I've always been a sucker for potato chips. But not just any potato chips; I have high standards. I loved Kettle Chips, of course. I adored Terra Chips, especially the sweet potato varieties. Tyrrell's, a British company, makes amazing chips - my favorite is the beet, carrot, parsnip mixture. During my last trip to France a few years back, I think I ate my body weight in these amazing, crunchy dijon mustard potato chips. When I worked in Maui, I bought at least 2 bags of kettle chips each week - one bag of Maui sweet onion kettle cooked potato chips, and one bag of taro root chips. Hawaiians are serious about their chips. In my home town, local restaurant The Roxy makes homemade potato chips that will break your heart. Those chips were always a staple at catered events like weddings, funerals, and church banquets; perfectly browned, thick, crispy, salty, and not too greasy.
Anyway, I was having a serious salty crunchy craving, and I decided to finally try making the raw kale chips that I've been reading about online for months and months. Conveniently, I had purchased the largest bunch of kale I have ever seen Saturday morning at the farmer's market for $1. So, I cut it all up, threw it in a bowl, and got started. In my opinion, a bowl of kale is a bowl full of promise.
I used a recipe from We Like it Raw as the framework, and switched up the seasonings. They have great instructions with photos, be sure to check it out! I was dreaming up different seasonings, and settled on a blend of wasabi, garlic, a little good sea salt, and a sprinkling of kelp powder. I ended up with four trays of kale on the dehydrator, and sprinkled each with a little more kelp powder for good measure. Then I put on the cover, turned it on, and hoped for the best. My apartment smelled of garlicky goodness in no time.
HINT: These shrunk a lot more than I expected, so I would recommend going for larger chunks of kale and making sure not to break it as you are stirring in seasonings - otherwise you will end up with kale crumbles and not chips!
Wash kale, and cut each piece cross-wise into 2"-3" chunks. Place kale in a large bowl. Mix together ume vinegar and oil, and pour over kale. Gently massage oil into kale with your hands for a few minutes until leaves are shiny and well coated. Mix about 1 T of wasabi in with water, pour over kale, and stir a few times. Sprinkle garlic powder, dehydrated garlic, kelp powder, remaining wasabi powder, and sea salt over kale in batches, between stirring around to coat. Taste a few leaves of kale, and adjust seasonings as necessary. I found I just kept adding more wasabi!
- If you don't have a dehydrator, try baking them in the oven! They won't be raw, but if you're not a raw foodie and don't care, then no worries, right? Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes, until crispy to your liking.
- If I could still eat ginger, soy, or sesame, I would make a tamari-ginger-sesame oil version, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.
- I think a chili-lime version with a little cumin would be to die for.
- And my next batch will include a big blob of garlicky pesto in place of some of the oil for a basil-infused twist.
- What about using collards? This is something I'd like to try.
- Any other ideas or recipes you'd like to share? Let me know!