Raw Food: Kale Chips 9 Ways!

by Susan on May 17, 2010

Until yesterday, I had never created a raw food recipe for kale chips. I couldn’t bring myself to take a veggie that I consider a bit bitter and try to turn it into something yummy. My friend, Joanna kept insisting that they were fab so I decided to give it a whirl. They turned out better than I could have hoped for. Which is great because Kale is incredibly healthy.

Kale, which is actually a form of cabbage, is loaded with fiber. One cup of kale provides you with twice your daily requirement of vitamin A, tons of vitamin C and has over a thousand times the RDA for vitamin K! Kale helps keep your body strong and also helps prevent damage from other forces that are constantly attacking our bodies.

Kale is full of fiber and phytonutrients. It produces sulforaphane which is a natural cancer-fighter that signals the liver to produce cancer fighting enzymes. Kale has high amounts of carotenoids that protect your eyes from ultraviolet light and other major issues. It even helps prevent cataracts.

There are many different kinds of kale out there. I wanted to know how each one tasted, and how it adapted to different recipes. I bought dinosaur kale, purple kale and green kale. Then I came up with three different recipes. So, we have 9 different outcomes.

For the first batch I simply used olive oil and salt. For the second batch, I added garlic and thyme. The third batch, one of my favorites, is a spicy combination of chipotle and smoked paprika combined with some nutritional yeast, cashews and garlic. I think this hot version is my favorite.

The difference between the kale, after all was said and done was negligible. The dinosaur kale has a flatter shape and kept that through dehydration but the curly kale was fine and actually held a little more of the flavor mixture.The taste was pretty much the same for all. You can go very easy on the olive oil. They dehydrate very quickly (4-5 hours) so, start them early in the day and you will have a great snack for later. My biggest challenge with these was to not eat them all before I got the picture taken! Make a lot as they dehydrate down quite a bit.

Kale Chips

For all versions: wash and spin dry 2 bunches kale. Remove the tough spine and tear into bite size pieces, keeping in mind that they will shrink in size as they dehydrate.

Version One:

  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

Combine olive oil and sea salt in large bowl. Stir in kale and coat. Place on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp.

Dinosaur Kale

Version Two:

  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Thyme

With food processor running, drop garlic in. It will mince. Add oil and thyme. Place mixture in bowl and follow directions above.

Green Kale

Version Three:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 C Cashews, soaked at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle (spice)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

With processor running, drop in garlic and mince. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over kale chips in a bowl and massage until kale is coated. Dehydrate on screens at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp. *Nutritional yeast is not raw but used frequently in raw food recipes.

Purple Kale

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{ 106 comments… read them below or add one }

Tereza December 19, 2011 at 7:03 am

Thank you very much for the inspiration :-)


Terri Dale January 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Hello! I have 2 of your books and recommend them to many people, I just may have missed them, but the top of the page said 9 ways to make kale chips, and I only noticed three….Did I miss something? I appreciate your help and all the ways in the wilderness you have helped us novices in doing it raw! Deliciously!!!


Susan January 6, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Three different types of Kale, three ways to do each = 9 ways. Cheers!


Sean January 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Hi Susan,

Thanks for what looks like a great recipe. I just got a dehydrator and I’m going to try this and others from your site. I’ve got a question for you. In the description above the actual recipes you state that you used brewer’s yeast, but in the last recipe itself the ingredient listed is ‘nutritional yeast’. Which of the two did you actually use?

Many thanks.


Susan January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Nutritional yeast…. Sorry, that was a typo that got corrected. Cheers!


Jenny Black March 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Hi! I just found your site & am excited! I’m making them now! I was curious as to how much kale you use? Maybe I missed that in the recipe? Didn’t see the amount… Thanks! 😀


Carol March 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I christened my dehydrator today with this most delicious and simple recipe. Excellent! Thank you :-)


Victoria April 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

My husband and I gobbled them up while the dehydrator was still going. Just couldn’t stop. WOW!!


