Friday, August 24, 2012

Recipe: Vegan Kale Chips

Americans are snacking more than ever, as eating between meals accounts for about 20% of our daily calorie intake according to a recent study. Often those snacks aren't very healthy, as we tend to gravitate toward exceptionally salty or sweet processed treats. Kale might not be the first thing you'd think of to snack on, but kale chips are surprisingly addictive and delicious! Not to mention that kale is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables: it's high in fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and high in antioxidants which help fight disease. Simply put, kale is a wonder food!

Trust us, once you start snacking on kale chips, you will be hooked! There are plenty of great tasting pre-packaged kale chips available at the store, but making your own can be more cost effective and you can adjust the seasoning to your taste. 

Here's what you'll need:

2 bunches kale (curly works best)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup large flake nutritional yeast 
1/4 cup olive oil (+ additional for greasing pan)
1/2 cup water 
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
1 tsp cayenne (optional)
sea salt to taste


1. Soak raw cashews and raw pumpkin seeds in water, each in separate bowls, and let sit for at least two hours

2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees 
3. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with a light coat of olive oil.
4. Wash kale
5. Remove the stems and tear the leaves into pieces a few inches wide.

6. Dry kale well (it's easiest to use a salad spinner)
7. Strain cashews and pumpkin seeds and put in blender. Add nutritional yeast, olive oil, water, garlic lemon juice, cayenne (optional) or other seasoning of your choice, and salt to taste. Blend well until smooth. If the mixture is too clumpy, slowly add more water until mixture is smooth.

8. In a large bowl, place about 1/3 of the kale and 1/3 of the liquid mixture. 
9. With either your hands or a spoon, stir around the kale and mixture to coat the leaves evenly. If the leaves are coated too thick, they will not turn out as crisp.

10. Place the coated leaves on the baking sheet and let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crisp. Check the kale at 1 hour and if crisp, remove from oven. (You can put multiple baking sheets in your oven to cook more at once.)

11. Once out of the oven, the kale chips are ready to eat! However, they'll be more crisp if they cool for 15-20 minutes... but sometimes it's too hard to wait that long.

Enjoy your delicious, healthy snack!

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