Chips, or actually, crisps made from Kale. Light, airy, little, wisps of flavor. Flavor that costs a ton of money. Look at these prices! Well, now. We don’t have to pay those kind of prices, do we. Nope! We don’t. I have a dehydrator. Sure, you have the initial output of cash to buy the dehydrator, but you can do so much with it. Careful shopping can get you one on sale, or use one of those 20% off coupons that Bed Bath & Beyond are always sending out. Still not willing to put out the cash? Look at it this way. You’ll be saving all that money and more, simply by reducing your waste. Parsley about to go bad? Dry it. Far, too many jalapenos in your harvest? Dry them. Freeze coming and your pretty, purple basil plant is loaded with leaves? Dry them! Make the kid’s some fruit roll ups. That way, you’ll know for sure what they are made of. Just fill the dehydrator, turn it on and go read a book. It’s that easy. The savings will really add up. I paid $2.50 for a pound of organic kale and it made a gallon baggie full of crisps. Those are real savings.
Let’s make some kale chips, ok?
The special equipment needed? The dehydrator and a salad spinner. That’s it. This is going to be easy. Open the salad spinner and set it beside you and the kale. Fold a kale stem in half and hold it in one hand, using the stem and a handle. Use the other hand and tear handfuls of kale off and drop them into the spinner basket.
You want the pieces of kale to be around 3 inches wide. They shrink up quite a bit, so bigger is better. Keep going until all the kale is torn. Then, carry the spinner basket to the sink and rinse the kale off.
Shake off the water and pop the basket back into the spinner and spin it!
Spread out a clean kitchen towel on your counter and rump the kale out onto it. Grab a paper towel and blot up the excess moisture from the leaves.
Take that same paper towel and dry out the salad spinner bowl.
Place half the kale into the spinner bowl.
Drizzle them with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
and rub it into the leaves with your fingers.
Then, here’s the tricky part. You have to decide what to flavor them with. Yes, I understand that this is tough, but I have faith. You can do it! Pick something that you like. Curry powder, garlic salt, Old Bay seafood seasoning, lemon pepper, herbs de provence, or, even, ranch salad dressing mix! If your seasoning mix is salt free, add a shake or two of salt, or just leave it off. There is no limit to what you can add for flavor! I am using a southwest chipotle blend because I like it. So, sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of seasoning blend and hand toss to mix.
Get out your dehydrator.
Open it up and set a tray beside your kale bowl. Start laying the kale out on the trays, keeping them in a single layer.
Keep on layering.
When you run out of seasoned kale, start the flavoring process again using the other half. Don’t bother to wipe out the bowl, that’s just extra flavor!
Hopefully, you run out of kale and empty trays at the same time.
Pop on the top and start it up. Mine has direction printed right on top. Those are what I use, too. Can’t argue with brilliance. Check your kale about halfway through the cooking time. I like to rotate the trays at the time. Maybe it helps them dry evenly. I don’t know why I do it, but it make me feel better. Any how, after cooking time has passed, you’ll find that your kale has shrunk quite a bit.
It’s supposed to. You did everyting right. You’ve made kale chips! Clean up is a breeze, too. One dirty salad spinner and a couple of dehydrator trays. Easy as can be. So, keep your money in your pocket and make your own kale chips. And fruit leathers, and dried fruits, and dried herbs, and oh,oh,oh, your own sun dried tomatoes!!!
Here’s the recipe.
- 12 to 15 stems of fresh kale
- 4 teaspoons olive oil - divided
- 4 teaspoons seasoning, such as curry powder, garlic salt or southwest chipotle – divided
- Salt, if necessary.
- Special equipment needed – a dehydrator.
- Get out a salad spinner. With the kale leaf folded in half, hold the stem in one hand, and with the other, tear off handfuls of kale. You want pieces about 3 inches wide. Place the torn kale pieces into the salad spinner. Rinse and spin dry. Dump the kale out onto a clean towel and blot off excess water with paper towels. Using the same paper towels, dry out the salad spinner bowl. Place half the kale inside. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your hands. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the seasoning powder over the leaves. If your spice mix doesn't contain salt, sprinkle a little salt over the leaves, also. Toss in bowl using your hands.
- Place a dehydrator tray beside your kale bowl. Spread out the kale, in a single layer. Repeat with additional trays. When the first bowl of kale is used up, repeat the oil and seasoning steps from above. When mixed, fill remaining dehydrator trays.
- Assemble the dehydrator and process the kale according to your machines directions. For my Nesco model, it was 135º for 7 hours. Always check and rotate the trays halfway through the drying time.
- It's done when it as crispy as you want it to be!