Recipe for Raw Kale Chips (Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free)

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This is a delicious little snack food that needs to be considered a "treat" vs. an everyday staple of the raw diet.  As with many "raw" recipes, it will be necessary to dehydrate the Kale to obtain that near-the-traditional (cooked)-thing mouth appeal.  I bought myself an Excalibur dehydrator early on in my raw food experience but any brand will do, and if you absolutely must have the chips, even an oven will work-- preheat your regular oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit/60 degrees Celsius or the lowest setting, and spread out your chips on parchment paper on cookie sheets.  Put them into the oven with the door slightly propped open with a butter knife or chopstick.  Your chips (or other dehydrated foods) will take a long time to dry satisfactorily this way and it is not an environmentally friendly method, so use it sparingly, and you will likely want to invest in a dehydrator with a timer pretty soon into the process.

Tools I use for the process:
*Coffee Bean Grinder: I grind up my seeds in this.  I got my coffee bean grinder with points I'd saved up at a local grocery chain.  They are usually in the price range of $17 up.  I wouldn't buy a 'used one' since they tend to have a shorter life span to begin with.
*Food Processor: I bought a beautiful old Cuisinart off Craigslist in Vancouver for $50 and just love it, although it does have its idiosyncracies (sometimes the lid needs to be held on, and it didn't come with an operating manual but that's what Google is for, right?).  There are still people out there who have received a Cuisinart or like-food processor as a gift and never used it.  Check out garage sales, etc.  It's another great investment along with a good blender and a dehydrator and... well, the allure of raw cuisine tools and gadgets do become rather addicting I'm afraid.  You can also use a high speed blender like Vitamix to make the chip seasoning, but I find the food processor just a little easier to get the stuff out of and to clean up afterwards.
*Dehydrator: As mentioned above, if you are going to do raw "crackers, breads, chips, cookies" etc., you will eventually want to invest in a good timer-type dehydrator.  I originally had one of the circular variety of dehydrators but found that there wasn't enough space to accommodate large recipes, and the less expensive ones don't have timers, plus they are harder to clean up (my experience), but use whatever you have, including the oven (see above) if you are really wanting these irresistable Kale Chips.  I do NOT use the non-stick dryer sheets for the kale chips recipe since the seasoning I use is quite thick and doesn't leak through the regular grid sheets.  The odd chip might stick a little, but not enough to go through the process of flipping the chips from the non-stick sheets to complete their drying mid-way through the drying cycle.  I just plant them and let them go the whole whack of time without disturbing. (I'm lazy?)
*A really Big Bowl (like a bread-making bowl, what I use) or maybe a large turkey Roaster


So, here are the ingredients to assemble to make the Kale Chips:
*2 large heads of Kale, any kind
*3/4 C. Tahini OR 3/4 C. of raw Sesame Seeds
*1/2 C. Water
*1/4 C. Tamari OR Bragg's Liquid Soy Seasoning (gluten-free)
*1/3 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
*2-3 minced Cloves of Garlic
*Pinch of Celtic Sea Salt (optional)
*1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast (NOT Baker's Yeast NOR Brewer's Yeast)

METHOD:
*Line up your dehydrator trays along the counter where you are preparing your chips
*Wash and tear up the Kale Leaves.
*Put the Kale into the big bowl or roaster
*If using Sesame Seeds vs. Tahini (what I do-- cheaper and I think tastes better), grind up the seeds in your coffee bean grinder until meal, or your Vitamix.  Add the ground seeds OR Tahini to your Food Processor bowl along with the Water
*Add all other ingredients to the Food Processor and run/pulse until smooth.  Capture all the cream from the walls of the processor with a spatula.
*Pour the smooth sauce over the Kale in the big bowl
*Gently 'massage' the sauce into the individual leaves with your (clean!) hands until all leaves are covered
*Fill the trays with the individual leaves. I like to be near the sink and wash my hands off between trays-- maybe just me
*Pop into the dehydrator at 104 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celsius
*Dehydrate until crispy (6-10 hours, depending on your dehydrator, the moisture in the air, etc.)
*Cool slightly before putting into ziplock bags (again, gently) or other storage
*Try NOT to eat most of the chips before they are finished coming out of the dehydrator (hard discipline lol)
*Double the recipe to share at a potluck or take to work, classes
*Experiment with other vegan ingredients that you like such as lemon juice vs. apple cider vinegar, onion, various herbs and spices
*Left-over sauce? Use as a veggie dip or salad dressing (it is sensationally cheezy)
*This recipe was an adaptation of the one by the Renegade Health team of AnnMarie and Kevin Gianni

To your living health!


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