Many of you have followed my journey towards a high raw diet [thank you!]. Hopefully you will have also come to realise that a choice to increase your raw intake does not mean you have to miss out on flavour and texture variation in your food.
It is not always possible to purchase a wide range of exotic ingredients, and this is where a dehydrator can assist. Using Debbie the Dehydrator certainly gives me variety in my food — at least for now*.
This post is all about my favourite kale chips. As a crucifer, kale is just such a brilliant vegetable to eat. Health Diaries.com gives a good summary of kale’s health benefits, which include a high antioxidant content (and, hence, anticancer properties), anti-inflammatory and detox properties, high fibre and high levels of vitamins A, C & K — not to mention its high mineral content.
For this recipe, as always, I recommend using organic ingredients. This is especially important with green, leafy vegetables, as they retain a large amount of pesticide residue.
Recipe #119: Kale chips. Warning: these are highly, highly addictive, so make sure you have sufficient kale in the house for Round 2.
You will need:
► 8+ kale leaves [the curly (Scots) variety works best]
Prepare the kale by washing it thoroughly, then shaking it dry; a little extra moisture won’t hurt this recipe. Cut the leaves from the thick stems and place in a large bowl.
>Don’t discard the stems — you can use these in your next green juice!
Swirl over some tamari (be generous — only so much will stick to the leaves) and spoon in at least two tablespoonfuls of tahini. Rub the tahini into the leaves, adding more if you can not see a thin coating across the leaves and in the curly crevices (very important!). You can add pepper or other spices at this point but, for me, nothing beats these simple flavours.
>As long as you don’t have massive globs of tahini on your leaves, you can afford to be a little nonchalant about your massaging technique. A few little bumps of tahini give bursts of nutty deliciousness as you chomp on your crispy morsels.
Dehydrate at 41°C for 6-7 hours, then turn the leaves over and dehydrate for at least another 2 hours. Test for crispiness and, if they are not done, dehydrate for a further hour at a time until the desired crunch is achieved.
>I have heard that you can also bake your kale chips in the oven at low heat if you don’t have a dehydrator. This will obviously alter the nutrient value of the end product. I haven’t tried this method, however I think it should work if you place the leaves into a preheated 150°C for 15-20 minutes.
The inspiration for this version came from Rawfood Karen [thank you, Karen!], however a quick google tells me that this is a pretty common mix. I like to think that my chips are a little different because of the mode of preparation: remember to think loving thoughts as you massage the tahini into the curls of the kale — and enjoy!
*Some of you will know that I have been querying the health benefits of dehydration (particularly over cooked food) for some time now. As per usual, I am not original in this thought. As I have researched oxidisation (which we are constantly told is bad and caused by air, heat and light), I have also read about vitamin and enzyme breakdown at different temperatures, as well as the effects of prolonged exposure of ingredients to air. I will present this research in a future post when I am done.
Don’t forget! I have two classes coming up in Perth very soon: Chocolate Cravings (30 August) & Rainbow Recipes (6 September). I hope to see you there!