After watching the TED video I posted the other day, I decided to check out these kale chips she mentioned. I bought a dehydrator from a friend not too long ago, but hadn’t done anything with it. I’d been wanting to try out some jerky or dried fruit, but the kale chips seemed pretty solid. So last night, I gave it a go. I found a few recipes that advocated a simple approach, so that’s what I did. A bunch of kale torn into chip-sized pieces, 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, and a couple pinches of sea salt. Mix thoroughly with your hands so that each leaf gets a good coating, then arrange the leaves in your dehydrator. Mine doesn’t even have a switch (you just plug it in) so it’s about as simple as it gets.
You may not be familiar with kale, it occurs to me. This is kale:
Raw, it tastes like the south end of a northbound stank demon. Not delicious. Keep that in mind. It’s something you eat because it’s healthy, not because you enjoy it. Unless you enjoy stank.
I let them go overnight and then some, so maybe a total of 10-12 hours, all told. When they came out, they had darkened significantly, and had gotten crispy. When I ate them, the flavor is almost not. What I mean is that they taste like salty crunchy, not like kale. The aftertaste has a very slight kale tone to it, but it’s nothing like the “Why are you in my mouth?!” reaction you get with raw kale. So I don’t think the kale chips are going to put Doritos out of business, but as a means of getting kale into your diet, they’re pretty solid. I may try different seasonings with future batches, adding garlic or whatever to see if that helps mask even the little remaining kale flavor. It’s honestly not bad enough that you’d need to work hard at getting rid of it, but I’m a tinkerer by nature.
So there you go. next time I make them and have any idea of what I’m doing, I’ll take some pictures of the process. i always forget to do that when I get excited about a new project, but I’ll try to be better.