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You’ll never see me more excited than when I’ve purchased or made something that is not only healthy but genuinely tasty as well.  This happened the first time I tried Nasty Hot Kale Chips.  Grocery stores charge a small fortune for about 2.5 ounces of dehydrated kale deliciousness (see link in previous sentence), and I paid it.  Several times.  Much to Joseph’s chagrin.  So I have wanted to try my hand at homemade kale chips for quite some time, but I was intimidated by the ingredients and the process.  After all, soaked cashews and nutritional yeast (or yeast sh#t as Joseph likes to call it) are not standard fare in my kitchen.  Nutritional yeast is pretty fascinating actually.  Read about it here.

I read over numerous recipes, picking and choosing the flavors I thought I would like the best and which cooking method to utilize.  I own a food dehydrator, and everything I read online led me to believe that the kale retains more nutrients if dehydrated.   If you dehydrate instead of bake it is considered “raw.”  Also if you bake them, it is more difficult to maintain their initial crispiness after they’ve come out of the oven.  I have never tried baking kale chips, so if you have a method of doing so that works please share in the comments section.  I welcome it, because dehydrating takes time.  And I’m impatient.  BUT the good news is that dehydrating is not a demanding task.  So even for an impatient woman like me it’s not that bad.  I think the worst part was washing and drying the kale before dehydrating.  I highly recommend buying the pre-washed, pre-torn, bagged kale if it’s available.  I was actually at Earth Fare when buying the ingredients for this, and the bagged kale was not an option.

Also, I decided to use a dry hot sauce made by a local company here in Raleigh.  Benny T’s has a Very Hot dry hot sauce that I thought would be perfect for this recipe.  I was not disappointed.  And Joseph loved it.

So let’s get started 🙂

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp Benny T’s very hot dry hot sauce

1/3 cup yeast sh#t – I mean nutritional yeast

3/4 cashews (soaked in water prior to use for about 2 hours)

1 large red bell pepper, seeded

1 serrano pepper (you may not want to add this in addition to the dry sauce if you aren’t a heat lover)

juice of one lemon

1 large bunch of kale

Directions

Soak the cashews in water for 2 hours.  Drain and set aside.  If you don’t have the pre-washed and bagged kale, then remove the leafy greens from the stem, wash, and dry in a salad spinner.  I had to do this in several batches.  I then put the kale out on hand towels on the kitchen counter to continue drying while I made the spicy paste.

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In a blender combine the olive oil, vinegar, onion powder, dry hot sauce, yeast sh#t, cashews, red bell pepper, serrano pepper, and lemon juice.  Blend until completely pureed.

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Then put the kale in a large bowl and mix with the paste until every kale leaf is coated.

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Then put on the dehydrator trays.  I lined mine with wax paper to start so that the paste didn’t drip down through the trays and onto the heating coils.

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I rotated the dehydrator trays once an hour for about 4 hours.  Then I removed the wax paper and allowed the kale leaves to continue for another 3-4 hours.

Here is the final product.  They are far spicier than the Nasty Hot ones from the grocery store, so if you don’t like spicy I recommend you omit either the serrano or the dry sauce.  If you like dirty hot kale chips, then do both 😉

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