Posts Tagged ‘kale’


A few months back, our son called to ask if I’d ever made hot water cornbread; I had not. He ate some at a friend’s house and loved it. He said it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Then a few weeks later, I saw this article in the Penzeys catalog. The cornbread was paired with a curry-flavored kale dish.  I immediately tore out the recipes to try as soon as the spring CSA kale was plentiful again. I’m always eager to try new flavors with kale, and I can now say I have made hot water cornbread!


Curry adds a twist to the usual steamed kale.

WHAT YOU NEED for the kale:

1 T vegetable oil or bacon grease

1 bunch kale (about 1 lb)

1/2 medium onion, minced (I used red)

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c water

WHAT YOU DO with the kale:

Wash and de-stem the kale. Stack the leaves, roll and slice into shreds. My kale bunch weighed in at half a pound, so I halved the ingredients.


Stack, roll, and slice!

Heat the oil or grease over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan.

Add the onion and cook until it begins to brown.


Add the kale, curry powder, salt, and water.


Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes, while the cornbread is in the oven. I did have to add more water while this was cooking and still didn’t have much pan juice.

Serve hot, letting the juices moisten the cornbread while you’re eating.

WHAT YOU NEED for the cornbread:

2 Cups yellow stone-ground cornmeal

1 egg

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar, optional

1/4 tsp. PENZEYS ROASTED GARLIC, optional

black pepper  to taste

2-3 Cups water, boiling

3-4 Cups vegetable oil for frying 1-2 TB. bacon grease, optional

WHAT YOU DO for the cornbread:

In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, egg, salt and sugar (if using), ROASTED GARLIC (if using) and pepper. I got this FREE jar of roasted garlic with a Penzeys order, so I used it. You could omit or use garlic powder.


Stir in enough boiling water that the cornmeal mixture looks like a thick batter—holding together enough to spoon out but not runny. Mine looked like mashed potatoes. I used about 3 cups of hot water.


Heat the oil and bacon grease (if using) in a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. The oil should be 1/3 of the way up the side of the skillet.

As soon as the oil is hot, spoon the hot cornmeal mixture into your hands and form into a small patty, saucer-like in shape. Because of the hot water, the mixture is HOT, so be careful.


Shape cornmeal mixture into flat patties.

Place the patties gently (and carefully!)  in the oil. Don’t crowd the pan; usually 3 at a time or so would be good.


Turn each patty once and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes total for small patties.



Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

I served the kale and cornbread patties with left-over pulled pork and beans.


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Nutrient rich kale!

Our grandchildren love smoothies! Their mama (our girl!) often starts off their day with a green smoothie. With so much beautiful kale in our CSA box, I recently asked her to show me how she makes them. There’s not much to the process, but the end result is a freezer stocked with frozen kale cubes ready to toss in a blender for a quick morning smoothie.


Ready for smoothies!


kale, washed and de-stemmed

a can of coconut milk

a food processor or Vitamix


two simple ingredients


I am the proud and excited new owner of a Vitamix blender, but a food processor will suffice; the mixture will not be as smooth, however. If using a food processor, you might want to help the kale break down by steaming it first for about 3-5 minutes, until limp but still bright green. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and proceed with recipe.

Push the kale down into the blender/processor and add the coconut milk.


Rich, thick coconut milk.

Daughter says coconut milk and coconut oil have gotten a bad rap for years. A quick Google search revealed these facts: “Coconut milk contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids, and capric acid which have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.” You can read about other health benefits here. All I know is that it is thick and rich and made some silky kale cubes!

IMG_3260  IMG_3261

That Vitamix is amazing! In just seconds, the kale and coconut milk were transformed into creamy goodness. I poured the mixture into muffin tins, creating the perfect portions for smoothies.


Once the cubes were frozen, I let the muffin tin sit on the counter for a minute and then ran a knife around the edge of each kale cube. They popped out easily.


Pop ’em out!

I bagged each cube in an inexpensive fold-over sandwich baggie to keep them from sticking to each other (and to be less messy when reaching into the bag on busy mornings!) I then put all the baggies in a larger freezer bag, dated and labeled, and placed in freezer until ready to use.


Bag ’em!

I will now be enjoying kale for quite some time – even though our weekly CSA delivery is over until the spring. Morning smoothie making is quick and easy: into the blender go two to four kale cubes and your choice of fruit and sweetener. Here is a recipe to consider.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes and found some tasty ways to enjoy your produce from Rose Creek Farms. Stay warm this winter! Hopefully your freezer is stocked with yummy kale soup like this and this.

