Pizza Kale Chips

I have no idea why, but yesterday I started craving pizza at the same time I found myself with entirely too much kale on hand. David and I had skipped our planned green smoothies on two occasions, and suddenly we had two huge bunches of kale that needed to be used right away. To make matters trickier, David was headed out of town for two days, leaving just me to devour all that kale all by myself. Some leaves had already begun to turn yellow, so I donated those to the compost pile. I hate to waste produce, but the thought of trying to mow through that much salad didn’t sound great to me. Enter: pizza kale chips!

When you’ve got too much produce on hand and it threatens to go bad before you can use it up, fermenting or dehydrating can save your food while adding unusual flavor and texture twists. I ferment things all the time, but even after nearly 8 years of high or 100% raw eating, I had never made my own kale chips. A Lazy Raw Foodist, indeed! These turned out to be surprisingly easy, though. Since everyone asks me for recipes, I wrote this one down as I went along:

Pizza Kale Chips

Two large kale bunches, torn into bite sized pieces


1 cup raw cashews
Large fistful of fresh Italian herbs (I used basil, parsley, oregano and sage.)
Five fennel seeds
Juice from one lemon
5-7 soaked sun-dried tomatoes plus leftover soak water equal to 3/4 cup of liquid
One garlic clove plus optional garlic skapes (I had some from the garden. You can use more garlic or powder to taste.)
2 tablespoons Parma Chipotle Cayenne (or nutritional yeast plus chipotle and cayenne to taste)
Celtic Sea salt to taste

1. Blend dressing ingredients.
2. Massage into torn kale (with your hands until kale gets softer and a little broken down).
3. Spread evenly on mesh dehydrator trays with the Teflex sheets on them to start.
4. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 4-6 hours on Teflex.
5. Remove Teflex.
6. Dehydrate another 1 to 2 hours until completely dry and crispy.
7. Cool, then store in plastic bags or glass jars.

I use an Excalibur Dehydrator. If you have a different type, then your timing may vary. Just remember to keep the temperature below 112 degrees and to check on them every few hours to make sure they dry completely. If you don’t dry them all the way, you will need to eat them in a couple days, or they could mold. If you dry them and vacuum pack them, they could last for months. I put some in ziploc bags and, let’s just say, their longevity won’t be an issue. I’m restraining myself so that David gets some as a treat upon his return from overseas.

Some photos for your reference:

Soak the sundried tomato until soft (10-15 minutes)

Two bunches of kale, torn. Curly works best. This was a mixture of lacinato and curly kale.

Truly Raw Organic Cashews and Chipotle Cayenne Parma

I ordered these truly raw cashews from The Raw Food World. David and I love the flavor of the Chipotle Cayenne Parma, which is basically raw walnuts mixed with nutritional yeast, cayenne and chipotle. You could easily approximate this flavor set on your own, and for this recipe, you wouldn’t need the walnuts in there. They just give it more of a parmesan cheesy texture, but with everything thrown into a Vitamix, the texture obviously changes anyway. 🙂

Kale chips ready to dehydrate on Teflex sheets

A few quick notes:

1) These chips were the best kale chips I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, if I do say myself. (And apparently, I do.) 😉

2) The little bit of fennel seed gives the sauce that pepperoni/sausage pizza flavor, if you happen to crave that sort of thing. (I usually don’t, but it sure hit the spot last night and today!)

3) IMHO, everything tastes best with fresh herbs, but if you don’t have any of those on hand, I am sure you could substitute equivalent flavorings from dried herbs. I grow fresh herbs year round, so I don’t know what the conversion would be. Perhaps a dried Italian Seasoning blend would work best. You might need to add 1/4 cup more water to the mix, too, since those fresh herbs have some moisture in them. The sauce can get quite thick, and you may need the extra water to get it to blend all the way.

4) That’s it! These will have you noshing your way through buckets of leafy greens while satisfying one of the greasiest cravings out there. Enjoy!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by David on June 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Save me some, please!



  2. Wow that is so delicious i just started eating raw food and ill definetely try these chips.



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