Dehydrated kale chips are addictive and yummy, yet totally good for you. They are a much healthier option than deep-fried potato chips. There are two methods for making them with a food dehydrator and both very easy. Raw food enthusiasts take note: the low-temperature method yields a raw food product.
If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the oven method to make kale chips.
- 1 large bunch kale, any variety
- 2 - 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Preparing the Kale
Strip the leaves away from the leaf stalks and tough midribs. You don't want to dry the whole leaves as the midribs end up with the consistency of twigs, and they are not tasty. Compost the leafstalks or save for soup stock.
Wash the kale leaves and dry them well in a salad spinner or by gently rolling the leaves in a clean dishtowel.
Tear the washed and dried leaves into just slightly larger than chip-sized pieces; they will shrink slightly as they dry.
Mixing the Ingredients
Toss the kale in a large bowl with the extra-virgin olive oil and the salt. Massage the leaves well with your clean hands. All of the leaves should be more or less evenly coated with the oil.
If you like spicy flavors, add a dash of cayenne pepper. You could also add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Loading the Dehydrator Trays
Spread the leaves on the dehydrator trays in single layers. Do not crowd the leaves or they will not dry evenly. It is alright if the leaves touch, but they shouldn't overlap too much.
"Quick" Dehydrator Method
This method doesn't result in chips that qualify as raw food, but the result is still very good and ready in half the time of the low-temperature method below.
Dry the kale at 145F/63C for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 115F/46C and dry for an additional 3 to 4 hours until crispy dry. Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.
Low-Temperature Raw Food Method
Dry the kale at 110F/43C for about 8 hours (overnight or while you're at work). Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.
Tips for Dehydrated Kale Chips
- Lactinato kale, also called dinosaur kale, is a bit harder to coat evenly with the oil, but seems to keep its crunch longer once dehydrated.
- If your kale chips lose their crunch in storage, you can re-crisp them in a low (200F/93C) oven for 10 minutes, or in the dehydrator at 110F/43C for an hour.