Friday, February 21, 2014

My Version of Brad's Raw Leafy Kale Chips

I bought some of these really good Brad's Raw Leafy Kale Chips on sale at Kroger... the Vampire Killer (aka garlic) is really good, but so, so expensive for the tiny little box you get.  So after looking at the ingredients, I decided to just try out my own recipe for them.  And I figured it out!  Good thing, since they are so addictive that we'd soon be in trouble financially if I kept buying them ($7.00 for 2 oz?  Yeah, a daily $7 snack is not the best way to spend money!).

photo taken in the morning light in my driveway before I ate them all... neighbors glancing out their windows likely thought I was crazy for taking photos of a tupperware in my pajamas on my driveway... if they don't already think I am the crazy backyard chicken lady already, that is...

So here is what I did...

1/4 - 1/3 cup cashews (I used soaked and dried nuts, recipe found here)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
salt to taste (I used Himalayan pink salt)
chunk of red bell pepper, about 2x2 or 3 inches
1 T dry hummus mix (I find this in bins at our local health food store)
1 bunch organic kale

Tear the kale into chip-size pieces.  Keep them all close to the same size.  Discard stems.  Make sure kale is dry before moving to the next step.

Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper - just regular thin cookie sheets, not those thick air bake style because they don't get them as crisp. 

Put cashews and garlic cloves into food processor and run it until they are ground up to a pretty fine consistency.  You can add more garlic if you'd like or depending on the size of the cloves... I usually use pretty large ones.  Add salt.  Add bell pepper chunk - this will add some moisture to it, and the mixture may even form a doughy ball. 

Put kale into a large bowl with the seasoning mix from the food processor and use your fingers to smear it onto each piece.  This is a little time consuming, but you want it to stick.  It clings to the curly parts of the kale leaves pretty well.  If the kale is damp at all, it won't stick as well.  While you are doing this, the oven can be preheating to 200 degrees F.

Lay each piece on the parchment lined baking sheets - a single layer.  I need 3 baking sheets to do this.  They will not get as crispy if they are overlapping.

Bake for about a half hour... once they have shrunken and are nice and crispy, they are done!  The fact that you don't use oil makes them get crispier, and they stay crisp a few days stored in a covered container on the counter.

They are so good, so easy - except that it takes awhile to get the topping on them all - and so much cheaper than pre-made.  I hope this saves someone out there some money!!

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