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Archive for the ‘Preserving the Harvest’ Category

Minty Fresh
Ingredients:

  • Handfull of Kale
  • Few stems of fresh mint leaves
  • Apples
  • Banana (or yogurt)
  • 1 cup of each Ice/Water

Method:

  • In your Vitamix, or Blender- Place a handfull of Kale, Mint, and a cup of water and blend until smooth. (Kale can be a little tough, so blend really well so it is not chunky)
  • Add an apple and banana (or the yogurt about 1/2 cup- the banana or yogurt is just to make your smoothie a little more smooth- you do not need to add it) and 1 cup of ice and blend until smoothe

After reading the book Green for Life I have become addicted to Green Smoothies! The book is worth the buy, and defiantly worth the read. It has a lot of very interesting information, and great green smoothie recipes as well!

There are a lot of variations you can add or do to your smoothies, but the base the recipe would be a 40/60 ratio with your fruits and greens (40% greens, 60% fruit) Feel free to get creative! Its a great way to use your greens, and healthy breakfast!

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Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

extras: honey, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut or tear the kale into small pieces (remove the stems they will get to stiff)
  3. Toss the kale in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil, (If they have to much olive oil, they can become soggy, so use just enough to coat them lightly) salt and pepper- Feel free to add extras in as your tossing to enhance the flavors (our favorite is honey, ginger, and cayenne pepper)
  4. Spread the kale out evenly on a baking sheet (I cover with wax paper before baking for easier cleanup)
  5. Bake for 10- 15 mins, or until they are crispy. Wait for them to turn to a dark green- but be careful not to overcook. I will turn them over half with through baking so they cook on both sides evenly.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 C organic whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp. each baking soda and baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ C honey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C sour milk or plain unflavored yogurt (I used the yogurt)
  • ⅓ C canola oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1-½ C grated apples or carrots (used cored, unpeeled apples chopped in my food processor)
  • 1 C finely chopped kale or raw leafy green vegetable (I took off the stems and then chopped the leaves fine in my food processor)
  • ½ C each cranberries, Almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In another bowl, mix honey, egg, yogurt, oil, vanilla, apples, kale, dried fruit and nuts.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened.
  5. Fill 12 typical size greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Made 12 very full muffins. And delicious for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a healthy dessert!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • A few tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs tahini1/2 cup thawed frozen, or fresh, chopped kale

Method:

  1. Put Kale in the food processor and pulse until it is chopped into very small green flecks (the smaller the better)
  2. Place the garbanzo beans and garlic in with the kale and pulse until smooth.
  3. Add Tahini, lemon and olive oil with Kale and beans, continue pulsing until you have reached your desired texture. For creamier hummus, add more olive oil.

Variation:
Sprinkle with sweet paprika, smoked paprika, or roasted red pepper flakes for an extra taste and also a slight red color addition to the dish.

Notes:
• This recipe can easily be doubled. Just be sure to use a larger food processor than a mini-size.
• Try some other greens, too, like collard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, or even spinach.

Instead of an old recipe that was high in fat and not particularly healthy, Hummus with Kale is a healthy, delicious, quick, and easy recipe that will please and expand your family’s taste buds.

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Kale, Kale, Kale! What to do with all my kale?

Because food is important for survival,  food preservation is one of the oldest technologies used by human beings. Whether you have an abundance of food from your garden, or would like to have an abundance stored for emergencies- there are many ways to preserve your harvest-from canning, to pickling, to freezing.

We have had Kale growing throughout the winter, and it is now thriving as the spring is arriving. We have given it away to our neighbors and friends, we have come up with numerous recipes and become quite inventive with our superfood intake. Recently we invested in a FoodSaver to help preserve our harvest this summer. It has been a great tool for freezing. Ours came with tupperware as well, so we were able to preserve some stews we made this winter.

Kale (as well as cabbage and greens) is best preserved by freezing. It can be a little bit of a proceess, but well worth it in the end!

1. Wash & Rinse: Start by washing the kale  thoroughly. (We had some bugs and dirt so wanted to make sure to get it really clean) We also like to soak ours for a few hours. I have noticed it helps with the bugs.

2. Blanching: Next we are going to blanch the kale.  Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) is a must for almost all vegetables to be frozen. It stops enzyme

actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture.

To do so, you will need two pots (we had a very large harvest so we used our large stew pots) You will need to fill them both with water (enough to cover your kale).

The first pot you will need to bring to a boil. The second, you want to fill with ice cubes it needs to be cold water so it will stop the cooking process.

When the water is boiling, stuff your kale into the water and let it boil for about 3 minutes (3-5 mins in the boiling water, but no more than that, you do not want it to cook thoroughly) 

3. Shock the greens: Immediately remove the kale from the boiling water, and emerge in the ice cold pot. Make sure it is fully submerged and covered and allow to rest in this pot for 3 minutes. The cold water stops the cooking process of the Kale and will allow it to keep its nutrients when freezing.

4. Drain: Remove the kale from the cold water and place in a strainer. (This is the part I find most difficult) Grab a handful of kale and squeeze as much of the water out of it as possible. When you use the FoodSaver, you do not want there to be excess water or you will have a hard time sealing the bag. So squeeze your little heart out!

If you are not using a FoodSaver, It is not necessary that you squeeze all the water out, however the more you have in with your greens, the chances of freezer burn are higher. It is also very important that you get as much air out of your freezer bag as possible.

Once you  have squeeze as much of the water out as physcially possible, place the kale in the FoodSaver bag. I stuff mine full, but still leaving a good amount of space at the top for sealing and allowing the air to be removed.

5. Bag for Freezing: Place your bag so that the opening of the bag rests in the tray (this is where your water will drain into) Press the Vacuum & Seal button and wait for the red light! You will see all the air and some of the juices being sucked out of the bag. If you have a lot of water still in your greens, you may need to do this a few times before it will seal. Wipe clean and try again.

Once it is finished, you will have a nice vacuumed sealed bag with your Kale!

Make sure to label and date your packages! Greens can be kept frozen for 8 to 12 months.

Don’t have enough to freeze and want to use it in more of you meals? Check out some of the ways we use our super-food, it is more than a decoration on our plate!

Some of our Favorite Kale Recipes:

Kale Chips

Kale, Apple, Cranberry Muffins

Kale Hummus

Vegetarian Kale wrapped Enchiladas

Green Kale Smoothies

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