Killer Kale Chips

Once only found wedged between the steaks and seafood or thoughtfully placed around the salad bar, kale has now come into it’s own.  High in magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamins A, K and C, lutein, (should I go on) antioxidants and – oh, maybe that steak should moove on over – kale also has iron!

Given it’s nutritional pedigree, you would think that everyone would be carrying a few stalks around in their backpack for a quick snack.  Even as an avid kale consumer, I would have to say that’s probably not the fastest route to becoming a kale lover.  I’m going to show you that kale can be tasty, it can fun and it can be a snack food.  After you try these kale chips I’m sure you will join me in giving the kale stuck in the cold case a silent salute of respect.

1 bunch of kale (purple, curly or lacinto)

Wash kale and dry thoroughly.  Remove ribs and tear into pieces.  Prepare two baking sheets, I like to use parchment paper to line them.  Preheat oven to 250 or the lowest setting.

Spicy Kale Sauce

1/3 cup of nutritional yeast*
1 T olive oil
1 T almond or cashew butter
1/2 – 1 T Sriracha Sauce
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
Sea salt, ground pepper to taste (optional and go easy on the salt)
Juice of one lemon

*Nutrition yeast can be found at most health food stores like Lassons or Whole Foods Market, some vitamin stores also sell it.  Not to be confused with Brewer’s Yeast.  I like the KAL brand, it has the best flavor.

Mix this all together in a large mixing bowl.  What you are going for is a medium paste consistency – not too watery, but not to thick either.  If you need to add more liquid, add a little water or more lemon juice.  Once you have the right consistency, add torn kale pieces and coat thoroughly.  The easiest way is to use your hands. 

Lay out the kale pieces on your baking sheets in a single layer – they can be touching because they will shrink, but they should not be on top of each other.

Baking your kale chips.  This requires patience and timing, especially the first time.  Ovens vary and they can burn very quickly.  The lower and longer you roast them, the better.  At 250, I recommend baking them for 30-35 minutes, rotating the baking sheets between the upper and lower racks at 15 minutes.  They need to be almost crispy, then turn the oven off and let them sit in the warm oven for another 10-15 minutes.  At 180, I would cook them for 1 hour, rotating at 30 minutes, test for crispness and then add on time as needed in 10 minute intervals, checking after each.  Don’t call your mom and get stuck on the phone – they will burn. 

When your family is done eating them (in 10-15 minutes) there might be a lot of small little flakes leftover, for the reluctant ones you can sprinkle that on popcorn or if everyone is unsure and frightened, crumble them all up and try this method.

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