Monday, May 25, 2015

Kale Chips

     
     

     The first time I had kale chips was at my friend Beth Dykema's house. My daughter Emily and I were over there, and Beth was in the process of dehydrating a batch. She allowed Emmie and me to sample this strange snack, and it took us both a great deal of self-control not to inhale the entire thing! I insisted that she tell me what she had on those things that made them so cheesy-flavored and wonderful. To my surprise, there was no cheese at all. The ingredients that made hers so delicious included these star players: ground cashews and yeast flakes. I must have made her explain the process to me a dozen times!  I stopped at "God's Green Acres" health food store in Summerville on the way home for the yeast flakes (the price tag on my bottle was $6.39) and then bought a couple bags of kale and some cashews before heading home to experiment for myself. Since then (that was a couple of years ago), we have tried a variety of seasonings (even the Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning- it was a little too salty for us), and the one below is our favorite combination. I cannot keep my husband out of this stuff and it seems that whenever I am ready to empty the dehydrator into a bowl, half of the kale is already gone (Okay, I snitch it too)! When I know Scott will be off from work, I begin a batch in the morning for an evening snack.

Ingredients:
a large bag of kale
cashews
yeast flakes (this is very different from the traditional yeast used in bread products)
garlic powder
onion powder
cumin (tastes like chili)
salt
olive oil

recommended equipment:
dehydrator
food processor

 Two unusual, but highly flavorful ingredients

First, I wash and de-stem the kale. I use one of my favorite kitchen items - turkey roasting pans!

 After the kale is rinsed, I toss them into some olive oil to make the flavors stick.
Then, I grind a few handfuls of the cashews in the mini food processor and mix them into the kale.
 I sprinkle a generous helping of the yeast flakes and mix as well.
 Finally, I sprinkle in some garlic powder, onion  powder, cumin, and salt for a little zest.
 Layer the kale into your dehydrator
 (and yes, some folks just dry this stuff in their ovens on cookie sheets).
 Pour the extra liquid from the bottom over the top of the kale to get all the flavor!
Run the dehydrator for several hours until the kale is dry and crunchy. You can store it in a container, but it is best a little warm right out of the machine. If it gets a little limp from the humidity, you can always pop it back into the dehydrator to crisp it up again. Another tip: Check your teeth after eating for little green hitchhikers!
Caught ya!

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.  I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. Genesis 9:3

~Jennifer

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