Easy, Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips
Kale — it’s the the flower crown of the food world. Everyone still secretly loves it, but it’s so last season.
Mushrooms, turmeric, and ancient grains are now all the rage, and this was especially apparent at this weekend’s Natural Products Expo West — the yearly 3-day healthy food mecca on the West Coast.
In previous years, you couldn’t lift an elbow without grazing a bouquet of kale chips, but this year, sightings were sparse. In its place were tons of bean and beet products, ancient grain snacks, and of course, a multitude of new bar options (because we really need another snack bar).
Our cruciferous friend kale got the shaft.
It’s the same online. Recipes now favor collards, chard, and carrot greens over poor, played-out kale.
It makes me sad, and as a foodie who has personally pushed the more “exotic greens” lately, I feel personally responsible.
It’s time kale made a comeback.
With everyone’s favorite “green holiday” on the horizon, I figured it was the perfect time to reintroduce my favorite kale-centric snack: kale chips.
If you haven’t tried a kale chip before, you are missing out big time. Kale chips are easy to make, delicious, and the quickest way (besides smuicing) to pack in an entire day’s serving of greens.
They’re also a great way to get picky kids to eat their veggies. Tie them in with St. Patty’s Day by dubbing them “Leprechaun Chips” — what kid would say no to that?!
This particular kale chip recipe features tasty vegan seasoning to give them a nutty, cheesy flavor without adding any actual cheese. Nutritional yeast provides protein, folate, and a ton of B vitamins too.
We’ve got a major powerhouse snack right here.
The best part though is that they really are SO simple to make. Aside from the strange concept of green vegetable chips, I think the process may be what deters people the most.
If you follow these directions though, the procedure is fool proof.
- 1 Kale Bundle (about 4 C. chopped)
- 1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 2 T. Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp. Sea Salt
- Pepper to taste (optional)
- Wash and dry kale leaves. Tear or slice kale into pieces, discarding the stems.
- Place kale in a bowl and drizzle with EVOO, use hands to massage oil into the leaves.
- Scatter leaves in one thin layer on a baking sheet topped with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
- Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Some other delicious flavorings to try are smoked paprika, vinegar (for a salt + vin version), or chili flakes, if you want to spice things up.
And if these easy directions still seem like too much work for you, I guesssss you can buy your kale chips. A few awesome vendors are still repping kale hardcore. I recommend Brad’s Crunchy Kale in Nacho flavor.