I’ll be honest. I had never even heard of kale chips until I was down in Texas visiting Rachel and Diane and Rachel clued me in. We actually made plans to try and make some while I was there, but we all got swept away by the crafty goodness that was needle punch.
Fast forward to the turn of the new year when Jason and I decided to go vegetarian for a month. We just thought it would get the year off to a good start by resetting our tastebuds after all that holiday indulging. Anyway, I was looking around the local co-op for some veggie snack treats when I saw a bag of kale chips. I decided to splurge and buy them and then resigned to make some from scratch to save money if we enjoyed them. And enjoy them we did!
I dug around the internet and in usual fashion put a few recipes together, changed the amount of ingredients, and voila, kale chips. We chowed them all down in a day. Could the same thing be said for a head of kale without being baked? I think not. The first time I tried dehydrating them by baking at 250 in my oven, which took 4 hours. Delicious, but that’s a lot of energy. Instead I would love to toss them into the oven after baking a frittata and have them done in just 10 minutes.
- 1 cup nuts of your choice
- Juice of 1 lime or lemon
- 1/2 cup Nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup water
- (optional) Soy Sauce
- (optional) Sea Salt to taste
I used peanuts this time because that’s what I had, but just about any white nut would be nice. A few recipes I saw used cashews, you might want to try those.
This time around I used flowering kale, but last time I used flat leaf with equal success and tastiness.
When it was all said and done Jason and I both agreed that while we will totally eat these chips and they are delicious, most of them either turned out too soft or too crispy (burnt) even though I rotated, flipped, changed racks, and pulled them as they were getting done. Even though it takes longer (3-4 hours), we both liked the results of the slow bake – 225 degrees in the oven. Even the ones that are just right tended to be a little moist compared to our slowed baked last batch.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 (or 225 for slow baked method)
Step One: Prep the kale first by cutting out the stalks and any hard veins. Tear the remaining kale into smaller bite sized pieces – I like mine about 2×2″.
Step Two: Make the nut mixture that you’ll toss the kale in before baking.
A) In a blender, chop the nuts with the citrus juice until they are puréed as possible. Add water as needed to get the mixture to blend.
B) Mix in the nutritional yeast. Again, add water as needed to get the mixture to blend.
Step Three: Pour the nut mixture into a large bowl over the chopped kale and mix it around with your hand until it’s nice and coated.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or lightly greased), sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 10 minutes (or 3.5 hours if using a dehydrator or oven at 225).
Watch it close when cooking at 375 because it can go from delicious to burnt garbage in about 1 minute! I seriously set up a chair and watched it.
Cool and store in a food safe container or bag… if they make it that long.