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Any recipe using kale always catches my eye! I adapted this magazine recipe to use this week’s kale. I’m glad I did; it provided a yummy lunch for us.


2 cups uncooked pasta

8 oz. uncooked sausage

4 cups uncooked kale, roughly chopped

1 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. slat

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese


The stars!


Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain. I used whole grain rotini. The original recipe calls for rigatoni.


Whole grain rotini adds extra nutrients and fiber!

Cook sausage:  The original recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage; I used a pound of Rose Creek Farms pork sausage which made this dish quite meaty (and filling!) IMG_3324

Remove sausage from casing and cook in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up sausage as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Once it’s cooked, I elevate the skillet and use a paper towel to absorb the fat.


Elevate to drain off fat.

Prep kale: wash, de-stem and roughly chop.


chopped kale

Add kale to sausage, stirring frequently, until limp, about 3 to 5 minutes.


Kale joins sausage!

Add chicken broth to skillet and scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. I used homemade broth from a chicken I had cooked in the crock pot. I refrigerated the broth which solidifies the fat on top. It is easy to remove and discard, leaving the flavorful broth!


Homemade chicken broth!

Cover skillet and reduce heat to low; cook until kale is tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in rigatoni; heat through.

Sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons of cheese before serving. (I actually stirred the 1/2 cup of cheese into the hot just-drained pasta, tossing to coat as the cheese melts. I learned this trick from Rachel Ray!)


Pasta, sausage, kale, and cheese!

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

I had some leftover salad in the refrigerator, so I used it as a base for this dish. It was delicious!


Salad and pasta!

The magazine recipe includes these suggestions: Make this dish vegetarian by swapping cannellini beans for the sausage and vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Try broccoli rabe when kale is not available.

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A couple of years ago, I discovered Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip – a downright delicious, low fat, low calorie dip made with low fat Greek yogurt. Their website describes it as having “50% less fat and calories than typical spinach dip made with sour cream.” It is packed with kale, spinach, and lots of other yummy things. I don’t get to TJ’s very often (2 hour trip by car), so when I go, I stock up on this item to use with vegetable /cracker dippers and as a spread on sandwiches.

So, you can imagine my delight when I found a recipe to make it at home! And I have kale and carrots from Rose Creek Farms! I whipped out that food processor and mixed me up some!


Dip ingredients!


2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt

2 cups chopped kale

2 cups chopped spinach

¼ of a red onion

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ tsp. paprika

2 Tbl. honey


Prep kale by washing, de-stemming, and roughly chopping. I packed it into a 2 cup measure. I measured out the spinach in the same manner.


spinach and kale

I stared off by processing the carrot, red onion, garlic, and spices. I didn’t want a paste of these ingredients – the TJ’s version has visible pieces of carrots, etc., so I worked slowly. I  knew they would process more when the kale/spinach were added, so I kept checking.


carrot, onion, garlic, and spices

Next I added the roughly chopped kale and spinach.


roughly chopped kale & spinach

I held out the marinated artichokes and honey for last because of their moisture content. (I was really worried about creating a gummy paste!)


Tennessee honey!

Now, pay attention to this next part. DO NOT add the yogurt to the food processor. After all my careful attention to the chopping of the veggies, I totally ruined the consistency by adding the yogurt to the food processor. 😦



I ended up with a very unappetizing-looking mixture. I also think the flavor was off. My helpful tasters that day disagreed with me, but I was unconvinced. I sent that batch home with Oldest Child and mixed up a new batch.



This time, I processed all the veggies as described above, but I then transferred them to a bowl and folded the yogurt into them. Much better!  You can see the pieces of carrot and kale.


Fold processed veggies into yogurt.

Another version of this dip calls for only 1 cup each of kale and spinach to 2 cups of yogurt. It also uses mayo which would add a depth of richness but would negate the whole “low calorie” vibe this dip has going for it. The blogger also states that the Trader Joe version uses chopped water chestnuts. I think I’d go for that added crunch.

I plan to keep a bowl of this on hand for quick summer munching! Low calorie and healthy!






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This recipe popped up while doing an online search for kale recipes. It sounded quick, and it is! and it’s good. Hubby and I both loved the crispy kale leaves with the soft potato chunks. It’s an easy side dish!


just a few ingredients needed!


