Monday, 5 September 2011

Kale chips.

One of the true joys of raw food, not that I am a raw foodist, but I do truly enjoy eating raw foods whenever possible, is kale chips.  I suppose there are many different flavours you can make, but my favourite uses nutritional yeast.

To make kale chips you can either bake them in the oven or use a dehydrator.  I have made them before in my oven, but because it doesn't have a low enough setting (the lower temperature, the better), I decided to ask for a food dehydrator as a Christmas present last year. I have gotten a lot of use out of it, making not only kale chips, but also fruit roll-ups, various other types of chips and dehydrated tomatoes and apricots.  I'm always looking for ways to use my dehydrator because I find it has such a nice effect on the taste of many foods.

After you have cleaned and torn up a bunch of kale into bite sized pieces, you get as much of the water off of the kale as possible then make the sauce that you will use to flavour the kale.  I use about a 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, 3 tbsp of light soy sauce, 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp of pureed garlic and 2 tbsp of tahini.  I love the tahini in the kale chips, it really makes them feel more substantial than they are (once the kale finishes dehydrating, it will be papery thin).  You will notice that I don't use any oil, but that is a matter of preference more than anything else, I don't find it adds anything, so I don't bother.
You then add the washed kale and massage the kale with the sauce until it is as evenly coated as possible.  You will find that despite your best efforts, there will be some pieces with more sauce than others.
You then spread the kale out (I do it piece by piece) evenly on whatever surface you intend to use to bake the kale on, be it a baking pan (if you are making the kale chips in the oven) or on the dehydrator trays.  If you are going to use a dehydrator, it will take about 3-4 hours to dehydrate the kale at 105 degrees fahrenheit, and you will have to switch the direction the trays are facing half way through because they most likely will dehydrate more quickly in the back of the dehydrator.  If you are using an oven, I can't remember what the timing is like, but it will be much faster and I advise that you spray some cooking spray on the baking sheet so the kale won't stick.  When I made my chips in the oven, I baked on 200 degrees fahrenheit (the lowest temperature on our stove) and after about fifteen minutes started taking the chips out of the oven every ten minutes to check on them.  The kale chips are done when they are dry and crispy.

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