I include a lot of kale chips in Raw Dehydrating 101 because they are so amazing and I was addicted to chips prior to going raw so I needed an adequate substitute for chips!
There is no substitute for kale. Do not use lettuce or spinach or anything else. Only kale will do. There are a lot of varieties of kale, and most varieties are fine. I generally use “curly kale” or “dinosaur kale” because these are the varieties that are generally available in my area.
If you cannot find kale at your grocery store, ask the produce manager to get some in for you. (Produce managers will generally get stuff in for you if you ask!) And/or locate a small-scale farmer in your area who sells vegetables to individuals. Kale is very easy to grow, so generally they have it or will be willing to grow it if you ask.
Fresh kale keeps quite well in the refrigerator and stays fresh for quite a long time.
If storing fresh kale in the fridge, make sure to let it breathe by leaving part of the packaging open (for example, if it’s in a plastic bag make sure one end is open so air can flow in and out of the bag).
There are two main ways to make kale chips:
1. Sauce + Kale
Make a wet “sauce” or “salad dressing” in your blender, pour on top of kale, then mix together in a bowl. Dehydrate.
My recipes tend to call for a “bunch” of kale. Bunch sizes can vary greatly. When you are preparing your kale chips (particularly if you’re using a wet sauce that you’re going to pour on top of your dry kale), try to keep in mind that you are making sort of a kale “salad.”
Similar to when you are making a salad, you do not want your kale to be swimming and dripping in too much sauce. So try pouring half of the sauce on the kale chips and mix everything together. All of the chips should be generously coated, but you don’t want them swimming in too much sauce, especially if your bunch of kale was pretty small.)
2. Kale + Ingredients = Sauce
The other main way to make kale chips is to throw your kale in a bowl, add ingredients, and mix together with your hands.
Throw all your individual ingredients on top of your kale chips, mix together with your hands. Dehydrate.
In my recipe book, I include recipes for both ways. Neither way is “better,” they are just “different” ways to approach making kale chips. When choosing your kale chip recipe from the recipe book, it’s important to note how the recipe should be made because some recipes need to be blended first while other recipes can simply be thrown together in one bowl.
Also, when dehydrating kale chips, they get crispy quite quickly (within three hours or so)–if you use the high-then-low temp strategy when dehydrating. However, although I might tend to snack on kale chips as soon as they get crispy enough to eat, I will leave the remainder dehydrating for approximately 24 hours.
This is because once you turn the dehydrator off, kale chips will start to go back to being a bit soggy and rubbery (instead of nice and crispy) after about 8 hours of being back in room-temperature.
Kale chips never last long in my house (probably three days max or less), so I generally just leave them sitting in the dehydrator once they are “ready.”
Then, if I want to eat them and they’ve gone back to being a bit rubbery I just switch the dehydrator on high for about 1/2 an hour and they crisp up again.
- Make a batch of raw kale chips. A selection of recipes is displayed below. (If unsure which one to pick, try the "cool ranch" kale chips.)
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