1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn (about 10 cups)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prep the potatoes. I actually got out a ruler to see how big a half-inch piece is! Turns out my chopper is exactly that size! Or, just chop them yourself, but try to keep uniform pieces for even baking.


Cut potatoes into uniform pieces for even baking.

Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer and roast 5 minutes. The recipe doesn’t state, but I would salt and pepper them at this point. My finished dish needed salt!


Ready to roast!

Prep the kale: wash, de-stem, and chop. Keep the kale pieces fairly large. They will roast up into crispy chips! Peel and chop the garlic.


Kale and garlic prepped!

In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Again, the recipe doesn’t state this, but I would give the garlic time to infuse the oil. Next time, I’ll do this step BEFORE chopping the potatoes.


Allow garlic to infuse oil before adding kale.

Add chopped kale to garlic oil and toss well.


Stir well to coat kale with garlic oil.

Add to the baking sheet with the potatoes and toss.


Add kale to hot potatoes.

Roast until the kale is crisp and the potatoes are tender, stirring once, 15 to 20 minutes. I set the timer for 10 minutes, stirred the kale/potatoes, and roasted 10 more minutes.




The kale pieces were crispy! The potatoes were hot and tender! Great combination! My only complaint is that the dish needed more salt, so adjust according to your tastes.


Roasted crispy and tender!

I served it with herbed chicken and glazed carrots. I’ll be making this quick side again!


Dinner is served!


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Here’s a delicious way to use kale! I read this recipe on a blog and knew I’d be making it soon! It did not disappoint.


Kale and Smoky Bacon Quiche


A bunch of green Kale, roughly chopped

Several rashers of good quality, thinly sliced smoked bacon (I used bacon from Rose Creek Farms)

1 medium white onion, diced

1 tbs olive oil

3/4 cup of  Parmesan, grated

5 large eggs

3/4 cup of whole milk

1/2 cup of whipping cream

1 tsp of sea salt

1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 sheet of pie dough


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the pie dough. I enjoy making a homemade one, but there are some delicious refrigerated ones in the grocery story.


homemade pie dough!

I did not follow the original instructions to butter the pie tin and coat the inside of the pie shell with olive oil. I chose to forego those calories!

Fry bacon pieces until crisp. I removed bacon to drain and then used the bacon grease (rather than olive oil) to sauté the chopped onion. I used a red onion I had on hand and supplemented with some of the frozen green onions I had put up in the freezer.


Frozen green onions come in handy!

Prep the kale while the onions are cooking. This means wash, de-stem and roughly chop.


KALE: prepped and ready to go!

Once the onions were tender, I added the chopped kale to the skillet and cooked for about 3 minutes or until it had wilted slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.


Kale joins the onions.

Next, sprinkle the bacon across bottom of unbaked pie shell and then spread the sautéed kale.

Now it’s time for the egg mixture. I used eggs from Rose Creek Farms.


Look at those rich yolks!

Beat the eggs and mix in the milk, cream (I used Half & Half) Parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend well and pour into pie shell.


Egg rich mixture covers kale.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 450 degrees. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the center of the quiche is almost firm.


This quiche baked up beautifully!

Remove the quiche from the oven and let it stand for about 10 minutes before serving.


Creamy cheese, smoky bacon and kale!


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I have a growing list of recipes using kale, so when I read Farmer Ray’s email about chorizo being available now, I knew I wanted to try this recipe in my file. I grew up (in South Texas) eating chorizo for breakfast, so I was curious about tasting a Tennessee version of this classic. The original recipe calls for chourico which is the Portuguese version of this spicy sausage.


Chorizo from Rose Creek Farms!


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium onions, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound kale, coarsely chopped

Coarse salt and pepper

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzos (chick peas) drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

1 pound diced chorizo, casing removed

1 quart chicken broth


The original recipe calls for adding raw chorizo to the soup. My childhood memory of chorizo is the pool of orange grease on my plate of scrambled eggs, so I wanted to eliminate that fat in my soup. I sliced open the casing, removed the meat, and cooked over a low heat while I prepped the other ingredients.


The casing slips right off.

Once the chorizo was cooked, I set it to draining and then wiped out the pot so I could sauté the onion and garlic.


Draining off that orange fat!

Another title for this blog post could be: “FREEZER HANDY COOKING!” I reached into the freezer for frozen chopped onion, blanched potatoes, and homemade chicken stock. I love having these items prepped and ready to go!


