Monday, July 30, 2012

Dehydrated Kale Chips

I first tasted Kale Chips in Valemount at Barry's niece's place.  They were wonderful.  So I decided to plant kale this year so I could make some chips.  Right now we are having a heatwave (temps are +35°C) so it is too hot to use the oven.  I found a couple of recipes that use the dehydrator so decided to try that.

I planted two kinds of kale this year - Dwarf Green Curly and Redbor F1.  I won't plant the Redbor again as it was very expensive for the seeds ($3.99 for a package that contained 18 seeds!  And out of those only 8 grew!)  The green with do nicely, thank you very much!

Here is a leaf of green kale and one of the red kale.

Here is the kale all washed and spun dry.

Rip the kale into bite-sized pieces.  Do not use the tough middle stalk.

Drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Add whatever seasoning you want.  Some ideas that I tried are listed below.  Mix well using your hands making sure oil, salt and spices cover all the pieces.

Lay out on dehydrator trays in single layer.  Try to have some air space around the pieces of kale.

Dry for 2 hours on 135°F or until dry and crispy.

Eat and enjoy.  Or as I read on the internet, put in a ziplock bag and freeze.  I decided to freeze some so I have snacks for the winter.  I left the bags fat with air so the chips won't crush so easily.  I also placed them in the freezer basket so they won't have something heavy land on them. 

UPDATE - I tried the chips from the freezer and they were a bust.  They did not keep their crunch and were very chewy.  The flavor was good but I miss the crunch and got tired of chewing.  Oh well, you just don't know until you try something.

I have been trying a variety of flavors to see what I like best.

1.  garlic powder - favorite so far

2.  balsamic vinegar - so-so, I wanted a salt and vinegar flavor but balsamic vinegar was too mild - needed more bite to it

3.  lemon juice and black pepper - good, the lemon flavor came through as well as a slight bite from the pepper

4. parmesan cheese - second favorite - very tasty

5.  dried dill weed and a bit of cayenne pepper - can taste dill a bit but no bite (not enough cayenne and dill taste not strong enough)

6.  lemon juice and garlic powder -good - nice bite from the lemon and goes good with the garlic

I'm also thinking about a mix of onion and garlic powder, or add some chili powder, or soy sauce and garlic powder, or powdered ranch dressing mix (I saw that one on the internet).  Some people also use sweet spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) with a sprinkle of sugar.  The list goes on and on only limited by your taste preference and your imagination.  ;)

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