One of the biggest complaints many have about backpacking food is the lack of fresh veggies. We’ve tried every tactic to get legitimate fresh veggies out there, and it’s possible, but dehydrated kale is the best option we’ve found.
Everyone knows kale is a superfood, filled with with tons of nutrients. It’s also sturdy, ultralight, and goes with just about any type of meal you would like to make. There’s still a chance that fresh kale could be ruined in your pack on a hot day, but once it’s dehydrated, it becomes invincible.
Yes, you can dehydrate just about every vegetable (great news!), but kale and other dark leafy greens are what to choose before everything else. They dehydrate quickly, but also rehydrate quickly, which is more important. If you’re looking for a side of creamed greens to go with your dehydrated mac n’ cheese, no problem!
This recipe takes dried kale a step further, though, by crumbling it into super versatile flakes. No more worrying about it breaking up in your pack- it’s already broken! No need to worry about a separate pot, or the disgusted faces on the picky eaters of the group. Throw some of this into every meal, and it will melt right in. If you’re short on time, try roasting your greens instead of dehydrating them.
The flavor deepens and you can eat them sprinkled right on top of your food instead of cooking the greens into it. Here’s a great recipe for how to roast them.
Some of our favorite options:
- Roasted kale flakes as a popcorn topping
- Green mac n’ cheese
- Quinoa and eggs with kale crumbles
Try this recipe out for your next trip (which will hopefully involve some snow!) and let us know what recipes you put your dehydrated kale flakes into!
Dehydrated Kale Flakes
Prep Time / Cook Time/
Activity GuideBackpacking, Bike Touring, Car Camping
- 2 bunches kale or other dark leafy greens, cleaned and de-ribbed
- Food processor
- Place greens in a single layer on your dehydrator trays, filling as many trays as needed (I fill 4). You may need to break up the leaves into smaller pieces to get them to fit like puzzle pieces.
- Turn dehydrator on at 125 degrees and dry until leaves are crisp, between 8 and 10 hours.
- Crumble the kale into a zip-top bag, or place in food processor to powder on a finer level if desired.
*If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven. See our post How to Dehydrate Vegetables for the how-to.