Saturday, March 9, 2013

Zesty Cheezy Kale Chips (Vegan & Paleo)

When I’m craving salty junk food I usually go for Brad’s Raw Kale Chips. Vampire Killer flavor. Who knew vegan, raw kale chips would be so tasty?! But they cost 8$ a package, and I'll inhale a package in one sitting. So I figure I could make them at home and save some money. I guess I saved a little bit of money, maybe a couple bucks. Now I know why they cost so much. This isn’t the cheapest recipe, but it delivers that zesty crunch in a healthy way. You can make them spicier by adding more jalapeno or cayenne. 

I make these 2 different ways, baked in the oven or raw in the dehydrator. I prefer the dehydrator version. I like thinking about all those raw health benefits as I eat them. They do take forever in the dehydrator, though. Luckily they turn out great either way, since my level of patience decides which method I use. 

Zest Cheezy Kale Chips Recipe

1 large bunch of kale (or 2 small bunches) Any kind of kale will do

1/2 red bell pepper
1 Cup raw soaked cashews (soaked in water for 20-40-min, then drained)
1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/2 Cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons diced jalapeno (about ¼ of a small jalapeno)
4 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons lemon juice (1 small lemon)
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of cayenne
dash of pepper

1.) If using oven method: Preheat oven to 200 and line 2 or more baking sheets with a layer of lightly greased aluminum foil.

2.)Wash and dry kale very well. Tear into 3-4 inch pieces.

3.) In a food processor or good blender mix all the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth and well-blended.

4.) In a large bowl pour sauce over kale and mix by hand. I find it easiest to put a small layer of kale in the bowl and top with a scoop of sauce, then another small layer of kale, more sauce, and so on. Then use you hands to mix and rub well, coating all the kale leaves with sauce. 

5.) Lay leaves on sheets in a single layer (If you only have 2 cookie sheets it may take 2 batches to cook).

6.) Cook on middle rack for about 90 minutes, until completely dry and crunchy. Check often toward the end to make sure they don't burn. You can remove the perfectly cooked ones and return the still soggy ones back to the oven. When done, remove from the oven and allow chips to cool on the pan. 

Coated chips before drying in the dehydrator

Dehydrator Method:
Prep kale and sauce as directed above. Lay sauce-coated leaves in a single layer on each rack. I completely fill up my 4 dehydrator racks. Turn dehydrator on to 115. Every few hours I rearrange the racks to ensure even drying. Dry for 5-7 hours, or until completely dry and crunchy. 


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