How to Dry Kale at Home? [Step by Step]

By

Quick Answer: How to Dry Kale at Home?

You can easily dry your Kale under direct sunlight if available. For large quantities, using a food dehydrator, or an oven is best. Microwaving is the quickest method to dry kale at home.

Kale, also known as leaf cabbage, is a vegetable that has purple or green leaves.

It is considered a cruciferous vegetable that’s leaves are completely edible.

The leaves are high in antioxidants, and numerous nutrients as well.

This vegetable is grown during the winter. So, it isn’t available all year round.

This is why people consider drying the vegetable for future use. Although the leaves dry, their nutrients remain.

In case you’re wondering how to dry kale, don’t worry as we’ve got you covered.

Through hours of research and study, we’ve come up with five simple and easy ways to dry kale from the comfort of your home.

How to Dry Kale Under the Sun?

How to Dry Kale Under the Sun?

Active Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days
Difficulty: Easy

You can dry your kale leaves naturally under sunlight for a few days. You will need to flip them now and then to get the leaves evenly dried. Moreover, you won’t require any electronic appliances.

Materials

  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • A knife
  • Cheesecloth

Tools

  • Solar dryer or drying rack

Instructions

    1. Wash the leaves - Wash your kale leaves under warm running water. In case you see any holes that indicate caterpillars eating the leaves, soak the leaves in a bowl filled with cold water for an hour. This will kill the worms and caterpillars and they will fall into the water.
    2. Blanch the leaves - Pour a handful of salt into hot water and rinse the leaves for five minutes. Directly place the leaves into cold water to stop the cooking process. Although blanching isn’t recommended, it helps the kale dry in the sun without destroying its flavor and preserving its color.
    3. Remove excess water - Place the wet leaves in a colander and let them air-dry for an hour or so. The leaves don’t have to be completely dried for the next steps. You can place the leaves on a drying rack if you don’t have a colander.
    4. Arrange the leaves - Evenly spread all the leaves on the solar dryer. Ensure you leave some distance between each leaf for proper air circulation.
    5. Dry the leaves - Let the leaves dry for the required time under direct sunlight. Kale is completely dried when its texture becomes hard and the leaves and branches easily break.

      You can cover the kale using a cheesecloth to prevent any insects or tiny bugs from eating or spoiling the leaves.

Dry Kale Using the Air-drying Technique

Time Taken: A few weeks

What You Need:

  • Colander
  • Basin
  • Rubber bands

Air-drying is a great method that isn’t only cost-effective but doesn’t make use of artificial heat.

This method is commonly referred to as bunch hanging and guarantees the safety of your leaves as it is performed indoors.

Wash the Leaves

Wash your kale leaves under warm running water.

In case you see any holes that indicate caterpillars eating the leaves, soak the leaves in a bowl filled with cold water for an hour.

This will kill the worms and caterpillars and they will fall into the water.

Remove Excess Water

Place the wet leaves in a colander and let them air-dry for an hour or so.

The leaves don’t have to be completely dried for the next steps. You can place the leaves on a drying rack if you don’t have a colander.

Tie the Leaves

Grab some stems and tie them together into small bunches using some rubber bands. Keep the leaves of the branches facing downwards for faster drying.

If you are drying Kale in bunches, try keeping the length of every branch similar so the drying time remains the same.

Hang the Herb to Dry

Find a place in your house that is warm but doesn’t have strong sun rays.

Directly placing the leaves under harsh rays may damage the color and even reduce the flavor of the leaves.

Place a Basin

Directly under the hanging leaves, place a basin. The basin will catch any leaves that fall so they don’t get dirty on the flow.

Let the Kale Dry

Let your kale hang and dry until all the moisture has evaporated. Kale is completely dried when its texture becomes hard and the leaves and branches easily break.

Dry Kale Using a Food Dehydrator

Time Taken: 6 to 8 hours

Optimum temperature – 125 degrees Fahrenheit

What You Need:

  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • A knife
  • Dehydrator trays

Using a food dehydrator to dry your kale leaves is one of the fastest methods.

The process is quite simple and only requires a few hours before you get perfectly crispy and dry kale leaves at home.

Wash the Leaves

Rinse the leaves under warm running water. In case you see any holes that indicate caterpillars eating the leaves, soak the leaves in cold water for an hour.

This will kill the worms and caterpillars and they will fall into the water.

Remove Excess Water

Place the leaves in a colander and let the leaves air-dry for an hour or so. The leaves don’t have to be completely dried for the next steps.

You can place the leaves on a drying rack if you don’t have a colander.

Slice the Leaves

Using a sharp knife, cut through each leaf to separate the central rib. You will not need the rib as it will only slow the drying process down.

Cut the leaves into smaller pieces. If you want, you can stack and roll the leaves before slicing them around ⅛ inches thick.

Arrange the Leaves

Take your kale leaves and place them on the dehydrator trays in a single layer.

Ensure some space remains between each leaf for proper air circulation and even amounts of heat being circulated to every leaf.

