collard and kale crisps

I did an earlier post on making kale crisps. They take a long time but turn out prettier in the oven. For years, I’ve made “okra jerky” or “asparagus jerky” in the microwave (similar recipe but faster and the microwave seems to dehydrate better but not brown).

It has been far too hot to turn on an oven (20-30F hotter than normal for 3 months), so I tried making kale crisps earlier in the summer in the microwave. As stated, it works but not as pretty. I’m okay with that! I’ve done it several times now. This week, I had a little leftover kale but mostly a big mess of collards. I tried it and loved them!

Rather than one level, I simply plopped about three cups of greens (cut in strips) on a plate, drizzled with EVOO (1T) and salted (fine salt works best). Nuked about 7 minutes on a lowered setting (not high), flipped and nuked for about 2 more minutes on high (watch because at that setting, it’ll start to smoke and burn–you do not want this!). My microwave is the least powerful of any I’ve used, so your times may be shorter. Basically, you’re dehydrating and that last bit is to finish. Again, they will not be the same as those done in oven but they’ll be crisp and salty for snacking.

 

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return of the poo smoothie

Not intended to make you poo, although being full of fibre and enzymes, I suppose it’ll help…

This always makes me sort of groan to see: starting with lovely, bright-green kale (processed with water cos it’s kind of hard to get “smooth,” in fact I never quite get it smooth), which you can see half-way done on the bottom. Then, something strawberries and a peach (red and orange) make it: brown.

Poo Smoothie:

  • 3C destemmed/ chopped kale
  • 1 peach
  • erm…about 1C strawberries
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1t teaspoon coconut oil (I usually melt it first, thinking it’ll distribute better but just dumped it in solid today)

This made a nudge under 4C of finished product. I typically drink between 1C to 2C at a time. It’s not meant to be a meal, more of a snacky nutritional boost. My gut tolerates kale perfectly. I think it’s strange that I can eat cabbage and kale but broccoli? NO.

 

green smoothie, poo addition

No! I’m not saying it made me poo, I’m saying LOOK AT THAT! As it turns out, blueberries and kale make for some scary-looking stuff. It didn’t taste very good, either, so I made an addition, then another addition!

Kale Poo Smoothie:

  • 2.5C kale
  • 2C wild blueberries (tiny, not regular sized but that probably doesn’t matter)
  • 1 small banana (6″ long)
  • 1 ripe peach

Whew! The peach was finally enough. I was getting scared that I’d made an enormous, ick smoothie again (let’s not talk about the kale+mango=freshly cut grass flavor). This is good-tasting (now) but looks disgusting.

Kale for those who don’t like kale: Kale Crisps

hand used for scale

pieces

I enjoy kale, served different ways. I eat a lot of it as a base for green smoothies but I also use it in place of cabbage for many of my stereotypical Irish Wilderness, Ozark Mountain foods.

Kale Crisps:

  • big bunch of kale leaves
  • 1T EVOO
  • salt to taste

I bought a big bunch and washed, then chopped off the stem (the very tough, wide, white “handle”).

Next, I pulled the leaves away from the white stem as it runs up the middle. I don’t attempt to make particular sizes, shapes or even go for uniformity. I just pull it off and run through a salad spinner to remove excess water.

Next, I measure out a tablespoon of EVOO and drizzle spoon over pieces as I mix them by hand in the bowl. Then, I use a salt shaker and make sure all the leaves have salt sticking to them. I don’t measure this, I’m aiming for seeing salt crystals on them. Too much will make your chips too salty. Too little will leave them tasting a tad bitter. Experiment. I find that more salt sticks to some pieces than others, in spite of attempting to “see” it’s even! Lay the pieces of kale out in 1 layer on foil paper and bake at 350F.

kale crisps

Note: do to my lack of uniformity AND the fact that some leaves are thicker (and juicier) than others, some pieces are ready before others. I begin “hovering” at 10 minutes. Smaller, thinner pieces will be finished quicker. The idea is to remove them as they are DRY AND CRISP. Sometimes, they get a little dark (burnt) but I like those and eat them myself as I’m pulling them out 🙂

Since the leaves are dehydrated, they “shrink.” Your huge bunch of kale will end up making very little in the form of Kale Crisps but they’re so healthy and so tasty! My taste-testers were mixed. I, of course, love these and my elderly father (who is exceptionally HONEST about what he likes or doesn’t) loved them. He was more animated about their flavor than he gets over the price of fuel. My elderly mother was more demure. She said they were “good” but wasn’t particularly interested in having more. My father wanted more, which I was happy to oblige.

Well, there’s me! Oxymoron: green smoothie whilst frying bacon in butter

 

It’s all about moderation (ahem). I’m really into green smoothies now! I found that 3C of kale and 1 mango=”freshly cut grass” flavor. I drank them but cannot exactly claim enjoying it. At least it was good for me. Since I was a good girl and tolerated that, I promised myself a sweeter green smoothie next time:

Sweetness Smoothie (even though she’s Green):

  • 3C of kale (washed, destemmed, cut into strips–this is always my green base)
  • 1 small banana (6″)
  • 1 small apple (2.5″; cored–use skin)

unexpected kiwi flavor

My second green smoothie recipe:

  • 2 peaches (>2″ diameter)
  • 5 strawberries (1″ diameter)
  • 3C kale (destemmed and chopped)
  • 1/2t flax seeds (whole)
  • 1/2C water

Gave it to a coworker to taste-test.

(For The Good of All, I force people to try my recipes because my tastes are different from most. I’ll eat squirrel brains–have done and will again. I’m from the Ozarks!)

She took a taste, another, then another. “This tastes like…kiwi!”

In the meantime, I’m spooning mouthfuls (less water helped that “too watery” problem from the first try at a green smoothie!). She’s right! It does taste like kiwi and not only because kiwi is often paired with strawberry. There’s something kiwi-esque about the above recipe. I love it, like scrape the bowl clean.