Grow kale and make kale chips

Winter is nearly over in Oklahoma. Sure, it will blast a bit more and make us all shiver, but the days are getting longer. Time to think about the early spring garden. Next week, I’ll sow seeds all kinds of cold-weather veggies including kale.

We know we’re supposed to eat more of this delicious vegetable, but a lot of us don’t think we like it. I think it’s delicious, especially thrown into soups at the last few minutes where it becomes sweet and tender.

I also like kale chips.

The first year I grew kale I  discovered my family hates it stir-fried or sautéed. Undeterred, I learned to make kale chips. Everyone in the family, except my son–who abhors all green vegetables, loves them.

So, let’s turn kale into chips. Those fancy chips in the store are not as good as what you can make yourself.

It’s oh-so-simple too!

Kale grows like gangbusters in soil amended with composted chicken manure. It is easy to sow and grow in early spring and late fall. You can also grow it during winter under row covers or in a cold frame. I grew one crop in fall, and now I’ll sow another.

'Nero di Toscana' a/k/a dinosaur kale
‘Nero di Toscana’ a/k/a dinosaur kale

I love ‘Nero Toscana’ kale sometimes called dinosaur kale. It can be harvested young or at maturity. It is yummy and doesn’t have as many ridges to clean as curly leafed kales. However, those ridges really hold the ingredients in the kale chips.

So, grow whichever you like.

Here’s my quick recipe:

Kale Chips

One bunch of curly-leaved kale

Two tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

Parma brand of vegan parmesan cheese (composed mostly of ground walnuts and nutritional yeast.) I like the chipotle flavor, but I bet garlicky green is good too. It is gluten free and tastes great on pizza and other stuff too. Or, you can make your own version by grinding 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and 1/4 walnuts in a blender or food processor until it looks like pebbles. 

Coat kale leaves with olive oil and liberally sprinkle parma or your homemade sprinkle. Toss with your hands. Salt to taste. Bake in a 425 F oven until the desired crispiness is achieved.

Our podcast logo! The Gardenangelists.
Our podcast logo! The Gardenangelists.

That’s all there is to it! Don’t you just love it when a plan just comes together? Speaking of plans coming together, if you haven’t heard, Carol Michel of May Dreams Gardens and I now have a garden podcast, the Gardenangelists. I think we just published our 16th episode–imagine balloons raining down here. We’d love for you to give us a listen on all the channels where podcasts are found. If you like us, you can also rate us on iTunes and probably elsewhere. Thanks!

I love your comments. Thanks for letting me know what you think.