Dehydrated Kale Chips

Dehydrated kale chips

The Spruce

 

Ratings (49)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Drying Time: 4 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings

Crunchy dehydrated kale chips are addictive, yet great for you. They are a much healthier option than deep-fried potato chips, but they can be expensive to buy at the store. You can make them at home easily and cheaply with your food dehydrator. Raw food enthusiasts can use a low-temperature method that yields a raw food product.

If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the oven method to make kale chips faster or use a warm oven to dehydrate them. Be aware that the kale will shrink quite a bit during drying, so you can keep the pieces larger and make more than you think you will need.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch kale (any variety)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Optional: Dash of cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

There are a couple of steps in making kale chips. The first is to prepare the kale. Then, you have a couple of choices in how you dehydrate them.

Making the Kale Chips

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. To prepare the kale, strip the leaves away from the leaf stalks and tough midribs. You don't want to dry the whole leaves as the midribs end up with the consistency of twigs, and they are not tasty. Compost the leafstalks or save for soup stock.

    Stripped kale leaves.
    The Spruce 
  3. Wash the kale leaves and dry them well in a salad spinner or by gently rolling the leaves in a clean dishtowel.

  4. Tear the washed and dried leaves into just slightly larger than chip-sized pieces; they will shrink slightly as they dry.

    Washed and torn kale leaves.
     The Spruce
  5. Toss the kale in a large bowl with the extra-virgin olive oil and the salt. Massage the leaves well with your clean hands. All of the leaves should be more or less evenly coated with the oil.

    Kale leaves tossed in oil.
     The Spruce
  6. If you like spicy flavors, add a dash of cayenne pepper.

    Cayenne pepper on kale leaves.
     The Spruce
  7. You could also add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

    Nutritional yeast on kale leaves.
     The Spruce
  8. Spread the leaves on the dehydrator trays in single layers. Do not crowd the leaves or they will not dry evenly. It is alright if the leaves touch, but they shouldn't overlap too much.

    Kale leaves on dehydrator.
     The Spruce
  9. Now dehydrate the chips.

Dehydrating the Kale Chips

This method doesn't result in chips that qualify as raw food, but the result is still very good and ready in half the time of the low-temperature method below.

  1. Dry the kale at 145 F/63 C for 1 hour.

  2. Reduce the heat to 115 F/46 C and dry for an additional 3 to 4 hours until crispy dry.

    Dehydrating kale chips.
     The Spruce
  3. Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.

    Dehydrated kale chips.
     The Spruce
  4. Enjoy!

Low-Temperature Raw Food Method

Use this dehydrating step for your kale chips to be considered raw food.

  1. Dry the kale at 110 F/43 C for about 8 hours (overnight or while you're at work).

    Drying kale chips.
     The Spruce
  2. Transfer to airtight containers, or vacuum seal for longer storage.

    Kale chips.
    The Spruce 
  3. Enjoy!

Tips

  • Lactinato kale, also called dinosaur kale, is a bit harder to coat evenly with the oil but seems to keep its crunch longer once dehydrated.

  • If your kale chips lose their crunch in storage, you can re-crisp them in a low (200 F/93 C) oven for 10 minutes, or in the dehydrator at 110 F/43 C for an hour.

  • Some people prefer to dry the kale simply sprinkled with salt, without tossing it in olive oil or massaging the kale before drying. If you do so, you can sprinkle the kale with oil and season the chips after drying.