Monday, 28 May 2012

Cheesy Herbed Kale Chips (Dairy-free)

So lately the new love of my life is Kale! This amazing superfood which is a form of cabbage, and is a pretty dark green and curly, is packed with all the goodies: High in beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B6, an excellent source of iron, protein, magnesium and phosphorus, rich in calcium, and also a great source of sulforaphane, which is a chemical known for its cancer-fighting properties. Add all this to the fact that it has a delicious flavour all it's own and you can see why I'm currently super excited about using it!

Last week I planted a bunch of stuff in my garden. I'm so excited because I've been wanting to get in there and get the weeding done and get some food planted so I can eat more chemical-free fresh foods, not to mention the convenience of just going out the back door to get my groceries! :D Thanks to some great help from Jo Whitton's children with the weeding, I have planted tomatoes, beetroot, basil, parsley, dill and of course 2 kale plants. There will be more going in once I get the rest of the garden beds prepped! In the meantime I have found a local store which can order in organic kale for me - so for any of you who are up here on the Atherton Tablelands, you can get it from The Humpy at Tolga - you need to call and order it in, but they can get it within a few days.

I love kale in my green smoothies, its especially delicious when teamed up with pineapple, watermelon and pomegranate into a sweet yet tangy smoothie, this morning I also added a big leaf of it to my Cashew-milk hot chocolate. It was super filling and yummo and I'm still feeling energised almost two hours later!

One other thing that a lot of people make with kale is raw/dehydrated kale chips. I've found quite a few different recipes online. There are some at which are great, and also another one I've tried is from SuperKitchenMachine's Blog found here. However what I have discovered is that although the recipes are delicious, I sometimes find the sauce/marinade can overpower the taste of the kale a little - which I love in and of itself. SO my mission was to make a recipe for kale chips which enhanced but didn't completely mask the flavour of the kale. You can use this recipe to make the chips as shown, OR you can simply massage the sauce into the kale, and add some chopped tomatoes, avos and other salad vegetables and some seeds and have a delicious salad.

RECIPE: Cheesy Herbed Kale Chips (Dairy-free)
1. Pre-heat oven to 50C.
2. Take one bunch of kale and rip into 2-3 inch sized pieces and place into a large bowl like so:

(I know I may be a little strange, but isn't it pretty? ;))

3. Pop into TMX (or blender or food processor) 1 clove garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 red onion, sml handful parsley & a few basil leaves (I used about 8 large leaves) mince for 5 seconds on speed 7.

4. Scrape herbs down into the bottom of the bowl and add 2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast Flakes (also called Savoury Yeast flakes, NOT brewers yeast), 1 cup of soaked and drained cashews (140g), 1 large or two small tomatoes, quartered, juice of 1 lime or half a lemon, 1 tsp pink himalayan or other quality salt, a little cracked black pepper, 20g of Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and 100g water. Blend all ingredients in tmx for 1 minute on speed 9.

5. Pour the sauce over your bowl of kale - and now the fun starts! Roll up your sleeves and massage the sauce into the kale quite firmly (as Eva from uncooking101 says - a Deep Tissue Massage, not a light massage ;)) for 1-2 minutes, so that the sauce is thoroughly coating the kale and the kale goes a little limp:

6. Line two baking trays (cookie sheets) with good quality baking paper and spread the prepared kale evenly over them. Pop in the oven and bake for 4 hours at 50C, turning once halfway through. *A Quick Note (added 11 June 2012) - if making these in the oven, if you have a fan-forced oven it will be fine, if you have a standard electric you need to prop open the door of your oven by half to 1cm to let the moisture escape, otherwise you'll just have nice warm limp kale LOL! Even better, if you're lucky enough to have a dehydrator, put it on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 4 hours.

I don't have a picture yet of the finished product as I'm still (im)patiently waiting for mine to be ready! But I'll add a pic once they're done.

These make a great snack, and are pretty filling due to the high protein and fibre content, so they're great to pop into a ziploc bag or container and take on the go with you, IF you can restrain yourself and not eat them all as soon as they're done! :D You can also break them up a little and sprinkle over a salad for a little extra crunch and pizzaz.

Love and Health, B xxx

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