Dry the Leaves

Let the leaves dry for about 3 hours before checking on the leaves.

Pop the tray back in the dehydrator for another hour if the leaves are yet to completely dry.

When dried, the leaves will curl up and should have a dry, crispy texture.

Kale Using an Oven

Time Taken: 30 to 40 minutes

Optimum temperature –140 degrees Fahrenheit

What You Need:

  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • A knife
  • Oven trays

You can use an oven to dry fresh kale at home.

Even though this is a simple method, you need to ensure the herb doesn’t burn because of being exposed to high levels of heat.

You can avoid such instances by keeping a watch on the herb as it dries.

Wash the Leaves

Carefully wash the leaves under warm running water. If you spot any holes that indicate caterpillars eating the leaves, soak the leaves in cold water for an hour.

This will kill the worms and caterpillars and they will fall into the water.

Remove Excess Water

You can place the leaves on a drying rack if you don’t have a colander.

However, if you do, place the leaves in a colander and let the leaves air-dry for an hour or so.

The leaves don’t have to be completely dried for the next steps.

Slice the Leaves

Using a sharp knife, cut through the center of each leaf to separate the central rib. You will not need the rib as it will only slow the drying process down.

Arrange the Leaves

Take your kale leaves and place them on the oven trays in a single layer.

Ensure some space remains between each leaf for proper air circulation and even amounts of heat being circulated to every leaf.

They can overlap a little if you’re short on space.

Dry the Leaves

Let the leaves dry for about 10 minutes. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let them continue drying for another fifteen minutes or so.

After 30 minutes you can check if any of the leaves are dried.

Dry Kale Using a Microwave

Time Taken: 3 to 4 minutes

What You Need:

  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • A knife
  • Microwave-safe plate

The microwave method is the fastest one to get perfectly dried kale leaves.

The method takes less than five minutes and you get evenly dried kale from the comfort of your home.

However, this method requires you to dry the kale in intervals.

Wash the Leaves

Carefully wash the leaves under warm running water.

If you spot any holes that indicate caterpillars eating the leaves, soak the leaves in cold water for an hour.

This will kill the worms and caterpillars and they will fall into the water.

Remove Excess Water

You can place the leaves on a drying rack if you don’t have a colander.

However, if you do, place the leaves in a colander and let the leaves air-dry for an hour or so.

The leaves don’t have to be completely dried for the next steps.

Slice the Leaves

Using a sharp knife, cut through the center of each leaf to separate the central rib.

You will not need the rib as it will only slow the drying process down.

Arrange the Leaves

Take your kale leaves and place them on a mivrowave-safe plate in a single layer.

Ensure some space remains between each leaf for proper air circulation and even amounts of heat being circulated to every leaf.

They can overlap a little if you’re short on space.

Dry the Leaves

Let the leaves dry for 3 minutes. Check the texture of the leaves and if they are still moist, let them dry for another 30 seconds.

Repeat the process until the leaves are perfectly dried.

When perfectly dried the leaves’ texture becomes hard and the leaves and branches easily break.

The Right Way to Store Kale Leaves

After drying the kale leaves, it is best to store them in an airtight bag. You can place dried kale leaves in glass mason jars as well with regular canning lids.

However, avoid plastic mason jar lids as they don’t keep the dried kale as airtight as it needs to be.

Therefore, proceed with using metal lids and rings instead.

Keep an eye on the sealed containers for a few days to check for any signs of condensation.

If any signs are visible, dehydrate the kale leaves once again and then store it for future use.

For best taste, store your jar in your spice cabinet, cupboard, pantry, or another dry, dark place for up to a year.

Our Take on Which Method is Best

People who live in regions that are relatively hot and dry benefit the most from solar drying kale leaves.

You can air-dry them indoors as well using the air-drying method.

You can refer to using a food dehydrator, or an oven to dry kale in large quantities.

If you need to quickly dry kale at home, use a microwave as it is the quickest method of them all.

FAQs

Why does air-dried kale last longer than microwaved kale?

When you dry kale in the microwave, there are some cases where the vegetable releases some chemicals that fasten the spoilage process. To prevent this, you need to sprinkle some kosher salt before drying the leaves.

The air-drying method is a natural process which is why no chemicals are released and the kale lasts longer when compared to the microwaved one.

Which method is the fastest to dry kale?

You can use your microwave to dry kale instantly at home. This method will only consume a few minutes and enable you to evenly dry kale leaves in small quantities.

If you are looking to dry kale in bulk using a microwave, you will have to repeat the same process in batches.

How to tell whether the kale is properly dried?

Marjoram is considered to be perfectly dried when the texture is dry and the leaves and branches easily break.

Bottom Line

We’ve gone through five simple ways to dry kale leaves for various purposes.

Hopefully, this guide helped you learn ways to dry vegetables like kale at home.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family; please leave any queries in the comments section below!

Show Some Love by Sharing!

About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Instructions