I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately about how to make kale chips, a snack that I tend to enjoy often but have never actually blogged about. This is irresponsible on my part– given how simple of a process it is to whip some up–and I encourage you to make them soon if you haven’t before.
If you have any outdoor space, I also encourage you to grow your own kale (now’s a great time to start for the Eastern US) in small (but deep) containers or in your garden if you have one. Here in Philly, we have just a tiny area in our urban “backyard” and we consistently have kale growing year round, with extremely little maintenance–heck, you’d have to try and get rid of it. Conventional kale is ridden with pesticides, and organic can be pricey to purchase–which is especially annoying when needing a large amount for kale chips. The kale grows well in cold temps (my plants only wilt when a snowstorm hits), is simple to harvest and regenerates often leaving you with plenty of extra kale to dehydrate/bake into crunchy munchy treats.
I make kale chips using both a dehydrator as well as my oven and find them to be equally delightful. The only issue I face is that they tend to disappear a little too quickly, particularly when sharing.
This recipe can easily be changed up to reflect your taste preferences. Not in the mood for chipotle? Instead of chipotle sauce, sub in 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend for pizza flavored chips.
For an Eastern flair, try replacing the chipotle sauce with 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger; sub the salt with tamari; use chinese five spice and a 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in place of the cumin, and sub in almond meal for the nooch.
Or simply toss with a touch of olive oil, pink salt, lemon zest and black pepper.
Seriously, the combinations are endless and all should work well provided you keep a similar wet/dry ratio. You want the individual leaves to be coated, but not dripping. Drippy leaves make soggy chips.
To dehydrate the chips using a dehydrator, lay in a single layers in your dehydrator. Let run for about 5 hours, set at 115°F or until crispy.
Easy Cheesy Chipotle Kale Chips
- Big bunch of curly kale (about 150 g or 15 medium sized leaves), stems removed, rinsed and dried completely (pat each leaf down with kitchen towel to get them nice and dry, this is key)
- 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free) such as El Yucateco or similar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Preheat your oven to 200 ºF and cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Rip the kale into bite sized pieces (about 2 x 2 inches) and toss gently with the chipotle sauce and lime juice until completely coated.
Dust with a mixture of the cumin, sea salt and nutritional yeast until coated on both sides of the kale. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet so that no kale leaves are overlapping. Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast flakes and sprinkle with paprika (smoked is good) for a dash of color.
Bake on the middle rack for 1 1/2 hours and flip. Bake an additional 1 to 2 hours, or until crisp. Let cool completely before enjoying.
Yield: about 3 cups kale chips