Blanched, diced potatoes!


Homemade chicken stock!

I added olive oil to the pot and sautéed the green onions from this morning’s CSA box and  more onion from the freezer. Once they were tender, I added the garlic. I do believe garlic is the best flavor enhancer you can use! I use a lot!


Peeled and ready to be chopped!

While the onion/garlic are sautéing, prep the kale by washing, de-stemming and chopping. Set aside.

Add potatoes to the onion mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper, but go easy on the salt if your chicken broth is salted. Add kale, stir, and cover pot to wilt greens, about  2 minutes.


Allow kale to wilt down before adding remaining ingredients.

Add beans, tomatoes, chorizo, and broth to the pot and bring soup to a full boil.


These go in last.

Reduce heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. The original recipe suggests serving soup with hunks of crusty bread and butter. This soup is similar to the Zuppa Toscana version using Italian sausage, but the addition of diced tomatoes of this Portuguese version puts a spin on it. I plan to freeze this soup in one serving portions for a quick lunch sometime in the future! (Have I mentioned how much I love having a freezer stocked and “ready-to-go”?) 🙂














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It’s getting easier and easier to find recipes featuring KALE! It’s everywhere! As Martha Stewart said, “Kale is king!”

I did some online research, trying to find out exactly when and how this leafy green veggie took center stage. It’s all because folks quickly learned what a nutritional powerhouse it is. Kale offers about twice the calcium and magnesium, a third more iron, and 12 times the vitamin A (yes, 12!) of its more popular cousin broccoli. Plus, it’s a good source of other essential nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, and copper.

“All you really need is a gorgeous kale recipe, and you’re good to go!” says Liz Weiss, MS, RD, coauthor of No Whine with Dinner.

I’ve got a gorgeous kale recipe for you this week! It’s a colorful fresh salad with a bright contrast of flavors!


Marinated Kale Salad with Shaved Apples and Gouda



3  Pink Lady apples

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 bunches Lacinato* kale, stemmed and chopped (about 8 oz.)

1/4 cup shaved aged Gouda cheese

* also sold as dinosaur or Tuscan kale


Wash and de-stem kale. I used two bags from the CSA box. I didn’t want extra water on the kale, so I tossed each de-stemmed leaf into a strainer as I worked. I then chopped into fairly small pieces.


Wash, de-stem, and chop kale.

Next, prepare the dressing of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.


One lemon yielded exactly 1/4 cup of juice!


So happy to use my fresh TN honey!


Whisk to emulsify the juice and olive oil.

Now prepare the apples. The recipe calls for 3 Pink Lady apples, but I used the two Braeburn I had on hand. Remove the core, and then cut the apples into 1/4-inch-thick rings, cutting from one side through the other.


This corer neatly removed the center.


A mandolin makes quick work of slicing.

I used a Pampered Chef “Simple Slicer” but a sharp knife and steady hand will work just as well. The recipe title claims “shaved apples” but chunks of apples would be just as tasty. In fact, I thought those apple rings would be difficult to serve, so I cut them in half.


apple rings cut in half

Drop the apples into the dressing and toss to make sure each slice is coated. The lemon juice will keep the apples from turning brown, so make sure each piece gets coated.


Toss apples in dressing to coat.

Now add all that chopped kale! I had to switch to a bigger bowl in order to toss well.


You need a large bowl!

At this point, the salad goes in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours. When ready to serve, toss to distribute dressing and add gouda cheese, which is mighty expensive.


expensive but delicious!

I paid over $7 for an 8 oz. block. You could substitute  Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese. Actually, the salad is so bright with the lemon/honey dressing and the apples, that I will probably eliminate the cheese next time.

I served this at our weekly Life Group meal after church this morning, and everyone was very complimentary. Several had never eaten kale and were surprised that they liked it. The recipe states that it will keep 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator and still be crisp and bright.

This recipe is another KALE KEEPER!



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Kale with pecans, beans, and rice

Hubby walked in with the CSA box this morning, and I was ready to go! With Farmer Ray’s Friday “heads up” email, I knew I would be working with Red Russian Kale. With just a few steps, lunch was soon on the table!

The key to making a plain green vegetable worthy of an entire meal is adding something with protein or fat (preferably both). Nuts work perfectly, as do any kind of beans or lentils. The basic recipe calls for pecans, which are wonderful, but you could use just about any kind of nut. I read the recipe reviews, and I incorporated some of those ideas, too.

