I meant to make kale chips last Monday, so I could take some to a client on Tuesday morning (she’s doing an elimination diet—which she affectionately calls the No Diet… Can you eat this? No.). However, I ran out of time, and the kale stayed in my fridge until today.
The great thing about kale is that it is super hardy. I know this because it lasted for 9 days in my fridge, and it was still in perfect condition. Also, my Mom planted kale last summer and the plant still provided good leaves (after multiple frosts) until winter (I know this because I took some one day in December and cooked it for lunch).
Nutritionally, kale is a powerhouse. I think you’ve probably seen the benefits of kale advertised quite well by now (you know, it is cancer preventing, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and has super anti-oxidant powers).
I love kale, and I put it in a similar category with broccoli and brussels sprouts. In fact, I try to have at least 3 cups of one or more of those 3 foods everyday. Broccoli is often the easiest, brussels sprouts are often the yummiest, and kale can be used in a lot of different ways!
I love to make kale chips for myself, and also to show people that eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be boring.
I make samples to give out at wellness fairs (pizza flavored, because people always love them), and I make them for myself. I used to always use a cashew base, but man, the density of those can make kale chips pretty darn heavy (and I like to eat a lot of them). If you want to keep your kale chips really simple, a good option is to just massage the kale pieces with a good quality oil (olive, macadamia nut, or coconut are my favorites), and add some unrefined sea salt, black pepper, and whatever herbs you enjoy (then dehydrate or bake).
Today, I wanted to modify my pizza kale chip recipe to sub in hemp seeds instead of cashews (because on my elimination diet I can’t eat the cashews, but hemp seeds are ok—besides, hemp is an awesome source of usable protein!).
Pizza Kale Chips, the hemp edition
In the blender (or food processor):
3/4 cup hemp seeds
3/4 cup water
1/8 – 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional–this makes it cheesier tasting)
1/2 to 1 Tbsp Pizza Seasoning (I used Frontier Organic)
2 hot peppers (optional—and also “to taste.” I recommend adding one and then tasting it before you add more heat–but if you don’t like spicy food, just leave it out!)
3-4 sundried tomatoes or 1/4 cup fresh tomatoes
1-2 roasted red peppers (optional—if you add this, you can cut the hemp seeds to 1/2 cup and the water to 1/2 cup)
Blend till smooth. Massage batter into chip-sized kale pieces (not stalks) from 1 bunch of kale (about 7 kale leaves). Spread onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight (or a higher temp for a few hours–sometimes I do 155 degrees for 2 or 3 hours). You can also do these in the oven. Just heat the oven to its lowest temp, spread the kale chips onto cookie sheets, and bake with over door open until crispy (watch closely, once they start to burn they go fast!).
Please note: with kale leaves being different sizes, and different brands of ingredients having variations in flavor, the very best advice I can give is to taste the sauce after you blend it and then add what you think it needs before you massage the kale with it! Full disclosure: once, my sauce turned out very bitter, and I didn’t know what to do to fix it, so I added some ketchup…and then it was awesome.
Have you had kale chips? What’s your go-to crunchy snack? I often have clients tell me they are looking for a crunchy chip-like snack to have in the evenings or when they get cravings… I usually tell them about kale chips first, and if they look at me like I’m crazy, then I tell them to try air popped popcorn with herbs or black pepper/sea salt.
I hope you’re having a great week! I’ve been focusing mostly on work, but I have some fun things to look forward to this weekend too.