It was pretty much love at first bite for me. Kale chips had so much more to offer than potato chips. Healthy oil and not too much, protein from the nutritional yeast (and you know how I love the hippie dust) and of course, everybody loves kale. What I didn’t love was the heart palpitation I experienced when I turned over the feather-light bag to find that my new true love cost like 10 bucks a bag! WTF?!?! And entire head of organic kale is only like $2.99 to $3.50. I really hoped this wasn’t another case of my belief that only unicorns and Cabbage Patch Kids could make such magical healthy snacks. But I figured if I could learn to make almond milk, I could learn to make this snack from heaven.
Now I don’t have a ton of gizmos in my kitchen, and the ones I do have were mostly given to me or scored at estate sales. One thing is that I live in a city where the rent per square foot is pretty much like living inside a turquoise Tiffany box, so that means my counter space real estate rivals that of a maxi pad. Not to brag. Because of this, I need my gadgets to do more than one thing, and so, alas, I have no room to store a dehydrator or counter space to just leave the thing hanging out. Plus, they are kind of ugly and I’m kind of shallow, so there’s that.
But guess what? They are easy as hell to make. And once you do it with basic ingredients, there’s nothing that can hold back the variations of possibility. So if you choose to continue reading, get ready to have kale chips all the friggin’ time. Since my first try I have had about 6 different versions. This one features purple kale because I could not resist the color plus onion and celery. Also I make mine vegan but you can make them with parmesan as well.
1 head kale, de-ribbed
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery
1/4c nutritional yeast
*1/2 t gomasio
1 T olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt
For any version, preheat your oven to it’s lowest setting, which is usually between 180-200. If you are making plain chips WITHOUT the onions and celery, just pull the ribs out of the kale and put the puffy leaves into a big ass mixing bowl. Pull them into what seem like good sized chip pieces. Sprinkle on the hippie dust and the gomasio. Now drizzle the olive oil onto it and mix up thoroughly. You want all that goodness to get on every leaf. Spread the kale out evenly on a baking sheet, just one layer deep and pop in the oven. Bake it until it’s dry. I toss mine about every 30 minutes to make sure that the moisture all takes its turn being exposed to the heat source. Takes like 2 hours. You can cook it faster at a higher heat, but they never come out as good.
If you want to use the onions and celery, put those in first because they have more moisture to dehydrate. After 30 minutes, join it all together.
Other ingredients I have added: Indian flavors of cumin, coriander, and turmeric. I’ve done a harissa version, a chipotle adobo version, sour version with red wine vinegar and garlic powder, and a white pepper and ginger version.
*The gomasio in the recipe above is special. It came from the genius herbalists at Portland Apothecary. Kristen and Ellie put it in their Community Supported Herbalism Share. They do one every season and you can order yours for Spring right now. I’m excited and honored to write the recipes for this upcoming share!
Now, go make your snacks.