Jul 252014
 

Kale has seen a nice boost in popularity over the past few years. What was once a slimy stinky side of green mush is now being incorporated in all kinds of great ways in kitchens worldwide! ok, so maybe I got a little excited there – but seriously, it’s gained in popularity and there ARE recipes all around the internet and we hear people talking about kale a lot more than ever before.

And rightly so. Kale is one of those ‘wonder foods’ – it may even be classified as a ‘super food’ . It is one of the most nutritious foods around and it is SO easily accessible!  I have several recipes I’ll share in the coming weeks. First up is one that admittedly is NOT super quick. But it IS easy and it IS worth the effort. 🙂

I make mine with a dehydrator but you can also cook them in a LOW temp oven until they are crispy.

I know most people don’t have a dehydrator – I got mine as a special treat when I was eating a 99% raw diet.

I have a 5 tray excalibur and it really does do a GREAT job.They have come down in price but are still a pretty decent investment.

Kale Chips
I like to use fresh WHOLE leaves. I’ve tried with copped kale and it’s just not the same.

I don’t have measurements – this is a ‘to taste’ and ‘coat well’ method. So start with your kale and then mix a sauce that will give the kale a good coating.

 

Here is what went into the sauce I made the other day:

  • Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsalmic Vinegar
  • Nama Shoyu
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Chili Powder
Start by removing the stem first.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Discard stem.
Next, I tear the leaf into small pieces.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Not necessarily bite sized, but not more than two bites or they make a huge mess when you eat them.

As I am tearing up the kale, I place the pieces I am going to use in a salad spinner. 
(this is one of my inexpensive tools – you do NOT need to spend a lot on this item – the one I have – it’s the one I linked to – is under 15.00 and does a FABULOUS job. )

 

This I use to clean and dry my kale.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I do about two very full spinners for a batch of kale chips.

The spinner just makes it really convenient!
The photo is without the lid, I give it a little rinse without the lid, then place the lid on, allowing the water to run through the hole in the lid and I spin the knob heartily to remove dirt.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
Lifting the spinner to rest on the middle ledge of the sink, I then spin without water to dry the kale.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Once the kale is spun clean and dry I just set it aside and get to work on my coating.
In a VERY large bowl I mix all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the nutrional yeast.
I use a wisk and give it a quick beating.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Again, no measurements, I just eyeball it keeping in mind what flavors I enjoy most or feel like highlighting that day.You want enough of a sauce to get in all those lovely ruffles on the kale leaves.
Then I add the nutrional yeast.

 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Once the sauce is mixed – dump in the kale.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I normally begin mixing gently with a large wooden spoon or spatula.

But then I get in there with my hands, massaging the sauce into the leaves to ensure a good coating.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Once this is all mixed I will typically add another heaping spoonful or two of nutritional yeast.

The yeast really gives a nice flavor as well as a nice visual on the resulting chips. I like to let the kale sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavors to develop a little, but this is not necessary.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Using tongs, I carefully place the kale in a single layer in the dehydrator.

I try to give the kale some room, but I don’t mind them touching or even overlapping a little.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 I use two trays in my tray Excalibur dehydrator.

You want to leave some space in between the trays to allow for plenty of circulation.
Rotate the trays (upper for lower) about half way through.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I usually dehydrate them at about 115 degrees for 2-3 hours – until they are nice and crispy!

Check them periodically though, sometimes they need less time, sometimes they need more time.
I suspect it has to do with how much marinade is on them and what the temperature/humidity conditions are in the house.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Everyone in my house has tasted these and confirms they are good.

They have a little tang from the vinegars and soy…
and a cheesiness with a touch of saltiness.
Oh my.
SO GOOD!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Since kale is so nutritious this is a snack you can feel good about eating (and serving to your family!)

Let me know if you give them a try, or share below your favorite way to eat kale!

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