Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cheesy Kale Chips

My kale chips have evolved already.  We have a lot of kale still, so I have done a lot of experimenting.  The simple recipe that I started out with was fine for crushing and sprinkling on pizza, sandwiches and noodles. Two of my kids actually ate them plain in large quantities, I was impressed, but there was a definite after taste that kept me from snacking.

One of my readers had mentioned a local olive mill that makes great olive oil. A few weeks after, my Backyard Farmer was offering their lovely products.  I was hooked instantly and started trying my new dipping oil (a blend of extra virgin olive oil, basalmic vinegar and herbs) on everything.  You know it ended up on kale and made them delicious on their own.  Now all three kids downed them.  I snacked some and sprinkled liberally on many plates.  We went through 3 lbs of kale in a week.  I was happy with making the rest of my plants this way to get them out of my garden for the season.

But a couple weeks later, at the Phoenix Farmer’s Market, we got a sample of kale chips with more substance.  After checking the ingredients, I said no, thank you to the 3 ounce bag for 7 bucks and soon after pulled up a plant to get started on my own.  They were an instant hit.  I had to keep the kids (and myself) from eating too much at a time.  Even my husband thought they were pretty good and he is an avid anti-kale person.

I used my awesome dehydrator that I got for my birthday.  The first batch I did raw and the second I decided to heat to 150 degrees.  The end result was hardly any different.  Raw kale, although full of enzymes, can be hard on digestion and thyroid.  I was reminded of this when the kids wanted me to come see what they did in the toilet.  A low heat bake is a happy medium.

So, what makes these cheesy?  Not cheese!  I used ground raw cashews (that I soaked and dehydrated first) and nutritional yeast.  At the market, they also added red pepper.  The nuts stick to the kale making the chips thicker and sweeter with a cheesy tang.  Love it!

2 lbs kale
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup raw cashews, ground
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Strip the kale from the tough stems, wash, dry and set aside.  Make a dressing in a large bowl with the oil, lemon juice and salt.  Toss kale to coat.  Sprinkle with fine ground nuts and nutritional yeast.  Toss again.  Place kale in a single layer on dehydrator sheets or baking pan.  Dehydrate for 2 hours at 150 degrees or bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees, turning halfway through cook time.
links; Hearth and Soul Hop, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Encouragement is Contagious


  1. Hmmm... I think I need to try this recipe. I made kale chips for the first time a few weeks ago, but I didn't like them at all. However, your recipe sounds much better!

  2. I love just plain kale chips. That's so cool that nuts would make them cheesy.

    The comment about the kid's toilet accomplishment cracked me up.

  3. That sounds really good! I am definitely going to try this. Thank you.

  4. YUMMY! Sounds great!

    I would love for you to come link up at my new "Encouragement is Contagious!" linky party! You can share your favorite posts from someone else's blog to encourage them, and share your favorite from your own blog and get lots of visits :)

    Have a great day!
    Melanie :)

  5. I have never tasted kale chips - but I bet I would love these, the nutty cheesy flavor sounds yum! Thanks for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  6. I have been completely stuck on kale chips ever since my kale has been growing like crazy in my garden! I was given a recipe very similar to yours by a friend (her's had a red bell pepper in the mix). I was a complete non believer in the whole nutritional yeast thing adding a cheesy flavor. But man these are good. Now I typically leave out the cashews and the olive oil because they add so many calories. I just barely spritz them with the olive oil and they still turn out wonderful!

  7. Leiah, how did she add the red pepper, just finely chopped?

    Kale is more easily digested and the nutrients assimilated when eaten with ample fat. No need to skimp!

  8. Thanks for sharing! I tried kale chips recently and loved it. I am excited to try this!

    Also, while I am here, there is a new website for the Phoenix area with deals, events, restaurant reviews, etc... great place to go if you are looking for valley fun!


  9. these look yummy! I posted your mayo recipe on my blog. I linked back and gave you credit for the recipe and the picture, let me know if you are not ok with that. Thanks for all your inspiring recipes! I think you should post every day!

  10. I want to post everyday!! Thanks for the link on your blog and for all the hard work you do to spread good health.

  11. Kara, do you know what I could sub for the cashews (Max is allergic)? These look so yummy!

  12. You could do the original recipe, or try The Backyard Farmer's dipping oil. Maybe almonds would work. If you like the taste of flax, I would guess a flax meal would work too.

  13. Is nutritional yeast different than the SAF yeast I use for my bread? If so, where do I find it and is there a brand you recommend?

  14. Nutritional yeast is not the same as SAF. I have only used the Braggs brand. I get it through azure standard, but amazon also carries it; http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002863BIW/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=tasistru-20&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B002863BIW&adid=0CM4E3WP7K1VJMZSFVY3&

  15. So cashew nuts is great for kale? I didn't know this two can go together deliciously. Creative substitute for cheese. A healthy alternative, too. What other nuts can be used for this recipe?


It's rude to eat and run. Humor me with conversation please!

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