Best. Kale. Chips. Ever.
I never thought I would say this, but I freaking love kale chips.
This froo froo neo hippie snack has really grown on me, especially when its the overpriced kind from my favorite overpriced health food store.
Splurging for $6 a bag kale chips might be reasonable once in a blue moon, but it's hardly justifiable when a giant bag of kale can be purchased for almost half that amount. I should just be making them at home right?
All my previous attempts at making kale chips at home have been lacking. I have followed recipes online, but they are all missing a certain something, specifically, the hearty, toothsome quality of the store-bought kale chips.
So what is the secret to home-made kale chip success?
A bit of sleuthing was in order, so I scrutinized their ingredient labels and found one constant amongst the variety of herbs, spices, and other flavorings.
Right after kale, the number two ingredient in all the awesome store-bought brands of kale chips was cashews.
Yup, cashews are the key.
With this knowledge, I got to work and this recipe, my friends, is the result of that work, a recipe that results quite simply in the...
Best. Kale. Chips. Ever.
Total time required (Prep plus cooking): ~2.5 hours
10 cups washed and chopped kale (I used a $3.99 bag of organic kale from Publix that already came prepped)
1/3 cup cashew butter (the "secret" ingredient)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup yellow mustard
1/8 cup wheat-free tamari soy sauce (if you're nervous about soy, sub with coconut aminos)
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use more or less to adjust spiciness to your taste)
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 tbsp avocado oil (plus a bit more for oiling the baking sheet)
Parchment or wax paper (makes cleaning up much easier)
2 large baking sheets
Combine all the ingredients (except for kale obviously) together in a small mixing bowl or container. I mixed the "wet" ingredients (cashew butter, apple cider vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, and avocado oil) first and then added in the "dry" spices and other seasonings separate. Stir until smooth.
Put the kale in a large mixing bowl and pour the seasoning "batter" over the top. Use your hands to combine thoroughly, ensuring that the kale is evenly coated.
Preheat your oven to 215 degrees and cover your baking sheets with parchment paper. You can rub a little avocado oil over the parchment to help prevent the kale from sticking later on.
Spread the battered kale evenly over the baking sheets and put in the oven once it has preheated.
Crack the oven door slightly to help promote air flow. The goal is to slowly dry the kale chips rather than bake them quickly.
Every 30 minutes or so, check the kale chips and, as they start drying, stir them around and switch the position of the baking sheets in the oven.
Keep this going until the kale chips are totally dry but not burned (should take about 2 hours total).
After the kale chips are done, store in a plastic bag or container lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb any excess moisture and will keep them crunchy longer.