1 bunch kale or chard
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 garlic clove, minced
Olive oil
Sea salt to taste
½ cup cooked beans
Cooked rice


basic ingredients


While you are prepping the green ingredients, toast the nuts in a dry skillet over low heat. Shake every few minutes. I set a timer for 5 minutes, so I wouldn’t forget about them.


Toast nuts over low heat in dry skillet.

Next finely chop the garlic. Did you know that chopping garlic actually makes it healthier? Who knew? Scientists have long suspected that the active ingredient in garlic is a substance called allicin. A recent study from Queen’s University showed that it is actually a decomposition product of allicin that has the most potent antioxidant activity. Released from plant cells when they are damaged, alliinase is what gives garlic (and onions) their strong odor and is thought to be a self-defense mechanism for these plants. When garlic is crushed, alliinase becomes active and begins creating allicin. As allicin is created and breaks down, the antioxidant potential of garlic is dramatically increased. Optimal antioxidant levels are created about 10 minutes after garlic is crushed. I’m going to start prepping my garlic first! 

Wash, stem, and chop kale. It’s quick to stack the kale leaves, roll, and slice into ribbons. It’s okay if your greens are still wet; the water will help them steam.

The original recipe didn’t call for onions, but since I had so many gorgeous fresh green onions, I threw in some of those as well.


chopped and prepped!

Remove the toasted nuts from the skillet and heat a little olive oil in the pan. You don’t need much – just a sheen to sauté the onions a minute or two. .Add your chopped greens to the pan, sprinkle generously with sea salt and toss with tongs. Cover. I cooked over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often and adding about a tablespoon of water.

 Next, push greens to the side and add a bit more olive oil to briefly sauté the garlic. Be careful! Garlic becomes bitter if burnt!


Briefly sauté minced garlic.

Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Now add the beans. The reviewer suggested adding  chickpeas, but I didn’t have any. I pulled up the NI for chickpeas and compared it to the cans of great northern beans and cannellini beans I had on hand. They are all very similar in protein, fiber, carbs, etc. I decided to go with the cannellini beans.


Great source of protein!

Add the toasted pecans.


LOVE the crunch of toasted nuts!

 One recipe reviewer said that if you would like a little more substance, serve it with brown rice, lentils or quinoa. I steamed up a pot of basmati rice with veggies that I had in the pantry and served the kale mixture on top of a serving of hot rice.


Bulk up this recipe with rice!

Hubby sprinkled his liberally with Cajun Chef Hot Sauce and dug in! I topped mine with parmesan cheese. And lunch was a done deal!


Topped with parmesan cheese!

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It was a bit sad to pick up our last CSA box on Saturday, but I know the land (and our Dirt Farmer) needs a time of rest and refreshing!

We had our grandchildren over for pizza and a holiday movie, so I used all the lettuce and carrots in a salad. I wanted to use the kale in a big pot of Rose Creek Farms’ Potato Soup, but I just did not have time to do that! I fretted over when I would have time, and then, eureka! Why couldn’t I “blanch” the kale, freeze it, and then make the soup once the holiday frenzy is past?

I know that blanching stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavor, color and texture. If vegetables are not blanched, or blanching is not long enough, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage causing off-colors, off-flavors and toughening. Blanching involves submerging the vegetable in boiling water for a specified time and then “shocking” with cold water to stop the cooking process.

After thinking about it, (and after labeling my bags!)  I decided that what I had done was more of a “par-cooking” than a true blanching. I had seasoned the kale with onion and garlic during the process, and I had not submerged/shocked the kale. But, regardless of what you call it, I now have two bags of kale in my freezer – all ready for sausage/kale/potato soup when the mood hits!


Onion (I used red)
Olive oil


Prepare kale: wash, de-stem, and chop. I chopped mine finely because I don’t like a mouthful of string-y kale in my soup.

Sauté red onion in a little bit of olive oil. When translucent, add garlic and stir to prevent burning.


Sautéed red onion and garlic

Add chopped kale and stir well.


Add chopped kale to the skillet!

Cover and steam for about 5 minutes. I had to add water to one of the two batches I prepared. I’m guessing one type of kale has more moisture than the other.


Cover skillet to trap in that steam!

Allow to cool and then bag in a freezer storage bag. Label well and then chill in refrigerator before freezing. This will prevent ice crystals from forming.


Ready for the freezer!

When ready to make that pot of soup, just pull out your par-cooked kale and have at it!

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