The Best “Cheezy” Kale Chips

RaisingFayeKaleChips

The best kale chips in the world.

Kale chips. You either love them, or hate them. Like with most of my food, I am fickle about kale chips. Spending close to $10 for 3 leaves of kale coated in a mild-tasting vegan concoction doesn’t have me jumping up and down the isles in the grocery store for joy.  This recipe, on the other hand, has me (and my family, and friends and their toddlers) doing backflips.

These cheezy kale chips will change your world. They are hands down, by far, my absolute favorite discovery from my vegan/raw days. Bursting with intense flavor, these chips kick all other chips’ asses. I’m not kidding–even kale/veggie haters gobble these suckers down like they are going out of style.

Whether you are trying to incorporate more greens and nutrients into your daily life, attempting to replace junk food with a healthier but phenomenal tasting alternative, or looking for a nutritional powerhouse of a snack for a toddler, I urge you to try the recipe below. You will not be disappointed.

Did I mention they are also great for your milk supply?

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Your picky toddler will eat these…and beg for more.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE (makes enough to just coat 1 small bunch of curly tuscan kale.) 

  • 1 red pepper
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 heaping Tbsp nutritional yeast (I like the cheese flavor of Bob’s Red Mill and Bragg’s brands best)
  • 1/2 tsp African Bird Pepper powder* (optional if you want it a little spicy. I usually put in only 1/8 of a tsp if Faye is going to eat them.)

As I noted above, the sauce ingredients can cover a small bunch of curly Tuscan kale. I recommend purchasing 2 average sized bunches of kale and tripling the coating recipe.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put your cashews in a bowl and cover with water (about two inches higher than the nuts). Do the same with the sunflower seeds. Leave to soak for at least 2 hours. Rinse and drain at the end of the two hours.
  2. Wash and spin dry your kale. Remove any part of the stem that goes beyond the leaf.
  3. Put all the ingredients for the sauce in a Vitamix or other high speed blender. Blend on high until mixture is smooth. (Add water a tiny bit at a time if the mixture is too thick to blend in your machine.)
  4. Transfer smooth sauce to a large bowl. Get your dehydrating trays lined with teflon sheets or baking trays lined with parchment ready because you are about to get dirty.
  5. Dip each leaf into the sauce, using your fingers to rub the sauce into all parts of the leaf. Place leaves flat in a single layer on trays. Do not overlap leaves.
  6. DEHYDRATE on the teflon sheets overnight at 118°F. The next morning, transfer leaves to mesh screens and dry for another 5 – 10 hours until crispy. OR, BAKE IN THE OVEN on your oven’s lowest setting until coating is dry and crispy, checking leaves often, flipping leaves over when top appears slightly dry, and turning and rotating pans for even cooking. (UPDATE: The feedback I’ve gotten from people who have used their oven to bake these is that it takes about 4-5 hours flipping every half hour on warm to bake.) I’ve never baked them in the oven, but my mom has and likes the dehydrated version better.
  7. TO STORE: Throw a handful of uncooked rice in the bottom of an airtight container. The rice will absorb any moisture and keep your chips crispy.

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