This Summer, we've seen the best organic Ontario kale in great abundance. I’ve been turning them into salads like this or juicing them with other Ontario produce as shown here. Sometimes when we had cold weather, I added the greens into an Asian miso bowl like this one. At other times, I just quickly sauteed them with grated ginger and a bit of lemon juice. But as the season is quickly coming to and end... I’m wishing for an "Endless Summer" - kale chips came to mind.
Ahh.. kale chips! Aren't they awesome to snack on? But they cost so much...they range from $6.99 - $7.99 for a 2.5 oz. pack depending on what brand you're buying. The owner of the reliable Brad's Kale Chips, Mr. Brad Gruno explains it here. And now more and more people are making their own kale chips like me. It's the best time to make them while kale is still abundant locally.
Personally, I like to be a little creative. I'm inspired by my childhood memories, places I've visited, a current craving or maybe with just what's available in my kitchen. About five months ago when I attended Matthew Kenney Culinary, we created our own flavour of kale chips and then sampled the varied and interesting creations afterward (for those of you who maybe interested in taking either in-class or online courses at the culinary school, check them out at this link).
So this is the same flavour that I made on that Project except I used lacinato kale and acai berry powder at that time (check this photo). My hubby regularly buys organic freeze dried maqui berry for his daily smoothies and so I thought it would be a great sub for acai. Other freeze dried berry powder would work too. If this is not available to you, not to worry as it’s optional. It just gives the recipe an added dimension so to speak. And a bit of that wonderful purple colour. And apple? Yes, it works so well, it’s delicious! My husband gave it a two thumbs up I might add. As a note, please use organic kale and apple as they are high in pesticide residues and part of the on the Dirty Dozen+ List as shown here.
Creamy Spiced Apple And Maqui Berry Kale Chips
1 bunch curly green kale, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours to overnight
1 green apple, cored and cubed
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
pinch (or more) chipotle or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Maqui berry or other freeze dried berry powder
1. Wash the kale then strip the green leaves off the tough center stems then tear leaves into large bite size pieces (note they will shrink in size as they dehydrate) and dry them in a salad spinner or with a clean tea towel. Transfer them into a big mixing bowl where you plan to mix the sauce later.
2. In a high speed blender, add the cashews with the rest of the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust the taste as you may want it more hot, spicy or more tart.
3. Pour the sauce into the kale leaves and massage them with your hands making sure they are fully coated.
4. Lay the coated leaves flat on dehydrator screens and dehydrate at 115F until crisp, approximately 10-12 hours. Some dehydrate their kale on teflex sheets. I like doing them just on the screens as I think the air flows freely this way. If you don't have a dehydrator, check this link out for helpful tips in baking them.
You can try other varieties of kale for this recipe like Lacinato, Red Russian or Redbor. The creaminess of the end product depends on how big your bunch of kale is. You will have to increase the cashew accordingly with how much leaves to coat. Mine had 12 small leaves and the consistency was just perfect. Remember, a recipe is just a guide so don't be afraid to be creative. Add your own spice or special ingredients. Experiment. And don't forget to taste it. Enjoy!
As August winds down and we embrace a new month, my tendency is to want to hold on longer to warmer weather, lots of sunshine and abundant local produce. I also wish my favourite hydrangea flower can withstand all seasons. However, I am yet again reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 that I read on my uncle's funeral in Arizona recently. "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..."
Happy Labour Day and welcome September!