Cheesy kale chips satisfy my lingering cravings. You see, I have a love of salty, snacky things – popcorn popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with sea salt and nutritional yeast, cheese and apples, these homemade potato chips, these seaweed snacks. And while I do my best to avoid snacking (following the recommendations of this book), sometimes the urge creeps up anyway. I reach for kale chips, those wonderful crispy bites of green and spice.
I’ve tried many a kale chip and have found my self, many times, disappointed. And while kale chips may be oh-so-passé, I can’t help but share my very favorite version with you. They’re crisp, and cheesy (though they don’t actually contain any dairy) and full of umami goodness.
How to Make Cheesy Kale Chips
Mild white miso, nutritional yeast, dulse flakes (a type of seaweed, see here), garlic sea salt and olive oil form the flavoring for these kale chips, and that combination of sweet-sour-salty miso and nutritional yeast lend a soft cheesy flavor to these kale chips. After mixing the seasoning, massaging it into the kale, you simply spread the seasoned kale onto your dehydrator’s trays, dry them until crispy and serve. It’s impossibly easy.
Using a Dehydrator for Your Kale Chips (and where to find one)
Some recipes calls for roasting kale chips in the oven, but, if you have one, use a dehydrator (you can find good ones online). Favoring a dehydrator allows you to maintain even, low temperatures, while drying kale chips in the oven runs the risk of cooking them through or unevenly. Nevermind that good quality dehydrators can be used for many, many things: super green veggie powder, homemade fruit roll-ups, herbs, homemade bouillon, making raw milk yogurt, raising bread.
The Issue of Raw Kale
And before you rise to arms and leave comment after comment about my using raw kale: What about goitrogens?!? What about oxalates?!?, let me say just a few words. Sturdy greens and cruciferous vegetables are beautiful foods, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, but they (like all foods) can be potentially problematic. Instead of fearing our food, we should understand it, enjoy it and eat a varied diet.
Kale Chips and Oxalates
Certain raw greens like kale as well as many other raw vegetables and fruits (like strawberries, parsley, sorrel, beets, elderberry, leeks, sweet potatoes, figs, need I go on?) contain a high level of oxalates – which in susceptible people or when eaten to excess – can contribute to pain and the formation of kidney stones. However, some evidence suggests that microflora in the gut can help to mitigate the effects of oxalic acid which is why it’s always good to 1) not consume foods that cause you problems, 2) never consume any single food to excess, and 3) eat fermented foods and take a good probiotic (you can find therapeutic-grade probiotics online).
Kale Chips and Goitrogens
Kale, like many cruciferous vegetables, can be goitrogenic; that is, it can interfere with thyroid function in susceptible people who consume it to excess (read more about goitrogens here).
And for the Good News
Kale is rich in antioxidants like quercetin, beta carotene and loads of flavonoids. It is also a good source of vitamin C, minerals, folate and other B vitamins. As kale is so extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, it helps to reduce oxidative stress and may help in the prevention of inflammatory conditions. And if you’re no cheesy kale chip fan, try these other kale recipes: kale and white bean soup, kale and chorizo soup, sauteed greens with garlic.
Cheesy Kale Chips
- 1 cup white miso paste
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dulse granules
- 3 bunches curly kale (trimmed of stems and torn into bite-sized pieces)
- Combine miso, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, oil and dulse into a food processor, and process until it forms a smooth paste.
- Working in batches, place kale into a large mixing bowl. Massage kale with the seasoned miso paste so that the paste adheres to the kale leaves. Layer the kale onto a lined food dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 125 F until crispy - about 12 hours.