crunch from a bunch
January 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
Many months ago, while watching a decent amount of reality TV, I saw Kourtney Kardashian eating kale chips. It was the first time I had ever heard of them, let alone seen them – I was sold already. Never mind that I had no idea how they tasted. That’s the thing about reality TV, just when you think you are not that gullible to take it seriously, suddenly something happens where you actually learn something. In this case, I learned that a vegetable had been turned into a highly addictive snack food.
Several months ago, I found said kale chips at a wonderful natural market. Of course I bought a container of them, but the price tag stopped me in my tracks. I paid $8 dollars for 3.5 ounces of the delicious, yet expensive snack. In fact, because of the price I never bought them again. I really wanted to adopt kale chips in my life permanently – to be a healthy snacker – at least sometimes.
But I wasn’t about to let the leafy green down just like that. Since the ingredient list for the chips is rather short, I figured I could make them myself. But the problem was that I didn’t have a food dehydrator, nor do I really want another small appliance. After doing a few searches online, I was able to recreate the “nacho cheese” kale chips by adapting a recipe for the vegan cheese, as well as the simple instructions for oven-baked kale chips.
After picking up all of the ingredients at the health food store, I was not only able to achieve a remarkably similar product, but I ended up with twice as much – if not more (and everything was organic)! Thanks to this recipe, Kale chips and I have grown quite familiar. And I must say that these chips are the perfect snack to accompany a night of equally addictive reality TV.
Baked Kale Chips with Vegan “Cheese”
Vegan Cheese adapted from Suzanne Thomas (Be Well With Sue)
– 1 bunch Kale (I used curly kale)
– 1 Red Pepper
– 1 cup Raw Cashews
– Juice of 1 Lemon (I used a larger lemon)
– 4 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes
– 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
– Cayenne Pepper to taste (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove kale from the thick stem and tear into pieces. Wash the kale well and thoroughly dry. Put the kale into a very large bowl. In a food processor combine the red pepper, cashews, lemon juice, yeast flakes, salt, and cayenne (if using). Pulse on high until everything is very well combined and the cheese is able to spread smoothly.
2. Add the cheese to the kale and use your hands to thoroughly coat each piece (if you are not into using your hands in this step you can also use a spatula). Evenly spread out the coated kale chips on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure that the kale pieces are not clumped together. Bake for 45 minutes or until the chips are crisp. Check the chips halfway through the baking process. You want the chips to be crisp, but not browned. You may need to turn the chips once during baking if the underside is not crisping. Remove the chips from the baking sheet and allow to cool before eating.
Notes – Many recipes that are online call for heating the oven to 300 degrees F or higher, but I found this to be too hot. I kept the temperature at 250 degrees F – yes the chips took longer, but the edges of the kale did not over brown.
These kale chips were wonderfully spot on to the brand that I had previously purchased, and they were quite simple to make. However, they are best if eaten right away when they are still very crisp, or perhaps stored a different way. I put these chips in an airtight container overnight and the next morning they were no longer as crisp (still very tasty though), so I air-dried them back to their original crispiness.