Kale chips. It’s one of those things that initiates eye rolls when you mention you love them. Go ahead and whisper behind my back while I enjoy the amazingly delicious treat I have just made myself from the mother of all health foods…Kale.
I tried buying these in the store once and they were gross. I’m not even gonna try and say they had any redeeming qualities because I would be lying. Now, most average people who try a food that activates their gag reflex would just move on and note that in their dislike column. Not this girl. I know I like kale because I have it in my smoothies, juices and in my salads. So I viewed my aversion to kale chips as a “challenge accepted” situation. After several tries and fails, I finally made kale chips my bitch.
I perused tons of recipes for kale chips and most called for a dehydrator. Child please, I can’t drop another few hondo on a dehydrator after my Vitamix and Omega juicer purchases. Luckily, with a little ingenuity and finesse this piece of equipment is unnecessary. I’m sorry dehydrator manufacturing people, sometimes the truth hurts. Dehydrators have their place in greensypants world but not where kale chips are concerned.
This recipe is just awesome. When I make them they usually get eaten immediately. I don’t even bother putting them on a plate or in a bowl. I monge them right off the baking sheet. Taking pictures for this post posed a challenge for me because I had to wait to eat them. They have an amazing garlic flavor and just the right amount of crunch. If you have tried my veggie lasagna you’ll find the flavor a little similar to the “ricotta” used in that recipe. If you don’t have any experience using cashews as a cheese substitute, I am so sorry.
I was having company one night and decided to make these. I put out a small plate of them. It was only a small plate because I ate almost all of what I had made. I was interested to see if anyone would go for them. Within minutes the plate was empty. Everyone said, “What were those? They were delicious”. Oh you know, just KALE CHIPS! First came the look of disgust. Like how could they possibly want to snack on kale chips? Then the look of confusion took over. Surely, the only reason they liked them is because they were covered in cheese and fried right? RIGHT?
Nope. Actually, my dear family and friends who always make fun of me for eating “weird” stuff, there’s no cheese. And they are not fried. How you like me now?
I really think I need to start recording these tricks I play on people and posting them for you. It is one of my greatest sources of joy.
Anyway, you’re probably wanting me to get on with it and share my secret to kale chippy goodness. So here you go…
- 3 bunches kale
- 1 cup cashews soaked at least 4 hours to soften
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- parchment paper
- slide off baking sheet (no edges)
The actual process of making these can get a little messy. Most good things in life are messy so just deal.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Wash and tear kale away from rib in pieces a little smaller than palm size. Spread pieces out on towel to let them air dry while you make the garlic spread for them.
Drain cashews and add to high speed blender along with water, garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. I said the nutritional yeast was optional only because you may not have it laying around. It has a cheesy, nutty flavor and is loaded with vitamins and protein. It also makes this kale chips go from good to amazing so get it for next time if you don’t have it now. It can be found in most bulk bins at health food stores and Whole Foods.
Blend mixture until smooth. If you don’t have a high speed blender, check out How to Choose a Blender and make that your next big purchase.
Here’s the messy part. Using your fingers, coat each kale leaf with the mixture. Make sure there isn’t large clumps on the leaves or it will be difficult to get the chips crunchy. Only a thin layer is needed. Place the leaves on a sheet of parchment paper that is slightly smaller than the baking sheet you will be using. They will look something like this…
You can use a large bowl with a lid and add a handful of kale and a spoonful of mixture and shake the bowl but I always find there ends up being a lump of it somewhere and it doesn’t easily spread. If you really are against doing the leaves one by one you can give that a whirl.
Once your leaves are all coated and on the paper, use your slide off baking sheet to place in oven by sliding paper directly onto middle rack. You can put as many sheets will fit on the middle rack but do not put any on rack above or below. The chips tend to cook unevenly that way. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven using your baking sheet. Turn each leaf and place back in oven. Check them after 8 minutes. If they aren’t crispy check every two minutes after that.
And there you go. Kale chip perfection. You’re welcome.
Good to knows:
- If the chips seem a bit soggy, place back in oven for a few minutes. I set aside soggy ones from each sheet and put all the late bloomers in together after all my sheets are done. The kale leaves are all unique in that some are more curly or contain more moisture than others so some may need a little more time to crisp up.
- If you don’t use all the mixture to coat the leaves it makes an excellent spread for crackers or toast. It also freezes well.
- Kids love these! Well, mine does anyway.
- Use the left over kale ribs in your smoothies or juices.
Enjoy your new found love for kale chips!
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