Cheesy Kale Chips

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I have pulled myself away from devouring the latest batch of these delicious yummies in order to share the recipe with you. You will need a dehydrator that you can adjust the temperature on. I use and recommend the Excalibur dehydrator. (link to the left side of the blog for you to check it out)

First you need one of those big bags of washed, cut kale (or you could use collards) from the produce department. They are probably about 2 gallons in size.

At home you need to mix up the following ingredients in your food processor, blender, or whatever similar equipment you've got:

2/3 (two thirds) cup raw cashews
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons water
half a cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 teaspoon sea salt
half cup nutritional yeast (this is what gives it the cheesy flavor and is a good source of vitamin B12)
about a half cup finely minced onion (I used Thrive freeze dried onion and added a little extra water to the mixture)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
half a teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of that up until it's mixed well. It'll be a little chunky because of the onion and cashews.

I used two very large bowls to put the kale in. If you take the time to rip the kale leaves away from their big stems, it will make for more convenient eatin' later on. (Those stems are very tough and not nice to eat. You can leave them on and just rip them away later as you're snacking, but once you see how fast you want to stick these in your mouth, you'll wish you could do so without the unpleasant surprise of those tough stems!)

I split the kale in two bowls just because the mixing goes a little easier. Pour half of the cashew and liquid mix onto each bowl of kale and just mix it up with a big spoon or spatula. You want to get all the pieces coated as much as you can.

Next you need your Excalibur dehydrator and the teflex sheets* that go with it. For this size batch I usually fill 3 trays with the now-coated kale leaves. Just gently plop them on the teflex and try to spread them out to be fairly even and not too lumped up on each other. When you put the trays back into the dehydrator you'll need to use every-other rung in order to have space for the height of the kale.

Put the door back onto your dehydrator and turn it up to 115 degrees and let it do it's thing for at least 12 hours or until not damp at all. It's a weird smell to wake up to, but very convenient to do overnight, since you can just let the dehydrator go til lunch time when you want some of these for a snack.

Warning: Turn off the dehydrator before you remove the door to check on the kale. The blower will blow the delicate, dehydrated leaves right out if you aren't careful. :) (ask me how I know)

Store these in an air-tight container. If they lose some of their crisp-ness, just throw 'em back in the dehydrator for a little while and that'll take care of that.

The large bag of kale costs less than $3 at my Kroger, and the ingredients for the sauce are quite economical. Such an easy way to enjoy your greens, and an easy way to sell them to your kids!

*If you don't have the teflex sheets, you could use parchment paper if you needed to. I've done it in a pinch and it worked fine, though not as convenient.

**I adapted this recipe from one I think I got from Green Smoothie Girl. I have tried some other kale chip recipes, but this one is the best tasting and most successful one I have tried.

Let me know how it goes for you.

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