When I’m being good, eating whole foods and feeling better about my choices, I still get the hankering for something crunchy. Do you? And I know better than to delve into cracker boxes, with salty rounds or pretzels that are nothing better than white bread in another costume.
So what can you do to solve the need for something crunchy? I’ve discovered a few variations on a theme of…kale! Here are two recipes in one…a savory and a sweet chocolate kale snack.
I’m hearing some groans out there is cyberspace. You’re thinking, “I don’t need any more kale. I know kale is good for you, but enough already!”
What if I told you it wouldn’t taste like kale, but still have the nutritive value? True!
So…here goes. Kale in another form that satisfies the need to chew something crisp: Kale Chips! Though it’s gained in popularity as a strong contender for Best Salad Ever as far as nutrients go, you question its ability to serve as a snack that someone would actually want to eat! Well, just try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It delivers flavor, and crunch too!
1 cup cashews, (raw for nutrition, not roasted. Soak cashews in clean water for 2 hours)
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh-squeezed, not concentrate or the frozen kind)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (you can get this at a health food store. You can use more if you want for more of a “cheesy” type of taste)
1 tsp salt or to taste
Wash kale, remove center stalks and tear into bite sized pieces. (You can leave them larger if you want a crunchy bite.) Cut red pepper in half and remove seeds. Drain water from cashews.
Place red pepper, salt, nutritional yeast, cashews and lemon in high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Coat the kale in large bowl, turning over frequently until all kale is covered.
- To use a dehydrator: place kale on dehydrator screens with non-stick sheets separating pieces as best you can for even dehydrating. After 8 hours check. Remove from non-stick sheets and place on mesh sheet and dehydrate for an additional four hours. If they are not crispy enough to break like glass keep dehydrating until fully crisp. (This may take a additional four hours.)
- To use the oven: Bake in a 200-degree oven with the door ajar for about 45 minutes. Do NOT leave them! The smell of burned kale is something you don’t want in your kitchen! Watch them carefully. It won’t be as crispy as those from a dehydrator but still pretty good.
I also have a recipe for chocolate kale chips (hard to believe but delicious!) Just mix 1/2 cup cacao powder, I cup date paste (make with soft dates and a little water to make a paste), 2 tablespoons tahini, 1/4 cup hemp hearts (seeds) for protein, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix, spread and dehydrate/bake using the directions above. Let me know what you think.
The effort for these crunchy beauties will be worth it. Enjoy! (Wait. Don’t you hate people telling you you’re supposed to love certain foods??? Instead, I hope you find these chips as satisfying as I do!)