My mom visited last weekend, and while I planned to take her to regular restaurants the whole time, she actually requested that I make her a raw meal! We had a sampling of things…among them, my pesto-flavored kale chips, which she had heard me rave about and was eager to try.
I can understand how even someone whole loves veggies might be a little turned off by kale…you could call it tough and chewy straight from the garden, and it definitely tastes very, very green. But it has tons of nutrients – tons of vitamin A and C, and a bunch (pun intended) of iron and calcium. And, if you turn kale into chips, it is really darn tasty! My Guy frequently refers to them as his favorite “greasy bar treat.” When something that used to be the garnish under a pile of onion rings becomes the main event, you know it has arrived.
For my chips I use an entire huge bunch of kale. Tear it into pieces the size of, say, large Tostitos, excluding the huge center stems, and wash it really well – you want the chips to be crunchy for all the right reasons, and sand is not one of them.
In a food processor, combine:
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil (use more if you love basil, or none if you want your chips to taste cheesy as opposed to pesto-y)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Juice of one lemon
About ½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hefty dash of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
Working in batches (I do half and half – of you have a huge bowl, you can do it all at once), smoosh dressing into kale so that all the leaves are well coated
Lay on mesh dehydrator sheets…its okay if the edges are touching, but you don’t want them to overlap…and dehydrate for 4 hours or so at 105, until they are dry and crispy. If you are lucky, you’ll still have half a batch in there by the time they are all done – they are so tasty, I’m dipping into the dehydrator all day! If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could just marinate the kale in this dressing and then eat it up, or put them in a regular oven at the lowest temp…I’m not sure on the timing in a regular oven, and I would imagine you’d want to flip the chips occasionally if they were on a non-breathable surface.
Collard greens also work pretty well, and they are flatter than traditional kale, and also come out really yummy. And this is a bargain…kale is very inexpensive, whereas I’ve bought tiny packages if kale chips at the health food store for literally $8 (shame on me, I know), so this recipe is a winner all around. And FYI, mom LOVED ‘em!