Kale Chips

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Kale Chips are a delicious snack and taste great crumbled on salads, grains and vegetables. They can be found in all many markets, and are a healthier alternative to chips. After trying a few different brands, I found they were either too salty or over spiced. I set out to make my own and found they are super quick and easy to make. If you don’t have a dehydrator, they can be slow baked in the oven. The recipe for both follows. After many different tries, the favorite has been creating a paste in the blender of  olive oil,  lemon juice, raw almonds, raw walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, sesame seeds and if you want a little heat, a few pinches of red pepper flakes. They can be made with any spices and nuts you have on hand. Sesame seeds give the chips a nice flavor, as do cashews.

Start with one to two heads of Lacinato kale. Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale because of its bumpy texture, is slightly sweeter than curly kale and stays crunchier longer after it is dried or slow baked.

Strip the kale leaves from the large ribs. The smaller ribs at the top can remain. I like to keep the pieces large, as they shrink considerably once dried. Start at the bottom of the rib, hold rib with one hand and pull leaves down with other. Leaves should strip away easily and stay in tact.

Once stripped, wash and dry the leaves by rolling in a clean, dry dish towel. Set aside while you begin working on the seasonings. Discard the ribs.

Using a blender, combine olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, raw almonds, raw walnuts, sea salt and if using, red pepper flakes.  The paste should resemble hummus in texture. If it is too thick, add additional oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Add mixture to the kale mixture and massage into the leaves, spreading evenly among the kale. If using a dehydrator, spread onto sheets, leaving space between between the kale leave to ensure they get crispy.

If baking in the oven, spread evenly onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds if want cheesier chips, some more nutritional yeast.

Place into the dehydrator or preheated oven and follow the instructions in the recipe.

Kale ready for the dehydrator.

Once reach desired crunchiness, remove and enjoy.

Finished kale chips

Kale Chips

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Snack
Servings: 6
Calories: 215kcal

Equipment

  • Dehydrator
  • If baking in oven, baking sheets and parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 2 heads Lacinato kale
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbs raw sesame seeds

Instructions

Baked Kale Chips

  • Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  • Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Strip kale leaves from ribs. Rinse well with cool water and dry by rolling in a clean dish towel. Place in large bowl and set aside.
  • Place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender. Process until smooth. Consistency should be a little thinner than hummus. If too thick, add more olive oil and lemon juice a tablespoon at a time until reach desired consistency.
  • Pour mixture over kale and massage into both sides of kale, spreading evenly. Place onto baking sheets, leaving space between. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and additional nutritional yeast.
  • Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, flip an return to oven for an additional 8 minutes. If they are still damp, continue to bake for a few minutes, checking frequently. Kale chips should be crispy but not burned. Times will vary depending on your oven and the level of humidity.
  • Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy within a few days. After several days, Kale Chips lose their crunch!

Dehydrated Kale Chips

  • Set dehyrdator to 125ºF
  • Strip kale leaves from ribs. Rinse well with cool water and dry by rolling in clean dish towel. Place in large bowl and set aside.
  • Place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender. Process until smooth. Consistency should be a little thinner than hummus. If too thick, add more olive oil and lemon juice a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
  • Pour mixture over kale and massage into both sides of kale, spreading evenly. Place onto dehydrator trays, leaving space the leaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and additional nutritional yeast.
  • Place trays into dehydrator. Follow your dehydrator instructions for cooking times. Times will range from 8-14 hours. Remove from trays and enjoy within a few days. After several days Kale Chips lose their crunch!

Notes

Note:
Experiment with other flavors and spices such as dill, turmeric, onion, chili pepper, lime.  There are endless possibilities. 
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