Superfood Snack Spotlight: How to Dry Kale

kale in a bowl on a table
Dried kale is almost as nutritious as fresh kale and can be consumed in a variety of dishes. The best ways to dry kale include air drying, using a food dehydrator, or baking it in the oven. If you’re using a food dehydrator, dehydrate your kale leaves at 125°F for 6–8 hours or until they are crispy.

What are the Health Benefits of Dry Kale?

Kale has been touted as the world’s best superfood because of its nutritional value. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, a cousin to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

This superfood is a nutrient-rich veggie packed with vitamins and minerals.

A single cup of fresh kale provides 134% of our daily vitamin C needs. It also contains vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate, a B vitamin that helps with brain development.

A cup of kale contains 2.5 grams of fiber and has just 35 calories. The fiber content causes you to feel full and helps control blood sugar.

It is also a great plant-based source of magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Kale also contains antioxidants such as beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid. It also contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which are nutrients that provide protection against cataracts and macular degeneration.

Is Dehydrated Kale Good For You?

When it comes to nutrition, dehydrated kale is almost as good as fresh kale. It’s easier to consume and can be used in many different dishes.

Dehydrated kale still contains large quantities of various vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

Like other foods, kale is most nutritious in its raw form but drying kale is the next best way of preparing it for nutrient retention. It’s a much better preparation method than blanching, baking, or frying.

So if you don’t enjoy eating raw kale, dehydrated kale may come in handy.

What’s the Best Way to Dry Kale?

Drying kale will ensure that you have a stock of leafy greens to enjoy.

There are three main ways to dry kale; air drying, drying in a food dehydrator, and dehydrating in an oven. Drying kale in a food dehydrator is considered the best method, but it is possible to dry kale even without a dehydrator.

Drying Kale in a Food Dehydrator

If you have an abundance of kale, investing in a food dehydrator is the way to go.

  1. To get started, wash your kale leaves and then pat them dry.
  2. Arrange them on food dehydrator trays in a single layer, ensuring the leaves do not overlap.
  3. Set the dehydrator temperature to 125°F.
  4. Dehydrate kale leaves for 6–8 hours or until they are light and crispy.
  5. Make sure your kale leaves are evenly spaced so they can dry evenly. If you have a lot of kale leaves, then you may want to dehydrate them in batches.

Drying Kale in the Oven

If you don’t have a dehydrator or the time to wait, you can dry kale leaves in an oven.

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (roughly 140°F). Line baking sheets with parchment paper and leave enough space between the leaves so they do not stick to the sheet pans. Drying kale in an oven takes 15 to 30 minutes.

Keep a close eye on your kale leaves throughout the drying process to avoid burning.

Air-drying Kale

One of the most cost-effective methods of drying kale is to hang it in a low-humidity area.

Avoid exposing your kale leaves to direct sunlight, which can compromise their color and flavor.

Although this is the cheapest way to dry kale leaves, it takes a long time to achieve the desired results – roughly 2 to 3 weeks.

How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Kale?

If you’re using a food dehydrator, dehydrate your kale leaves at 125°F for 6–8 hours or until they are crispy.

For the oven method, the drying time ranges from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the lowest temperature of your oven.

It takes 2–3 weeks (or even longer) to completely air-dry kale leaves in your home, depending on the humidity.

How Do You Dry Kale for Powder?

It is incredibly easy to dry kale for powder. Simply wash your kale leaves thoroughly and pat them dry.

Spread them on dehydrator trays and dehydrate them at a temperature of 125°F for 6 to 8 hours until they are dry, light, and crispy.

Once the kale leaves are completely dry, allow the dehydrated kale to sit overnight. The next day, you can grind the dried kale in a coffee grinder or blender until a fine powder is produced.

What Does Kale Powder Taste Like?

Kale powder is less pungent than fresh kale. However, it’s still flavorful, and you can use it to add flavor to dishes just as you would with fresh kale.

Is Kale Powder Good for You?

Kale powder is a wonderful addition to almost any meal to improve nutritional value. Despite all the health benefits of kale, many of us find it hard to eat a lot of leafy greens. The nutritional benefits of this superfood may be very compelling, but for some of us, facing a plate full of kale can be a daunting task.

Fortunately, kale powder can help you reap the maximum benefits of kale without having to eat a lot of raw kale. Kale powder is a highly versatile powder that you can use to add flavor to almost anything, from smoothies and pasta sauces to soups and stews.

Does Kale Have a Lot of Calories?

No. Kale is low in calories but very high in nutrients. This makes it one of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world.

Here are the nutrients in one (3-ounce) serving of fresh kale:

  • Calcium: 104mg
  • Calories: 26kcal
  • Carbohydrate: 1.1g
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Folate: 96mcg
  • Iron: 1.36mg
  • Potassium: 360mg
  • Protein: 2.7g
  • Vitamin C: 88mg

Storage and Shelf Life of Dehydrated Kale

Dehydrated kale is usually shelf-stable, provided it is completely dry. Store your dehydrated kale in airtight mason jars in a cool, dark place. 

If stored properly, dehydrated kale can last for 2 to 3 months. Watch out for signs of mold growth, and if it smells unpleasant, discard it.

Dehydrated kale chips.
Dehydrated kale chips

7 Delicious Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipes

Here are some delicious dehydrated kale recipe ideas to try:

1. Roasted Kale Chips with Vinegar and Sea Salt

Vinegar and sea salt kale chips are a delightful way to prepare your leafy greens.

2. Crispy Lemon Kale Chips

This kale chips recipe uses lemon, sea salt, olive oil, and ground red pepper flakes for a quick, crispy, salty fix in a healthy way.  

3. Spicy Thai Ginger Kale Chips

You can make kale chips either in the oven or in the dehydrator. Not only do these yummy kale chips taste great, but they are full of nutrients too!

4. Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips

These crisp kale chips are paleo, vegan, and gluten-free. They are a delicious and healthy alternative to potato chips. 

5. Nacho Cheese Kale Chips

Nacho Cheese kale chips are a crunchy and healthy snack, perfect for a quick snack on the go.

6. Crisp Kale Chips With Chile & Lime

Simple, refreshing, and packed with nutrients, this will be your new favorite way to eat kale. These kale chips are super crunchy and so easy to make. 

7. Dill Pickle Kale Chips

Nothing can beat your craving for healthy snacks like these Dill Pickle kale chips. They are so crispy and satisfying. Personalize them by seasoning them with spices like sea salt, cumin, or red pepper flakes!

Patrick Anampiu

Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic it is to dehydrate and preserve food by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

Recent Posts