Kale chips have invaded the snack food section of most grocery stores, are being sold at Starbucks, and can even be found in most major airports. Like Hansel from the movie Zoolander, kale chips are “so hot right now”.
I’m stoked about this trendy new snack food. Dark leafy greens, such as kale, are one of the healthiest foods we can consume. They made my list of 3 Superfoods To Eat Every Day because their consumption appears to lower our chances of developing a variety of chronic disease, including: cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cognitive decline.
Kale chips aren’t fried like other chips, and their seasoning blends tend to be pretty healthy as they are often a mix of nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs.
The only thing holding me back from buying kale chips by the truckload, is the fact that they are packaged in a plastic container. Since I’m trying to use as little plastic as possible, I find myself in a moral dilemma every time I walk by them in the store. Do I buy the kale chips because they are extremely healthy? Or do I pass because they’re packaged in plastic, which I’m trying to use less of? Decisions, decisions, decisions. Then it dawned on me, I can make my own kale chips! This way, I can enjoy these healthy and tasty little snacks, without using any plastic. It’s a win-win!
The first time I made kale chips I burned them to a crisp (and not in a good way). The second time I made kale chips, they turned out great! Here’s the recipe:
- As I’ve mentioned earlier, dark, leafy greens are true superfoods. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and beneficial pigments, they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can consume.
- Cashews, like most nuts, are a good source of heart-healthy fat. They are also rich in plant-based protein, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
- Nutritional yeast is a staple food in most vegan kitchens because of its cheesy flavor. At only 20 calories per tablespoon, and low in sodium, nutritional yeast is a great topping for popcorn, pasta, or anything else that typically includes a sprinkle of cheese. It’s rich in B-vitamins, fiber, plant-based protein, and various minerals.
- Lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C.
- Garlic has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth in a petri dish. Observational studies suggest that garlic consumption is associated with lower rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Turmeric is known to contain compounds with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- 1 bunch of green kale, de-stemmed, torn into chip-size pieces, rinsed, and dried (make sure the kale is well dried)
- ¾ cup of raw, unsalted cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours, then drained
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice from one lemon (about 2-3 tbsp)
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast flakes
- 6-7 medium garlic cloves
- ½ tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Add everything except the kale to a food processor and blend until a smooth puree.
- In a large bowl, add the kale and cashew puree.
- Massage the puree into the kale pieces, coating evenly.
- Spread the kale in a single layer over 2-3 large baking sheets.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the kale is crisp. If there are still a few soggy pieces after 30 minutes, remove the crisp ones, and put the soggy ones back in the oven until they're crisp.