Thursday, February 9, 2017

What To Do With Kale - Getting Off The Grid

One lesson I am learning while getting off the grid is that if you grow it you should eat it, or trade it for something you do eat.
This year the crops did well here in central Alabama in the months of May and June but when July came around a drought set in and rain was only a sprinkle and did none of the plants any good.
But being the woman to test drive the getting off the grid thing, I planted a huge section of the field with Kale, again, last year it was awesome and I had so much kale I was giving it away and trading it for pecans and other fall favorites. Now its the beginning of October and we still have not had any rain, its been 12 days since I sowed the seed for kale and other greens. I did water the area every other day for the first week. Then I had to make the decision, Do I run up the water bill and defeat the purpose of living free or do I just pray and hope for the best?
I gave up watering and went with prayer.
Last year was a fabulous year and I did home can and freeze plenty of kale so I am not without my favorite green. Here is a few ways I used the kale I grew and still have in my freezer or pantry.
When I have fresh kale I made this side dish and its wonderful with no bitter bite to it at all, pairs well with carrots and iron skillet fried potatoes.
~ Lemon Kale ~
I took a couple tablespoons of olive oil and put it in a skillet, added one chopped onions and a clove of garlic and cooked them about a minute, then I added several cups of chopped kale, 1/2 cup vegetable broth and covered with a lid to steam the kale down. Then I add the juice of a lemon and agave nectar to taste. I cook for a couple minutes and turn off the heat. I let this rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
And lets not forget the favorite way to eat Kale down here in the deep South.
~Boiled Kale With Pepper Sauce~
Pick or buy a nice bunch of kale. Remember this will cook down so you`ll need a lot.
Rinse well to remove any dirt.
Fill a large cooking with the cleaned kale and cover with water, cook on medium high heat, stirring the kale to make sure all of its getting cooked. Add a tablespoon of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar.
Cook for around 45 minutes, watching to make sure that it still has plenty of water.
When the kale is cooked spoon a heaping amount into a bowl using a slotted spoon. Drizzle pepper sauce over the top and serve with cornbread.
NOTE: Pepper sauce is a slang word used here in Alabama for the liquid used to pickle hot peppers.
Some people are looking for that healthier treat to eat and its all that to make Kale chips and you want to know why? They are delicious!
A fews back I got this amazing dehydrator for Christmas and although it is ran on power I will say it does a wonderful job and I do not use it as much as I should, even getting off the grid and reducing power. But you can do these in the over on a low temp, or outside in your homemade solar dehydrator.
~ Kale Chips~
Clean the kale and allow to dry.
Spread the large kale leaves on a cookie sheet that has been generously oiled with olive oil and roll the leaves in the oil. Place on your dehydrator sheets and sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt.
Dehydrate until they are crunchy. Remove from the dehydrator and allow to cool completely, if any are flimsy they are not ready, dehydrate longer. Store in an air tight container, if there are any left :)
Note: with this recipe you may add what flavors you like.
Kale is one of those power foods that does not cost much and can be cooked so many ways.
By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry - Last photo is mixed greens.

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