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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Monday
Aug032009

Wasabi-Garlic Raw Kale Chips (gluten free, vegan, raw, low glycemic)



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.

Oh, potato chips. Crispy. Salty. Crunchy. Binge-worthy. Good potato chips were, until last year, my only real junk food indulgence. I couldn't help it. I just loved potato chips.
But, as it turns out, I'm allergic to potatoes. And sweet potatoes. So, my last junk food indulgence went out the window. Occasionally, when I find them, I indulge in Tyrrell's root veggie chips, and have recently developed an occasional relationship with Arico's cassava chips. And while these fried confections are delicious, I find that I just don't enjoy the chip as much as I used to. They are ultimately flavorless after the pop of salt fades. They leave me feeling heavy. They just don't do it for me as much anymore. I guess my tastes have refined.

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.

Long story short: these things have the addictive powers of crack cocaine, but without all those nasty side effects. Seriously. I can't stop munching. These are WAY better than potato chips, and I am making these for every party from now on. I thought I was already a kale devotee, but this has taken my love for kale to a whole new snackable level. Nutritionally, these chips pack a serious punch - kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods out there. It is full of vitamin K, A, and C, and provides a wide variety of other nutrients, from B vitamins to omega-3s to calcium. Check out the World's Healthiest Foods website for a full write up on kale. What an amazing snack for ONE LITTLE DOLLAR!

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!

WASABI -GARLIC RAW KALE CHIPS/CRISPS 
see note at bottom of recipe for an oven-version (not raw)
1 really really big bunch or 2 regular bunches of kale
1/4 c olive oil or flax oil or mix (I used a mix)
1 tsp ume vinegar
2 T wasabi powder
1 T water
1 tsp dehydrated garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kelp powder
1/2-1 tsp sea salt flakes

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!
 
Place kale on dehydrator trays, and give a final sprinkling of wasabi, garlic, kelp, or salt as desired. Dehydrate at 115º F for about 8-10 hours or until totally crispy.  Remove and store in an air-tight container. You'll eat them fast, I promise.
The trays are loaded, and I'm ready to dehydrate!

OTHER IDEAS:
  • 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!

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Reader Comments (6)

if you are going to bring these to parties in the future, i really hope we're at the same party sometime soon cause these look delicious.

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

Dylan, I have a feeling we will be at the same party sooner than later, and I'll make sure I bring some of these along. In fact, I might bring some to Becky's on Saturday morning (I can buy kale at the market on Thursday!), so if you'll be around a fresh batch of kale chips might be too! Any flavor combos sound good to you? I was thinking of making a basil pesto batch, since I have a ton of basil to use. How does that work for 'ya?

August 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Yum! I do love kale chips, but haven't tried them with wasabi--sounds great. And for those who don't have a dehydrator, these work in the oven, too!

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Yes, the wasabi adds a nice kick : ) How else do you season your kale chips, Ricki? I have a batch of basil pesto kale chips and another batch of Indian-spiced kale chips in the dehydrator right now. I'm excited for the Indian spiced one - I coated the kale with garbanzo miso paste and cumin, coriander, mustard, and turmeric..

August 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Hi - I posted a http://theveganishexperiment.blogspot.com/2009/09/day-250-seasoned-kale-chips-or-how-to.html" rel="nofollow">cumin-chili version on my website. Thanks for the inspiration - enjoy!

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbeckiwithani

I think that wasabi is good dietary food! I want to know if it is foods low glycemic index ?

June 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterglycemicindex96
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo