CHEESY-HERB KALE CHIPS (DEHYDRATED—see tips below for dehydrating in an oven)
Oh my goodness. I. Can’t. Even. Am trying to type with one hand while shoving these morsels of addicting goodness in my mouth with the other!!! One of my goals is to find foods that are SO good, I would choose them even if I wasn’t an intentionally-healthy-eater. And I can tell you that I would choose these crunchy, (non-dairy) cheesy, bursting-with-herby-pizza-flavor kale chips over any kind of ‘chip’ I’ve ever bought in a bag–HANDS DOWN!! I grow organic Blue Scotch curly kale on my Tower Garden (www.cindewhite.towergarden.com for information!) and usually have an abundance of it. But while I was re-starting my kale crop with baby seedlings, our grocery store just happened to have beautifully fresh, organic, curly kale on sale for 99 cents a bunch. Great timing! I knew just what I was going to do with it!
It just so happens that I got a good deal on a dehydrator some years ago, and have dearly loved everything I’ve ever made in it. The beauty of a dehydrator is that any thing you ‘cook’ in it at 107* or less is essentially a RAW food and still has all of the benefits of a raw food. Why is that important? Because when vegetables are cooked at temperatures over 107*F, some benefits are lost: fiber is broken down, live enzymes are affected, vitamins and minerals are reduced.
We often hijack our healthy veggies on the way to the dinner table by cooking the very life out of them! I strive to eat about 80-85% of my veggies raw and the other 15-20% roasted, baked or lightly steamed. The raw portion fuels our bodies with the power-packed phytonutrients CRUCIAL to good health. The cooked portion (brown rice, beans and legumes, quinoa pasta, baked sweet potatoes, for example) still provide some nutritional benefit, but also give us an adequate amount of calories for energy. Our bodies MUST have some carbs–we just need the plant-based, whole-foods versions with phytonutrients and fiber intact…not the processed, refined, harmful-fat-laden versions. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/
So, if you want to treat your family to a tried-and-true, beyond yummy, whole-food, crunchy snack in the place of a commercial version that is swimming in transfats, refined salt, and preservatives, give these a try! Sidenote: The part where you coat the kale is oh-so-gloriously messy—your kiddos will love getting right in the middle of this kitchen project!
No dehydrator? Here are some tips for dehydrating fruits/veggies in the oven: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/how-to-dehydrate-food/
|Cheesy--Herb Kale Chips|| |
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ½ cup tomato paste (part of 1 small can)
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried Marjoram
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Basil
- ½ teaspoon dried Rosemary
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 14 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 bunch Curly Kale
- Cover cashews with filtered water and soak (refrigerated) for a minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Drain water from cashews and place in a blender or food processor. Add fresh filtered water just to cover cashews and process until creamy smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl or plastic kitchen tub, stir together the cashew cream with all remaining ingredients except the kale. Stir until evenly combined.
- Rinse and dry the kale. Pull leaves from the stems and tear into large 'chip-sized' pieces. Keep in mind that the kale will shrink as it dehydrates.
- Now for the messy part! Toss the kale with the 'pizza' flavored cashew cream several pieces at a time. No perfection here--just try to lightly coat most of the surface. It will stick a little more heavily to the curly edges.
- Place on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 12 hours or until they reach the desired level of crunchiness! See link above for dehydrating in the oven.