole and blended grains.  Add anything else you like to the dough, try it out.  If you don't like it, the chickens surely will.

I've used a rolling pin.  It will do the job.  I picked up an Atlas Mercato 150 a few years back.  Saves time, puts out a uniform product.  It's hand cranked, but a motor can be connected.  For the volume I make at a time, the motor would be a waste of money.

The link above is just to show what it is.  Do your own shopping.  The things can be had for 50-60 bucks.  Different attachments can be purchased for different pasta.  A fett and tagliotelle cutter comes with the unit. Without using the cutter head, the dough is rolled flat and uniform, you set the thickness, makes a fine lasagna, or can be used for manicotti/canelloni.  This device does not make extruded pasta-macaroni/ziti/penne.

 
                    
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OH MAN!  Ok, just had this thought for further marketing ideas:  A ceramic bowl, filled with dehydrated veggies and some dried homemade buckwheat noodles.  Add boiling water, cover with a plate.  Five minutes later:  Sustainable cup-a-soup! 
 
Ken Peavey
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Rather than just a plate, a cover made to fit the bowl makes it a set.

If the bowl and cover can be used with a solar cooker: Sun Soup!

Next comes packaging.  Ever work with mylar?  While I prefer reusable containers, mylar offers a simple way to produce a first rate appearance for a dried food product.  A computer printer can be used with stickers to produce a label.

Reusable containers include canning jars or beer bottles/caps. 
 
                    
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Sun Soup in a Sustainable Place Setting!  haha.  I love it.  Is mylar that thick plastic stuff?  I'd think the bowl package would have to be contained in something like that for legal selling.  I'm so excited to make kale buckwheat noodles.  Too excited probably.

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, but it is powerful stuff.  I spent a few days harvesting it (huge long hedges of rosemary - ridiculous) on a commercial organic herb farm, and the resin got all over our arms, the oils stung our eyes, and everyone coughed after a few hours.  I hated the smell for about a week after that. 

I use a mortar and pestle to grind dried herbs with salt right before they go in the cook pot.  I think they stay more potent if they're stored whole and ground as needed.  Just my obnoxious opinion.  (shall we come up with an abbreviation for that phrase?  JMOO....)
 
Ken Peavey
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Mylar is a polyester resin.  Mylarfoil is the same stuff, metalized  You have likely seen it used in helium balloons.  Its designed for long term food storage, serving as an oxygen and moisture barrier.  Comes in many sizes, can be sealed with a clothes iron, will hold a printed sticker label nicely.  I have a bunch of stuff around here packed in mylar.  It can also be reused several times.

A shortcoming with mylar-it can easily be punctured by pointed objects.

I ordered 1000 from www.sorbentsystems.com. Its in your neck of the woods.  Their smallest size is 2"x2", so I'm sure they will have a size to fit your needs.
 
Jordan Lowery
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"Oh weird did they season them with anything?  That doesn't appeal to me right off, but I believe that your friends' were good! "

they did, ill have to ask and get back to you on it. but man were they good!

i have 150 kale plants growing just waiting to become kale chips.

i really like the idea of the powder being added to pasta dough. itl make the pasta much more healthy.
 
                        
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I started drying foods years ago.  At first we built a home made dryer that is in the USDA leaflet on food dehydration.  In Alabama, peaches come on by the bushel and they don't last long.  Dehydration is the perfect answer to see that not one peach goes to waste!

However, the humidity in Alabama during peach=pickin' time is almost always 90 to 100  percent.  It was almost impossible to get the peaches dry in the home made dryer.

Eventually I bought an Excalibur dehydrator.  It is the perfect solution to drying food in a humid climate.  I mostly dry fruits and vegetables.  Some I crush into powder to dump in winter soups.  I dry leeks.  They come in a bunch that I would never get eaten if I didn't preserve some of them.

Recently I discovered Terra sweet potato chips and other vegetables such as kobacha pumpkin -- yukon gold and blue adairondack potatoes.  So I plan to grow some of those this year and Ill have chips along with my soup vegetables next winter.
 
Alfred Rempel
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In response to Anonymous:

How did you process the kale before dehydrating?
Cut off the stems or blanch?

Interesting dehydrator - where are you using it?
We are in Ontario and our temperatures are less than 110 F.
 
Kelly Green
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The way I make kale chips is to wash the leaves, and pull out the biggest veins. (They're tough) Then dry the leaves, tear into whatever size pieces you like, drizzle a little olive oil on, and toss.
After that sprinkle with salt and garlic powder to taste and toss again.
Spread the kale in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Bake at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes. You may need to fiddle with them every ten minutes. You know, move them around, rearrange a little.

I've tried baking them at a higher temperature for a shorter time, but they do better for me the slower way.

I can make myself sick eating this!!!

Oh, I like green kale chips better than red kale chips. Just a personal thing.
 
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