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I'm heading out camping for the holiday weekend and have been working hard all week to plan for a healthy movable feast for the long weekend. In addition to many fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks, I hit upon the idea of making and bringing a new snack favorite for a crunchy, salty treat for the weekend. If you haven't yet learned to love kale, consider these kale chips a different food altogether and try them! Before these (and a raw kale salad from Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet), I ate my kale because it was good for me - now I eat it because I love it!
Sundried Tomato Kale Chips
Amounts are approximate, adjust seasonings to taste.
Note: for best results, a dehydrator is needed.
1-2 bunches kale
1/2-1 cup sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup tahini
1-2 cup nut or rice milk or tomato soak water
1 Tbsp oregano
1-2 Tbsp basil
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
(available in the bulk department at New Seasons, also delicious on toast or popcorn)
Soak sundried tomatoes in enough water to cover. While tomatoes are soaking, prepare kale. Rinse kale and cut out central vein. I have left this in before, but we usually ended up eating around it, so I cut it out now for easier eating. If the vein doesn't extend to the tip, you can also cut off the end of the kale (up to where the vein starts to get thick) as a separate chip. These "tip chips" are always my favorite. Usually after cutting out the vein, you're left with two halves. I cut these in half again for chips that are about 1/4 the size of the original leaf. You could also cut them smaller.
By the time you finish preparing the kale, the sundried tomatoes will have soaked long enough. Mix tomatoes, tahini, spices and 1/2 liquid (rice/nut milk or soak water) in blender until tomatoes are well blended. Pour mixture into bowl. You may add the remaining liquid now or as you go. Mix well.
The next step is to get the tomato mixture onto the kale leaves and there are many ways to accomplish this. You can pour many leave into the mixture and mix with a spoon or clean hands or you can put the leaves in one at a time. In any event, you will likely be removing the kale from the mixture and squeezing off excess dressing with your hands. You want the kale to be covered with the dressing on both surfaces without using it all up on a couple of leaves. After dehydrating, the flavor is more concentrated, so it doesn't take much dressing per leaf. As you get to the bottom of the dressing bowl, you may need to add more liquid, even water, to thin and extend the dressing. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the bowl, too. I have not found that "marinating" for any length of time is necessary - just cover the leaves by whatever method you prefer and then lay the leaves out on a dehydrator tray.
Depending on your dehydrator, it may take more or less time for the chips to be ready. It takes mine about 4 hours until they are mostly dry. If I'm eating them pretty soon, I may even leave them slightly moist (still dry and crispy, but not completely dried out). If you don't have a dehydrator, you can also try baking these in a low oven. I would set the oven as low as it will go and either leave it slightly open or pulse the oven on and off to keep the temperature low as it doesn't take much heat for these to dry.
These are my favorite, but you can also make them with any other dressing you can think of. I've even made them with apple cider vinegar and salt and they were delicious! There's no limit - enjoy!