If you’ve never had kale chips, stop reading this and go get some. Better yet, make some!

Kale chips have become an increasingly trendy snack ever since kale hit the health food scene as one of the healthiest leafy greens money can buy. Kale is so popular that it’s almost impossible to avoid it. You can find kale in most green juices, baby food pouches, and now, in the chips and snacks aisle!

But store bought kale chips just don’t compare to homemade and the homemade ones get eaten up too quickly! Even people who don’t like kale LOVE kale chips. They are the salty, crunchy snack that you can eat and eat and not feel guilty about. The flavor options are endless and they are so easy to make! I make mine in a dehydrator but you can make them in your oven just as easily.

I like my kale chips simple and plain because I still want to taste the kale. I toss my kale in olive oil, sea salt, a little garlic powder, and cracked pepper. The kale goes into the dehydrator, is ready in about 5 hours, and then disappears in about 5 minutes.

I am impressed by all the creativity out there when it comes to making kale chips. Here are some recipe ideas from some very talented food bloggers that you can try to spice up snack time:

Cheesy Oven Roasted Kale Chips by Fool Proof Living

Curry Kale Chips by Ricki Heller

Dill Pickle Kale Chips by The Primal Desire

What are your favorite ways to make dehydrated snacks? Share them with us at stpseries@gmail.com!

The cast and crew are reunited and it feels so good! While some of us wrap up the last few B-Roll shots, others are locked in editing rooms. We are especially excited for this season because we’re introducing a whole new format to the show.

There are four individual segments, each unique and wacky that will make up a full episode. In Spoiler Alert, newscasters deliver the latest and greatest in all things spoiled. In our Spoiled Kitchen, home chef and food stylist Joanna Bodano teaches new recipes.

Fermented Science is animated lessons on how and why things ferment, pickle, and spoil. And last but not least, our host from last season, Garrett Martin, takes us down Fermentation Road, where he travels through Northern California to uncover unknown fermenters who deserve some spotlight!

We have some new faces this season, as well as crew playing cast and cast playing crew. You might spot a local brewery or a local fermentation expert in Episode 1!

Stay tuned!

I first heard about “pickled tea” about a month ago, and was immediately intrigued; is the tea actually pickled or fermented?  Is it something you eat, drink, or both?  How is it used traditionally?  I decided to do a little digging, and hopefully a little tasting for myself.

Pickled tea, also called lahpet, is indeed fermented tea leaves.  It comes from Myanmar, previously known as Burma, and it’s a unique ingredient to the country.  Interestingly, Myanmar is the only place in the world that views tea as both a food and a beverage, and pickled tea is an incredibly important food in their culture, both currently and historically.  In the past, pickled tea was used as a peace offering between warring kingdoms, and even as a sign of dispute resolution among friends.  Today, it’s eaten during nearly every symbolic and religious ceremony and is sure to be found at weddings, coming of age ceremonies and funerals.  While it’s a very culturally significant food, it’s also enjoyed on an everyday basis, outside of ceremonies, most commonly in lahpet thok (tea leaf salad) or as a snack by itself (ahlu lahpet)

Pickled tea is so important to Myanmar culture that during the tea leaf harvests,  the nicest, freshest tea leaves are set aside to be fermented while the rest goes on to be dried for drinking tea.  It’s estimated that 17% of Myanmar’s tea crops goes on to become pickled tea!  Once the tea is picked, it’s steamed and then transferred into bamboo vats and weighted down; it’s typically left to ferment for about 3-4 months.

While trying to get ahold of some pickled tea for myself, I discovered it’s hard to come by in Sonoma County!  I discovered that we have a restaurant called Best of Burma, right in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa, and sure enough, they made tea leaf salad.  I had to try it!  The first bite was a mix of so many flavors, it was (and still is) hard to describe.   It’s a blend of flavors and textures, and due to the many ingredients, each bite tasted a little different, but in a way that made the dish unique and wonderful.  The tea itself had a slightly salty flavor, though not intense, and only tasted very mildly like tea as an aftertaste.  There was oil added to it also, which was very complementary to the salty taste and was slightly reminiscent of olives.  The taste was very distinct, yet hard to fully describe.  The salad was so unique in flavor, and while there were many ingredients that contributed to the final taste, the tea completely made the salad!  I totally recommend trying it- whether at a restaurant, or tracking down some online.  It’s a wonderful, unique tasting food that I can’t wait to eat again!