An abundance of leafy greens in my garden has prompted an hour of preserving in my kitchen. Now is a good time to bring in the last of my autumn spinach, silver beet and kale to make way for the next crop, which is branching out in all directions already.
Frozen greens for smoothies, soups and stews
I am a big fan of raw green smoothies – see the recipe that I use here. This is something that I could have done for a while now, whenever I have seen spinach on sale. However, now that I am forced to do something with all of my lovely cultivated greens, the inspiration strikes. Go figure!
Simply wash, chop and blend greens with fresh water to get the consistency that you desire. I’ve gone for quite a concentrated mix of all three – spinach, silver beet and kale – and a pint of water. This is just enough to keep my blender moving and it results in a thick consistency. I have used mini muffin trays to freeze my potent green mixture, as they hold quite a bit, but my blender will still blitz them frozen when I want to make smoothies. If you have some juice left over like I did, down it in one go and feel great in the knowledge that it’s got to be good for you!
Baked chips for snacking on
I have heard a lot about baked kale chips and today was the first day that I had tried them for myself. I really like the taste – except that my first batch had a little too much rock salt on them. User error.
Wash and dry the kale thoroughly, chop out the stalks (they don’t dry during baking or taste nice), drizzle oil over the top (I used olive), mix them around to coat all of them and then lay them out single file on a baking tray (any deeper and they go limp). Sprinkle salt – not as liberally as I did – or forgo the salt altogether. Add other flavours if you choose – like lemon, paprika or the smokey kelp salt shown here – and bake. Various recipes suggest different times and temperatures, so pick a temp and watch carefully until they are dry and crispy.
I baked mine at 100 degrees celsius fan bake, because I cooked them at the same time I cooked my Christmas cake and it required a low temperature. Take them out, let them cool and enjoy. I am storing mine in an airtight bag and will see how long they last.
They look shiny and oily in all of the photos that I’ve seen, including mine. However, the taste is … chickeny?? and they are not so oily to eat. I recommend! Next, I will try the same with my two bags of silver beet.