I’m a big fan of Baker Creek and the seeds they sell. If you are into organic/natural gardening methods and have the same loathsome feelings as I do toward the genetic modification that is creeping into every aspect of the farming world, then you are probably a fan of Baker Creek as well. At our homestead, we want to grow the majority of our foods using natural methods. Planting and harvest times are extremely important and we know what it means to eat seasonally here. We eat what we grow and grow what we eat. This allows us to avoid the franken-food industry as much as possible.
Today I have decided to do a review on the Red Russian Kale that we purchased from Baker Creek last year and the results we had over the winter. Spring is almost here and we just finished harvesting the kale that we have been growing and eating all winter. I really love this kale variety! Many people have toured our greenhouse and aquaponics system during the last 6 months and this kale was one of the treats that folks got to sample along the way. My favorite reaction came from a woman in her 80’s. Her eyes lit up as she remarked at how sweet it was! This kale has been extremely enjoyable.
During the winter, there were a few days when the temps in the Ozarks got in the single digits. At this point the kale turned a deep purple or purplish red color. It never stopped growing and never tasted bitter, whether it was green or red. One of its best qualities is its ability to allow you to harvest one or two leaves per plant while sprouting new leaves in its place. This way, it provides a continual harvest.
I initially planted the kale in four aquaponic grow beds. Because spring is now upon us, I needed to free up those grow beds for other things. So when the final harvest took place and we ended up with so much beautiful kale, we decided to make kale chips. We had never made them before, but they instantly became a house favorite. We had to stop our two boys from eating them all before we could snap a picture!
“An American Homestead” Kale Chips
Wash your kale leaves and rinse. Jaimie likes to use her salad spinner to dry the leaves after washing. It works great! Gather your kale in a bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Toss the kale so that it is all evenly coated with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Many people prefer sea salt, but we like the Real Salt brand with its 60+ trace minerals.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread your kale on one or more oven safe cookie sheets. You’re going to bake it for approximately 20-30 minutes. At the 10-15 minute mark, pull it out and stir. Turn the pieces over and move them around on the tray. Then place them back in the oven. The pieces on the outer edges get done sooner, so it is good to move them around every 10 minutes. The kale is done when all the pieces are crispy. Then EAT! YUM!
Everyone in our family loved these kale chips! Next year I’m planning on growing a lot more kale. Be sure to grab some of these Red Russian Kale seeds over at Baker Creek (CLICK HERE). I know your family will love them too!