Kale is one of the most powerful superfoods on earth. Dark leafy greens have more nutrition than any other part of a plant because of the photosynthetic properties. Leaves actually turn light into energy for the plant and this requires a lot of chemistry, which means nutrients for you!
There are 3 main varieties of kale at the farmers’ markets and grocery stores: curly leaf, lacinto/dinosaur and red russian kale. They all work for kale chips, although the curly and lacinto kale work the best because they hold their texture. The basic process of kale chip making is to flavor the kale like you are dressing a salad and then dry it. Different methods of drying based on what equipment you have available take different amounts of time.
Why eat kale chips instead of potato chips or crackers?! Kale is more nutritious and it doesn’t contain any starch that turns into sugar. Starchy potatoes and grains instantly turn into sugar in your stomach, raising your insulin levels. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, inflammation and weight gain. Basically, eating kale chips instead of potato chips keeps you younger and healthier so you can enjoy life!
Recipe courtesy of Traci and Skya
1 head of kale (any variety)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons raw apple cider or coconut vinegar
Sea salt to taste
Optional: nutritional or brewer’s yeast, chipotle pepper powder, almond meal, etc.
Pull the kale leaves off of the thick stems. In a large bowl, toss the kale in the olive oil, vinegar and sea salt. Evenly coat each leaf. Taste for salt. For more flavor and nutrition options try adding brewer’s yeast, almond meal and/or chipotle powder. To dry the kale you can use a food dehydrator or the oven. Convection ovens work better than regular ovens because of air flow, but you can use either one. Spread the kale out thinly on dehydrator trays or cookie sheets. A dehydrator may take 6 - 8 hours. Ovens are faster but be careful not to let it burn. I usually do it in a regular oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit/ 93 degrees Celsius for about 2 hours, or until crisp. You may need to turn the leaves halfway through so the bottom crisps. In a convection oven you can do it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit/ 121 degrees Celsius for less time. Once cooled, store the kale chips in an airtight plastic bag. If you let them sit out too long they will become soggy and lose their crisp!
Enjoy just like potato chips, anytime, anywhere!