I’ve seen kale chips in the grocery store and at the farmer’s market recently and noticed two things: 1. They’re shockingly expensive! and 2. They’re not as good as homemade. Kale chips are so easy to make and I’m going to share with you my special recipe. These ones are kind of like the Doritos of kale chips and they have been very popular – my meat-and-potatoes cousin left with a bagful the last time he visited and my sister-in-law has asked for them in lieu of birthday presents! There are a lot of recipes floating around on the Internet, some of which use a high oven heat, but low temperatures will give you a lighter, crisper chip. Although I think my combination of ingredients gives the best flavor, there is a lot of leeway in the preparation: if you don’t have cashews, try almonds; if you don’t have either try tahini or peanut butter; soy sauce can be substituted for tamari; apple cider vinegar for lemon juice; and so on. In fact, you can prepare them simply with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper and they’ll be very good. I have tried other kinds of kale and found that the curly variety works the best.
1 bunch curly kale
2TBS raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or at least 3-4 hours
2TBS nutritional yeast
1TBS olive oil (or ½T olive oil + ½T toasted sesame oil)
2TBS lemon juice (or kimchi juice – YUM!)
½tsp garlic powder
½tsp onion powder
½tsp chile flakes (omit if using kimchi juice)
Rinse kale leaves and shake off excess water. (It is not necessary to dry them completely.) Remove the ribs and tear them into largish pieces – about 2 inches in size. Place them in a large bowl. Put remaining ingredients into blender and process until smooth. (I have a small personal blender that works well for this.) The consistency should be like a thick dressing, or a thin paste; if it is too thick then add a little water, 1t at a time. Pour dressing over kale and use your (clean) hands to toss and distribute it evenly, and massage it into the pieces of kale.
To Prepare Using Food Dehydrator (This method gives the most even drying and the crispest chips):
Spread the kale out on 3-4 dehydrator trays, making sure to break up clumps. Dehydrate at 145° for 2 hours and then 115° for another 2 hours, until light and crisp.
To Prepare Using Oven (These are not quite as perfect but still really good):
Preheat oven to 170°. Spread the kale out on 2 half-sheet pans and place in oven. Dry for about 2 hours, until light and crisp. When removing from pan, check for any soggy bits and eat those up right away.