Overcoming the Snacking Hurdle: Hello Kale Chips!

By CHI Intern Angelina Andriacchi

Once you get into raw foods or a healthy eating lifestyle it quickly becomes apparent that not only do you need to plan out healthy meals, you also have to plan out HEALTHY SNACKS for when you get the munchies for something crunchy, or for in between meals when you want a little something small. In the beginning, choosing healthy snacks can feel overwhelming, especially once you’ve taken a trip to the grocery store and you pass the potato chip aisle and all the other unhealthy snacks that are available for a cheap cost. The only way to fight this battle is to plan ahead and have them available in your home and bring little baggies with you to snack on throughout your day. With a little preplanning the “unhealthy snacking” hurdle can be overcome with tasty variety and ease.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could find a snack that would give you vitamins and nutrients in a tasty way instead of going to a nutritionally bankrupt packaged product? The good news is, there is a cruciferous vegetable known as kale that has a rich phytochemical content. It can be transformed into a tasty snack that can take the substitute of potato chips and the like. Kale is an amazing antioxidant and actually has cancer-fighting properties that help clean out your system as it passes through. For vegans, it’s a great source of calcium, along with its Vitamin C content that aids in absorption of nutrients. Kale actually has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli. It is rich in fiber which is something that is really lacking in the typical American diet, not to mention it contains Vitamins A, K and E.

We all know the truth is that when we have the munchies and want to snack on something, sometimes we don’t care how healthy it is, we really just want to crunch on something tasty. Kale has a mild earthy flavor, which works well with many seasonings and can be prepared in a very flavorful way that will make our taste buds want to come back for more. The best part is, that Kale is in season now, between mid-winter and early spring and is available now in abundance!

When I first started my quest in searching for healthy snacks that would benefit my body and take care of what my taste buds were craving; it didn’t take long for me to discover Kale Chips as the perfect answer. Kale Chips can make a great substitute for regular potato chips, and I’ve played around in the kitchen and have been able to come up with several different flavor varieties that come close to many different potato chip flavors and the like. The fun part about making them at home is that once you get comfortable with the flavors and the different spices and foods you can combine with your kale chips the possibilities literally become endless! These are some classic flavors that you can get used to working with, and from there you can use your imagination in your own kitchen.

Hints and Tips on Preparation

Kale Chips are simple to prepare: Once you’ve washed your Kale, use a knife to de-stem the fibrous vein that runs up the middle of the leaf. I like to use my hands to break up the kale chips into bite sized pieces after that, and place those pieces in a large bowl for mixing. Take whatever marinade you’re using and evenly cover the kale pieces with the flavor of your choice.

  • It’s very important to get a good coating on your chips, not only because it promotes flavor but it also makes for a more even dehydrating process.
  • It is also important to continually mix the kale allowing the heavily-soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you’re placing them onto dehydrator sheets.
  • When you place the kale chips onto the sheets, allow them to curl up and lay on the sheet naturally. One time, my friend and I laid the kale pieces flat out pressed down and over coated them with a marinade. They dehydrated in a way that was hard to get off the sheets. They were sticky and broke apart.

Angelina’s Kale chips


Sour cream & onion

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale

1 cup cashews soaked (at least half an hour)

¾ cup rejuvelac

¼ cup lemon (if you don’t have rejuvelac use more lemon)

¼ red onion

2 green onions or scallions, (you can also use chives)

1 Tablespoon Salt (add more if need to taste)

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and massage thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you’re placing it onto dehydrator sheets/ baking sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically, you know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

Cheesy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

2 heads of kale

1 small roma tomato

2-3 red bell peppers

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon paprika

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you are placing it onto dehydrator sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically, you know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

Honey Curry Chips

Ingredients:

1 buch kale

¼ Cup raw honey

Juice from one lime

¼ cup water (may need more depending on batch)

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon salt (may need more to taste)

1/8 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite-size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you are placing it onto dehydrator sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically, you know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

Hungarian Spice Kale Chips

Ingredients:

2 heads of kale

1 small roma tomato

½ cup alfalfa sprouts

3 red bell peppers

3 tablespoon paprika

1 ½  teaspoon turmeric

1 ½ teaspoon oregano

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you are placing it onto dehydrator sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically, you know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

Italian chips

3 heads of kale

1 cup olive oil (or enough to coat kale)

½ lemon juiced

½ cup balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, pressed

½ red onion

2 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon basil

Shake in any other Italian or pizza seasonings

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you are placing it onto dehydrator sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically, you know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

SALT  & VINEGAR

Creative Health Institute uses Braggs apple cider vinegar because it is the healthiest vinegar to use.  Use a better primordial salt like Himalayan or sea salt, don’t use regular table salt. A: the better primordial salt tastes better. B: regular table salt will actually leach minerals out of you, and primordial salts will actually help bring trace minerals into your system.

Work with the ratio and add olive oil and lemon juice in and massage into your kale chips, coating them evenly.

Preparation:

Wash and De-stem kale and break up into leafy bite size pieces. Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. Depending on consistency of the batch, you may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale. Continually mix the kale allowing the heavily soaked chips on the bottom to come to the top of the bowl as you are placing it onto dehydrator sheets/ baking sheets. Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 6 hours @ 115 degrees. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly. Check on the kale chips periodically. You know that they are done when the moisture is gone and they have a crispy texture. Place into baggies and use as a snack for the road: if they can last that long! Bon Appetite!

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