Hunter May 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm

How long do you soak the cashews for?


Dustin Kantu May 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

I can readily imagine how quickly these would disappear! On other recipes though, I saw recommendations that you eat them soon after. I was rather hoping to have enough for a camping holiday. Perhaps a silly question but I am new to the dehydrating side =)


Maria Pallitto July 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

These are delicious, but how do I store them? I had them in a plastic zip-lock and they lost their “crunch”.


Susan July 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Mostly they get eaten right away! You can always throw them back in the dehydrator to crisp them up. :-)


D. December 3, 2014 at 11:43 am

Wow, I’m not spending $400+ dollars on a dehydrator. That’s ridiculous. There are many brands out there, some better than others, of course, that don’t cost nearly that much. Just make sure when you purchase one that it has a fan, and does not just use heat to dehydrate the food. Those are a rip-off, but the ones with a fan unit work very well. I got mine for less than $30.

You can also use the oven if you have the time to keep close track of whatever you’re dehydrating because towards the end of the drying time, things go pretty fast.

I wish there had been a few more recipes. I like kale but I’m not big on garlic – a little of that goes a long way for me. I used to have a recipe using crushed red pepper flakes but I can’t find it and don’t remember the particulars. Do you know of a recipe like that? I think it had a small amount of granulated garlic powder in the recipe which I don’t mind, but again, a little of that goes a long way. I might even substitute onion powder or chives or something. Any more ideas for recipe?

Thanks for a great article.


Susan December 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

D. You have to make sure that your dehydrator also has a thermometer. It is extremely difficult to dehydrate in the oven and keep things raw. The temps just don’t go low enough.


Ana July 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

I have nver used dehydrator sheets. Is it a sheet of “special paper” like parchment or do I have to buy some kind of appliance? I wouldlove to try these chips. I get organic kale from my summer farm share and I am running out of ways to cook it.


Susan July 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

A dehydrator is a separate unit. http://www.rawmazing.com/tsm-dehydrators/


Autumn July 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I do not have a dehydrator yet(new to the raw foods) but, would love try some of your recipes, as so far they are some of the most visually pleasing looking recipes…..can i do a mock dehydration in the oven.


heather's whole new life September 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I love your blog! There are so many neat recipes! I am just starting this whole food journey and will absolutely be back for more recipe ideas soon! Thanks!


Katie October 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

how long would these keep do you figure?


Katie October 17, 2012 at 7:36 am

How long do these keep?


jo November 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

I only saw 3 ways???? What happened to the other 6?


Susan November 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Three types of Kale, 3 different ways = 9 different types of kale chips. :-)


D. December 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

I kinda feel the headline was misleading, too. I was looking for 9 different recipes. Ah, well.


Jeanette January 9, 2013 at 2:12 pm

This a great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Do you realize your pintrest button won’t pin?


Leigh January 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I have previously made kale chips but in the oven. (approx 325 for 20min with flipping at 10min) I’m wondering if it makes any difference in nutrition, taste etc ??


Pina Nagar January 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I Have been making your kale chips in the excalibur dehydrator but for some reason the kale chips dont crisp up and a little chewy, are they suppose to be crispy? I keep them in for around 10 hours. i was just wondering what i was doing wrong?



Susan January 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Yes, they should be crisp. Are you leaving them in long enough?


Bathsheba Sativa January 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

I have just christened my brand new dehydrator with salt and rac vinegar kale chips, since going raw i have not had one crunchy crackery thing!!! I am sooo going to love this, they smell awesome rawsome!


Pina February 4, 2013 at 12:06 am

Yes, I’m leaving it in for 10-12 hours but they are crispy around the edge and soft in the middle. Could it be the oil? I use olive oil. Do yours stay crispy even after a few days ? I leave mind in air tight glass container and I feel the soften after a few day too. Thanks


Susan February 4, 2013 at 1:46 am

Mine are very crispy all the way through. Are you spreading them out enough? Maybe you just need to leave them in longer. Every dehydrator is different. Mine never last 2-3 days. They do start to soften but you can just pop them back in the dehydrator. Also, if you use too much olive oil that will affect them. Are you following this recipe? Cheers!


