Kale is a superstar of leafy greens. Kale is loaded with antioxidants that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. Kale has protective plant compounds called indoles that have been found to have a protective effect against breast, cervical and colon cancer. How about calcium, iron and vitamins A, C and bone-building K? We should all strive to eat more kale.
We can sneak kale into occasional treats such as sausage balls. You can take these treats to your next potluck or party and folks will likely never guess you put a bit of #goodstuff in every bite.
Yield: Approximately 32 sausage balls
1 lb. Jackson’s Sausage * (Regular, Hot or Smoked) available at Little Bent Farm
2 cups baking mix such as Bisquick or Jiffy
3 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (finely shredded works best, but you can use any cheese that you like)
1 cup finely chopped kale (My favorite Kale is Red Russian, but any kale from Little Bent Farm would be a great choice). I use a mini food chopper to finely chop my kale into what I call “kale dust”.
Get ready to use your hands because it’s really the only way to get it done. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your sausage into a large bowl and let it warm up a bit so that it is easier to handle. Mix the cheese into the sausage. Mix in your chopped kale then your baking mix.
Roll into balls. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes (ovens vary). Important not to overbake since they will continue to cook a bit after you take them out of the oven. They will slide right off that parchment paper then you simply throw that parchment paper away – easy clean up!
*Note: Jackson’s Sausage not only has great flavor, but it also has the right amount of fat to make tender sausage balls. If your sausage doesn’t have enough fat the balls will be dry; too much and they will be greasy. As we all know, dry or greasy sausage balls = not a good thing.