Monday, March 4, 2013

Healthy and right on time!

It seems like everyone is health conscious these days. We're only into the beginning of March so those New Years Resolutions and goals are still hanging on.

With that in mind I have a recipe for a REALLY healthy snack, AND it's perfect for St Patty's day because its VERY green! :)

Kale Chips

It starts with kale and ends in CRUNCH!

and YUM!

I make mine using a dehydrator but they can also be made in a low temperature oven.

Here is what went into the chips I made the other day:

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsalmic Vinegar
Nama Shoyu
Rice Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt
Nutritional Yeast
Chili Powder

First tip - do not buy preprocessed kale. I don't know why but it just isn't the same, it doesn't come out tasting right. Buy WHOLE leaves, long stems in.

I prepare mine by removing the stem first. I find it's easy to accomplish by folding the leaf over and grasping the leaf part with one hand and the stem/vein with the otherand carefully pulling the two apart.

Discard stem.

Next, I tear the leaf into small pieces.

Not necessarily bite sized, but not more than two bites or they can be messy.

As I am tearing up the kale, I place the pieces I am going to use in a salad spinner to clean and dry my kale.

I do two very full spinners for a batch of kale chips.

Once the kale is spun clean and dry I set it aside and get to work on my coating. In a VERY large bowl I mix all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the nutrional yeast.

I use a wisk and give it a quick beating.

I do not have measurements, I just eyeball it keeping in mind what flavors I enjoy most.

Then I add the nutritional yeast.

You want enough of a sauce to get in all those lovely ruffles on the kale leaves.
Once the sauce is mixed - dump in the kale.

I normally begin mixing gently with a large wooden spoon or spatula. But then I get in there with my hands, massaging the sauce into the leaves to ensure a good coating.

Once this is all mixed I will typically add another heaping spoonful or two of nutritional yeast.
The yeast really gives a nice flavor as well as a nice visual on the resulting chips.

I like to let the kale sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavors to develop a little, but this is not necessary.

Using tongs, I carefully place the kale in a single layer in the dehydrator.

 I try to give the kale some room, but I don't mind them touching or even overlapping a little.

I use two trays in my tray Excalibur dehydrator. I like to leave some space in between the trays to allow for plenty of circulation. I also will rotate the trays (upper for lower) about half way through.

I dehydrate them at about 115 degrees for 2-3 hours - until they are nice and crispy!
I check them each hour, sometimes they need less time, sometimes they need more time. I suspect it has to do with how much marinade is on them and what the temperature/humidity conditions are in the house.

Everyone in my house has tasted these and confirms they are good.

Not everyone likes them enough to choose them over other snacks, but 3 of us REALLY enjoy them.

They have a little tang from the vinegars and soy...and a cheesiness with a touch of saltiness.

I really enjoy these! I hope you do too!

And kale is REALLY REALLY good for you, so you can feel confident you are doing something good for yourself!

Post, and recipe, by Janice of Doxallo Studio

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