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Cheesy Raw Vegan Kale Chips

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Cheesy Raw Vegan Kale Chips

Purple and green kale leaves

Leda Meredith

Kale chips are addictively tasty and yet totally good for you - a much healthier option than deep-fried potato chips! This recipe takes them to an even yummier level by adding the savory, cheese-like flavor of nutritional yeast. Raw food enthusiasts take note: the low temperature method yields a raw food product.

If you don't have a dehydrator, and aren't concerned about keeping it raw, you can use the oven method to make kale chips.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Drying Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Approximately 1 quart of chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch kale, any variety

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar OR lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Preparation:

Strip the leaves away from the leafstalks and tough midribs (if you dry the whole leaves, the midribs end up with the consistency of twigs - not tasty!). Compost the leafstalks or save for soup stock.

Wash the kale leaves and dry well in a salad spinner or by gently rolling the leaves in a clean dishtowel. Tear the washed and dried leaves into just slightly larger than chip sized pieces; they will shrink slightly as they dry.

Whisk together the vinegar or lemon juice, tahini and water. It should be about the consistency of salad dressing. If it seems too thick add a little more water. Whisk in the nutritional yeast, salt and optional cayenne.

Use your clean hands to toss the kale in a large bowl with the other ingredients. Massage the leaves well: all of the leaves should be more or less evenly coated with the seasoning mixture.

Place a sheet of parchment paper or other non-stick drying sheet under the bottom tray of the dehydrator to catch any drips. Spread the kale leaves on the dehydrator trays in single layers. Do not crowd the leaves or they will not dry evenly. It is alright if the leaves touch, but they shouldn't overlap too much.

Dry the kale at 110F/43C for about 8 hours (overnight or while you're at work). If the leaves aren't completely crispy-dry, give them a couple more hours in the dehydrator.

Serve immediately, or transfer to airtight containers. For longterm storage, you can vacuum seal the dehydrated kale.

Tip: lactinato kale, also called dinosaur kale, is a bit harder to coat evenly with the tahini mixture, but seems to keep its crunch longer once dehydrated.

If your kale chips lose their crunch in storage, you can re-crisp them in the dehydrator at 110F/43C for an hour. If you don't mind that they will no longer be a raw food product, you can put them in a low (200F/93C) oven for 10 minutes.

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