Una February 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

If you put a dry paper towel in the sealed container you keep them in they stay crispy much longer:)


heather February 25, 2013 at 1:01 am

Hello:) Just got my first dehydrator and have been wanting one for a few yrs now! I LOVE kale in general and am excited to try the chips…sound amazing! Had a question on the yeast…can you use that recipe and omit the yeast? Im new to this and was wondering what specifically that adds to the chips? Thank you sooo much….LOVE your site!!! :)


Susan February 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Yes..but the yeast is there for a cheesy flavor. It is wonderful. Don’t worry, it isn’t an active yeast and it is full of b vitamins.


Heather February 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Oooo, a cheesy flavor…gotta love that..and of course the b vits too;)! Thanks a ton Susan!!:)


Emily March 2, 2013 at 12:15 am

How long can you store kale chips? Also, are they best stored in the fridge or freezer?


Susan March 2, 2013 at 12:23 am

I would not freeze or refrigerate them. It would introduce moisture. You want to store them in a air-tight container. As far as for how last? We always eat them within two days!


pam March 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I made the third version in my oven, set at lowest temp, around 120, for about 8 hours, absolutely loved them!! Will definitely be making more! They were every bit as good as the ones in the health food stores, better for you, I’m sure, and a whole lit cheaper. Thanks so much for all your great ideas!


Micheale April 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Just wanted to let you know that I have passed this link for the Kale chips on to people who tried the ones I made and thought I was somehow a kitchen goddess for making them.
I ‘fessed up and sent the link to them.
I made them without the cashews, with the cashews, with grocery store barbeque rub, grocery store Pico de Gallo, and am looking at using some French Sea Salt blend on the next batch. So, yeah, these are a keeper and repeater.
Thanks for sharing them!


Susan April 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Micheale…you put a smile on my face. Glad you are sharing the love.


pamela May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Loved the base of this recipe but I like a lot of flavor so I spiced it up a bit more using; juice of 1 lemon, Tbls. of Nomishoyu, 1/2 of a red bell pepper, 1 small tomato, instead of dry chipotle spice I used the chipotle in adobe sauce using 1 of the peppers in the sauce plus a Tbls. of adobe sauce. OMG amazing!!! this sauce is good on just about anything.


Trish July 30, 2013 at 2:48 am

I don’t have a dehydrator but want to make the chips. Can I do them in the oven? If so, at what temperature and how long.


Susan July 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Hi, Trish, You can make them in the oven but you will have to experiment. Since this is a raw food site, I don’t test the recipes in an oven. I would suggest starting at the lowest temp and keeping an eye on them. Cheers!


Olga October 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Hi there,

I was wondering how vitamin friendly the dehydrator is. I think it could be quite useful for me. I love eating chips and trying out healthier ways to make them myself using vegetable or fruits like carrots and apples.




Susan October 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

The dehydrator is VERY vitamin friendly is you keep your temps under 115. That is why we use it in raw food! Cheers!


Debra February 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I make kale chips using red bell peppers, cashews, nutritional yeast and lemon juice (blend all in a vita-mix) I sprinkle the sea salt after it’s done. My question is, can I replace the cashews with another nut as the cashews are soo expensive (almost 9.00 a container)?


Marion May 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Debra, I use sunflower seeds instead of cashews.


Carol Schwartz September 7, 2014 at 8:53 am

May I add this to my blog with your credits?


Susan September 7, 2014 at 9:28 am

Hi, Carol, Thank you for asking. Our copyright is stated under the copyright tab up top. You may use the picture and a brief description but please link to this website for the actual recipe. Cheers!


Wendy January 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm

Made version three today, they are so moorish I’ll be having to make more very soon. Thanks for the great recipe!


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