Great British Chefs - Smoky Chipotle Kale crisps
Kale crisps are becoming increasingly popular to buy but they are very easy and inexpensive to make. They can be a delicious snack to have on hand and are a guilt free yet munchy addition to lunch boxes. This recipe is suitable for those on a gluten free, plant based or dairy free/vegan diet or following a paleo lifestyle.
Kale is packed with nutrients but I appreciate that not everyone is a fan of this cruciferous veg. Most people eat it either in a salad, soup or steamed.
The majority of the food I make is classed as ‘raw’ because it is not heated above 115 degrees F or 42 degrees C. Above this temperature, food starts to lose its nutritional value and changes its chemical state.
To achieve the consistency of cooked foods but still keeping them raw, I use an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator which gently blows warm air over the food to remove the moisture content. It’s a kind of gentle cooking if you like, with all of the nutrients left in.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven will also work well but you will be cooking out some of the nutrition. That said, it is better to make the kale crisps in the oven rather than not to make them at all.
This recipe uses nutritional yeast which adds a kind of cheesiness to the crisps without adding any dairy. Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast. It is rich in B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. I buy the one which has added B12 as B12 is hard to find in a pure plant based diet. Nutritional yeast is grown on molasses then dried to deactivate it so it doesn’t react like baking yeast or brewer’s yeast (which is different to nutritional yeast).
Smoky Chipotle Kale Crisps Recipe
150g of cashew nuts
1 head kale, I like to use a mix of curly and black kales
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp vinegar, apple cider
1/3 tsp ground chipotle chilli
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
Soak the cashew nuts in cold water for two hours. After two hours, rinse the cashews well under cold running water. They should have softened
Wash the kale leaves to remove any loitering soil and remove the tough centre stalk from each leaf. Pat dry, tear into bite size pieces and put these in a large mixing bowl
In the blender, whizz the tomatoes and red pepper until smooth. Add the drained cashews, apple cider vinegar, chipotle, paprika and yeast flakes and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy
Pour the creamy mixture over the kale and squish until all of the leaves are well covered. I would advise using plastic gloves for this job as the chipotle can burn your skin
If you are using a dehydrator, this will fill two dehydrator trays. Spread the mixture in a thin layer over two teflex sheets and dehydrate at 115°F (42°C) for 8 hours. Then remove the teflex sheet and continue to dehydrate for another 10 hours until crispy. When ready, sprinkle over the salt
If you are using an oven, preheat the oven to a very cool 90°C (gas mark ¼) and place the kale crisps in a thin layer on baking parchment, bake for 15 minutes. Turn the tray and continue to bake until crispy. This could be between a further 15 minutes to 30 minutes depending on your oven
If your oven will only go down as low as 140°C (Gas mark 1), bake for 10 minutes and then turn and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. When ready, sprinkle over the salt
Leave to cool for 30 minutes and store in an airtight container
You can also find my recipe of smokey chipotle kale crisps here on the Great British Chef’s website.