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My favorite munchie…

We ate so much good fresh food while out in California, but I have to say, kale was my favorite thing we ate, and it was everywhere.  From different kinds of kale salad, to kale chips, it was all delicious. A favorite in particular, was a kale chip my aunt Jane and I discovered at the SF Embarcadero Farmer’s Market.  It was honestly the best snack I’ve had.

These chips really were the perfect snack.  You have kale (and we all know the health benefits of kale), plus it’s raw (so you keep the nutrients), and, lastly, all of the ingredients are so good for you!  Unfortunately, I also learned within minutes that this snack doesn’t last long.  So at $7 a bag, I decided I had to figure out how to make this myself.

First, I saw on the bag the ingredient “nutritional yeast”.  I have heard of it before but knew nothing about it. Turns out, it is what gave these chips so much flavor.  It’s sort of a nutty, yet cheesy (parmesan) flavor.  And, as added bonus, it is great for you.  It is very rich in B vitamins, including B12, which is what gives it that yellow color.  One serving of nutritional yeast, about ½-1 tbsp, provides the full amount of B12 needed for an adult in day.  It is also a great source of 18 amino acids, protein, folic acid, biotin and other vitamins.  And, it is rich in 15 minerals including iron, magnesium, phorphorus, zinc, and chromium, and selenium.  Oh, and one ounce has 14 grams of protein.  What a super food!  I’m looking forward to adding this to soups, my cauliflower mash, salads, etc.

So after making atrip to Whole Foods (in the bulk section) to get some nutritional yeast, and Trader Joe’s to get some pre-cut, pre-washed kale, it was time to try to make this yummy snack.  Unfortunately, I don’t own a dehydrator, not yet anyway, so I had to just cook these on as low a temperature as my stove would allow. You have to plan ahead because it takes a while to cook, but they’re super easy to make.  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bag of kale (Trader Joe’s has the perfect size at 10 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup cashews (blended until flour-like consistency)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (I just ordered some from amazon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bag kale (10oz.)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon (or lime)
This mixture makes 2-3 servings worth so save the remaining in a sealed container and next time you make it, it will be super quick!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and put in an extra large mixing bowl.
  3. Add lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and set bowl aside.
  4. Blend cashews in blender and pour in a small bowl.
  5. Add nutritional yeast and salt to cashews and stir together.
  6. Pour the above mixture (about 1/3 cup) in with the kale and stir.
  7. Lay parchment paper on cookie sheet and lay kale out flat on pan.
  8. Sprinkle nutritional yeast, cashews and salt mixture over the top and place in oven.
  9. Cook for 15 minutes, turn stove off, allow to sit for a couple of hours.  I make this in the morning and it’s always such a nice surprise by lunch time!

If you only have so much time at home, I’ve learned the quickest method is to preheat oven to 300, cook for 15 minutes, turn stove off and leave it in there to dry out.  When you get home later on (hopefully at least 2 hours later) it will be ready for snacking!

Okay, it’s not pretty but this picture still makes my mouth water!  I think next time I will add some extra virgin olive oil with the apple cider vinegar and lemon mixture, maybe 2 tbsp, to add a little extra crunch.  While we all loved this, Scott still preferred the original kale chips a little more.  I think it was because he likes the texture of the original chips with the EVOO.  I’ll let you know the results (with the EVOO added ) after I test it out in a day or so.  Yes, I am making them again this week!

landriav - I love that pizza! Have been making it weekly per request from my son. And you are totally right on the kale! I need to correct that for sure. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Rob. I actually ended up saving half to use for the next day. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that. Thanks for all of your great comments!!! I appreciate it!

Rob King - Made these as well today (see Little Debbies and Chicken Salad) Word of advice to those that try. The Cashew/Nutritional Mix/Etc
mix is meant for TWO pans of Kale. My wife and I used it on one pan of Kale and it was too thick, so just a heads up so no one makes the same mistake. Our next attempt will be the Paleo Pizza i think!

landriav - I would put them in overnight so maybe 8-10 hours from what I’ve read. I tend to like the dehydrated ones better because they can be just as crispy and they also just feel a little thicker to me. You’ll have to let me know how they turn out for you. I’m dying to get a dehydrator! For a quick cook lately, we’ve also been cooking them on 300 for 10 minutes. There are so many different ways to cook them but either way, they’re good. I hope you like them!

Jill hyland - How long woul you put them in a dehydrator if you used one? I am thinking the oven may make them more crispy? Am looking forward to making them this weekend.

landriav - Ha! That is great Ashley! :) Were you trying to make the Pachamama brand? They are amazing, aren’t they??? Thanks for posting!!

Ashley - I love you for posting this! I had them and wanted to learn how to make them. Sooooo gooood!

landriav - I don’t know if it’s the cashews with the yeast that makes it so yummy but either way, this stuff is amazing! It’s suppose to be good on popcorn too. I tried it on cauliflower and it was pretty good, but so far. the kale is my favorite! I hope you like it Susan!!

Susan - Can’t wait to try this! Have some nutritional yeast taking up space in my pantry that I bought this winter for some macaroni (that bombed). We devour regular ol’ roasted kale chips over here so these will be interesting to try.

landriav - I would love to grow kale Kati!! I think if I were to grow anything, after reading your email, that would be first on my list! That is my goal, one day! Love it for smoothies, salads, and of course chips. Doesn’t it make you feel so good when your kiddos eat, or drink it?
For the almonds, I either buy almond meal from Trader Joe’s or almond flour from Honeyville, so sorry, no tricks here. I did research dehydrators yesterday so again, hopefully one day soon I dehydrate some nuts.
Missed you this morning! We had a really nice ride. The weather was amazing!! Hopefully you can make it soon! :)

Kati - Can’t wait to try these! My kale is growing like crazy so I was trying to find some new twists for our usual kale chips. If you have a sunny spot in your yard, kale is SO easy to grow and you have it at your disposal anytime you want it. Last summer we steamed it and added it to smoothies…Tyler was my green smoothie man…the girls weren’t quite as adventurous but I’ll keep trying :).

I want to make your muffin recipe also…haven’t tried baking with almond meal yet…do you make your own or buy it? I think I need to dehydrate the almonds first to get them into a smoother flour texture. Let me know if you have any tricks :).

Enjoy the ride today…one of these times I’ll be able to sync up with the schedule.

landriav - It is Cheryl!!! I already made them again today, with the EVOO, and they were extra crispy and yummy. Kids liked them better this way, I like both ways! Thanks for posting. :)

Cheryl Mosley - So glad to find this recipe. I have tried several, but this looks the yummiest!

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