Today I want to talk about kale.
And the fact that yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to juice my kale stem…
BLEH. BAH. UGH. gross.
Worst mistake ever. Kale leaves and kale stalk are NOT one in the same.
I pride myself on being really good at being waste-less with food. So I often try to use up as much of food as I can before throwing any of it in the garbage. I recently got into juice leftover broccoli stems. And it works great! Especially paired with an apple and lemon. The taste is definitely broccoli, but it’s not terribly offensive. For the nutritional benefits of broccoli, it’s something I can manage to suck down.
So I thought, why not do the same thing with my leftover kale stem? Waste not, want not- right? Haha yeaaaaaaaaaaa, well… turns out kale stems have a very spicy, bitter, god-awful taste to them. Nothing like the leaves. Because of my pet-peeve against wasting, I chugged it down anyways. But I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I felt sick the rest of the day.
Moral of the story- just stick with the kale leaves. Compost the stem.
And what more appropriate way to celebrate this new lesson learned than sharing a recipe that utilizes kale leaves!
We just recently started getting kale at the commissary here, so this is actually the first time I’ve been able to make kale chips here. If you’ve never made kale chips before, you’re in for a treat!
They help satisfy those munchy cravings you sometimes get, but with the added bonus of being SUPER nutritious! And you can flavor them however you like. I threw together a ‘Sour Cream and Onion‘ mix here, but you can simplify things on yourself by simply tossing the torn kale leaves with a touch of oil and some seasoning of your choice. Maybe keep things plain with some sea salt OR go a little wild and use your favorite creole spice mix.
To make the coating for this recipe, you need to have a small mini food processor or immersion blender (use a very tall cup) since the quantity is quite small. Also be sure to spread the mixture amongst the kale leaves as evenly as possible. If it’s on too thick on some leaves, then they won’t dry out.
ALSO! The very best method for this is to use a dehydrator (will maintain nutrients and you don’t have to worry about burning). I find that using an oven can sometimes leave a burnt taste to the kale chips. If you don’t own a dehydrator, just be careful that your oven is set very low. Low and slow baby!
What are some of your favorite kale chip flavors??
- ¼ cup cashews, soaked 2 hours
- 8 cups torn kale leaves, washed and dried.
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- If using oven: preheat to 250°F. If using dehydrator: preheat to 115°F.
- Combine the soaked cashews, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, vinegar, and water in a mini food processor or blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides or using the tamper as necessary.
- In a large bowl, use your hands to massage the cashew-mixture into the kale leaves until evenly coated.
- OVEN METHOD: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the kale chips across. Bake 1½ to 2 hours, or until leaves are crisp but not burnt, tossing halfway between baking time. Enjoy immediately.
- DEHYDRATOR METHOD: Spread kale chips onto 4 mesh dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 10-12 hours or until crispy.