August 16, 2011

Cheezy Crunchy Kale Chips

I mentioned the kale chip marinade in my last flax cracker recipe post, but I don't think I've actually posted a kale chip recipe yet. I've been making kale chips quite regularly this year since I am growing plenty of beautiful purple kale in the garden.  I spotted them in the local health food store recently and, my goodness, they were about $7+ a package for what I thought was about $.50 worth of kale.  The packaging must be expensive.  I made up my mind right there to find a good recipe we liked.  This is a very tasty recipe.  I brought some to the baby shower for Gracie and Rhonda really thought I used cheese to make them.  She had a surprised look on her face when she tasted them and said "You used cheese."  Nope, they're vegan.

I had a recipe I was using that was adequate, but this one came in summer recipe Newsletter from VegNews.  I really like it.  With the kale and tahini, they're a high calcium yummy chip.  I made just a couple substitutions:  I used the fresh kale from my garden and tamari in place of the Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  I have recently heard that Bragg's Liquid Aminos have some of the same qualities as MSG so I've decided to avoid it.

The recipe calls for 1 bunch kale, not sure how much I really used as it was more like an armload.  I doubled the recipe and it worked out just fine. Kale dehydrates faster than most the fruit I dry.  I think these were done before I went to bed, about 6-8 hours in the dehydrator.

These are a big hit at my house even with the guy who doesn't like raw kale. In fact, the last time I made some he enthusiastically helped me clean and ready all the kale.  The chips don't hang around too long when I make them. 

Cheezie, Crunchy Kale Chips
     by Kittee Berns

1 bunch kale, cleaned and de-stemmed
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons warm water
1-1/2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Tamari
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, divided
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated

1. Cut kale into 2-inch pieces I just tore them in the sizes I like, I like them a bit larger with the leaf shape still pretty much intact.

2.  In a small bowl, place the tahini and tablespoon by tablespoon, mix in the warm water until smooth.  Stir in the aminos or tamari, chili powder, and cayenne, and 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, and mix until smooth. Stir in grated carrot.

3.  In a giant bowl, or in batches if necessary, combine kale with sauce.  Toss to cover every leaf with sauce and carrots. Then add the remaining 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, so that it clings to the leaves.

4.  Divide the kale evenly over the dehydrator trays and dehydrate between 105-115ยบ for about 4-6 hours until dry and crispy.  I put one of the dehydrator trays on top of the kale to keep it from blowing off when they dry. 

They can be made using an oven on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Follow the directions for dehydrating, but when you lay the kale on the tray, try to get it in as much of a single layer as possible.  Heat the oven to its lowest temperature.  Watch carefully and flip several times at 16 to 20 minute intervals until dry and crispy.

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