Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kale chips

I've always poo-poohed the idea of kale chips.  Surely only an anorexic would be interested in a "chip" snack made out of what's pretty much the healthiest food ever?

But recently I read a post on this blog that I just started reading (I love how almost all the other recent posts are about cake, and then... kale chips).  The author stressed the ridiculous calcium content of these chips (for more on greens as a fantastic source of calcium and more, see this post on my friend Hannah's blog).  And, I'd just bought all that nutritional yeast...

The goop that you make to put on the kale reminded me of a souped-up version of my friends Myer and Arhia's tahini-tamari sauce--it smelled awesome, especially before all the "nootch" got added.  In the future, I will definitely make a sauce (to put on anything!) out of tahini, water, tamari, chipotle, and cayenne.  I didn't have chipotle powder, so I ground a dried chunk in the coffee mill I just use for spices.  At right: a "pinch" of chipotle.

I don't have a dehydrator, so I baked these in the oven, and damn, what an inefficient way of making a snack!  Four hours of running the oven at 170* (the lowest it goes), a hot apartment, and all I had to show for it was some weird-looking kale chunks.

But they were good.  Strange--definitely an acquired taste--but good.  So umami that they tasted salty--I had to check the sodium content of nutritional yeast to make sure it wasn't actually that salty (FYI: Nutritional Yeast Nutritional Info).  And the texture is really fun; they are very light and crispy, until you leave them out and they get a little soggy, in which case they're even weirder than before.  If I make these again, I'll use a lot less nutritional yeast.  I loved the inclusion of the carrot, though--it's like a perversely healthy version of THIS.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, cleaned and de-stemmed
3 TB tahini or other nut butter
5 TB warm water
1 1/2 TB tamari
a big pinch chipotle chile powder
medium pinch cayenne powder
3 TB, plus 1/4 c nutritional yeast, divided
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
dehydrator or a big parchment lined cookie sheet.

1.    Gather your kale leaves up into an even bundle, and cut 'em into 2" pieces.
2.    In a small bowl place the tahini and tablespoon by tablespoon mix in the warm water until smooth.
3.    Stir in the tamari, chili powders and 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast until smooth.
4.    Stir in the grated carrot.
5.    In a giant bowl, or in batches if necessary, combine the kale with the nut butter sauce. Toss really well to cover every leaf with sauce and carrots. Then sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, so that it is clinging to the leaves.
6.    Divide the kale evenly over two dehydrator trays (14" square) and dehydrate between 105-115F for 3 hours, rotating trays every thirty minutes or so and flipping the chips at least once, until dry and crispy. Alternatively, spread the kale over the large parchment covered cookie sheet and place in an oven on warm, or the lowest possible setting, until dry and crispy (try keeping the door open a few inches if you can). If using an oven, be sure to flip your kale over every hour or so to dry on both sides.

1 comment:

F said...

Next time, try this:

tahini, olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice, curry powder, oregano, chilli flakes, salt and pepper

-on stemmed kale.

Cook at 250 degrees on a wire rack in the oven for 20 minutes.

Or, you know what, maybe don't. It's addictive.