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Oven-baked "Cheese-y" Kale Chips

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Oven-baked

Oven-baked kale chips with "cheese-y" seasoning

Leda Meredith

You will definitely not be able to stop at just one of these chips, and that's okay because they are super healthy! The nutritional yeast gives them a "cheese-y" flavor that even vegans can enjoy, and the tahini boosts the already high calcium content of the kale, as well as contributing to the savory flavor of the chips.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Drying Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch kale, any variety

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

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325 F/163 C.

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 until smooth, then add the nutritional yeast, salt and optional cayenne. The mixture should be about the consistency of a creamy salad dressing. If it seems too thick, add a little more water.

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.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil a baking rack. Spread the kale leaves on the baking sheet or rack in a single layer. 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. If necessary, bake in several batches or on more than one tray or rack.

Bake the kale for 12 - 15 minutes until crispy but not burnt. Let the chips cool completely before removing them from the baking tray(s) or sheet(s).

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, spread them out on a baking tray and put them in a 275 F/135 C oven for 10 minutes. They will crisp up as they cool.

Variations

  • Don't have nutritional yeast or tahini on hand? No problem. Try these Simple Oven Kale Chips made with just a touch of olive oil and salt.
  • Try adding sage, ground cumin, or other seasonings to the tahini mixture before coating the leaves.
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