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 }

Stacy May 17, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I love kale chips! It also took me a while to get past the ‘green’ and try them, but they’re my popcorn now. I found a really yummy cheesy version, and the leftover dressing is good on lettuce. I will definitely have to try these recipes too.



Raw Food Mamas May 17, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Oh how wonderful. I rarely make kale chips because I devour so much of it fresh but my son, who has an aversion to all things green, keeps asking me for them. And now I have three (no, make it 9) recipes.



Joanna Rawvelous May 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Yay! Glad you looooove them 😀 I’m sure yours are even better than mine. I’m still on the lookout for a new/ used Dehydrator since mine crashed. Soon as I find one, these babies are ON! ;p



shivie May 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Yum-just turned 9 trays of chipz this morning…addin a little tamari or braggs with olive oile is also yummy (leave out salt)…we find that peopel love love love our spicy chipz when we make them, last week at our first Farmers Market the firefighters fell in love with the kale chipz-and they didnt even know what kale was (i bought a bunch from a farmer and took it to show them what they were eating)…great job on your site, so pretty…have a RAWsome day


Lauren May 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I haven’t made kale chips in awhile! I’ve been loving my kale salads though, maybe it’s time to change it up! :) Great recipes!


Eco Mama May 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Oooh I haven’t made these in a while. Nice variations. LOVE kale chips!
Eco Mama


Elizabeth May 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I can’t wait to try the spicy ones. I’ve made a cheddar version that I love -my kids too. But spice is my thing, since I’m always so darn cold -the plight of a raw foodie.


Cece May 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Kale chips made with raw tahini also are fantastic! Plenty of garlic too, of course. So glad you reminded folks to remove that spine. That can ruin them. I bought kale chips like this at a vegetarian restaurant in D.C., spine included, and they also were sickly sweet and improperly dehydrated. I really hope people were not tasting raw food for the first time because that would have absolutely put them off raw.

Properly made kale chips are very light, melt in your mouth. Very easy to make, I don’t know how that restaurant managed to mess them up like that. Thank you for these recipes!


jenny (green food diaries) May 18, 2010 at 12:13 am

i ADORE kale chips… in fact, i overdosed on them this week (it was my first time trying them out, made and sold by a near raw-foods resto). i think i had three or four heads worth of kale in kale chips THIS WEEK. they are that delicious.


Paula Helgren May 18, 2010 at 9:49 am

How much Kale, Sue? I have never heard of Kale chips, but I can’t wait to try them. I use kale in my green drink all the time. I am so excited. Chips keep me on my raw food path and these look so yummy! I put some of your sesame oat crackers in my dehydrator this AM and have wheat berries sprouting in my kitchen for some or your pumpkin seed bread. Thank you, thank you!


Blanka May 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

They sound and look beautiful! I am not likely to get a dehydrator till winter now but I might just give these a try in my oven as they do not take that long. Thank you for inspiration, as always! YUM!


Adrienne May 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm

the pictures are amazing as usual!
i wanna just reach out and grab one (or 10)!
thanks for posting this. i’m making some next week!


Kelly Parr May 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Great post! I absolutely LOVE KALE…. in smoothies, salads, and especially dehydrated. My mouth is watering now!


Diane May 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Glad to see the kale chips recipe. I’d like to try these with tahini. :)


El May 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I’ve never tried them but they look great!


April May 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

I just found your website and look forward to reading future posts. Kale is one of our favorite greens, it grows well in our southern climate, but we have never made Kale chips. Have you had much success getting children to eat Kale chips?


Susan May 19, 2010 at 6:23 am

April, I don’t have children living at home anymore. But my friends who have made these say their kids love the.


nati May 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm

hi… im sorry to ask it on this articule… but, when is your book coming up and what is the name of your book?


Susan May 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Hopefully in a week or two. It is Rawmazing Raw Desserts.


Christine (The Raw Project) May 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm

This looks like a great way to use the kale ready for picking in our garden, thanks!


diann May 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm

OK, silly question. When you say,” one cup if kale has….”. Is that cooked or raw?


hihorosie May 19, 2010 at 12:33 am

I could’ve sworn I left a comment already but thanks for posting this! I love kale chips and I love the fact you shared a couple that don’t involve nuts (not that I’m against them but some people are). I just had some kale chips – they’re so addicting!!!


Heather May 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I have yet to try kale chips, and I’ve heard so much about them! They sound so incredibly easy, that I have to give them a try. I can’t wait to try out your spicy mixture. What a great snack!


Leslie @LaMamaNaturale May 21, 2010 at 1:05 am

We heart kale chips! Thanks for the great recipes. Both of my boys love em’ and can’t get enough when I make them. My one year old especially. :) Just had some last night. mmm!


Cricket May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I have been making Kale Chips for a year now and we can’t get enough of them! We are growing kale in the garden this year. Thanks for posting with all your recipes……I will have to get some smoked paprika and give it go. Your pictures are “kalelicious”!


Ricki May 31, 2010 at 8:41 am

They do look fantastic–and I love me some kale chips! I’m afraid I don’t have as much self-control as you did. . . I often eat the whole batch myself. :)


Brenda Martin June 8, 2010 at 7:11 am

Love Kale chips – try goddess dressing with nutritional yeast and paprika YUM I tend to eat one bowl raw and one bowl dehydrated!


Beth June 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Ok, Stacy, you HAVE to share the recipe for the cheese kale chips you found!!!!


Beth June 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

And is there anything we can use in place of the nutritional yeast in the last version of the recipe?


pam June 23, 2010 at 12:44 pm

i want to know if you can dehydrate these in the oven ? i new and learning about all this great stuff…thanks


gloria Sayles June 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I have been making kale chips for about a year and a half. I use red bell peppers , I just learned to keep the door cracked a little and thats makes them real chrispy. I love kale salad and kale chips. Thank you for posting ur recipes.


Annice June 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I love kale in any form, but some years back I had crispy kale in an upscale restaurant and it was fantastic. Problem is the method for making it is to flash-fry it. I’m glad to find these raw recipes that will give me my crispy kale fix an a much more healthy manner. Thanks!


Robin finke June 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Great I needed some new recipes! (phytonutrients though, not photo nutrients)


Susan June 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Robin…I think that was my spell check…lol.


Susan June 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

You can make them in the oven but you will have to experiment as I use they dehydrator to make sure they stay in the raw category.


Laura August 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

What is the self-life if stored in an air-tight container?


Susan August 1, 2010 at 4:29 pm

If you dehydrate them completely dry, over a week. But you probably won’t have to worry about that. :-)


Kathy August 9, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Kale chips, made with a dehydrator, are fool-proof. And SO delicious…if they don’t come out exactly “perfect” I have an excuse to eat them all myself..! :-)


Blanka October 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

How much kale have you used for each flavour recipe, Susan?
My dehydrator arrived today!! – so I can now make my own kale chips. Can’t wait!


Susan October 5, 2010 at 11:49 am

I use about a bunch or 5 cups chopped or torn?


Ben Eriksen January 30, 2011 at 8:45 pm

The last recipe was soo tasty as is – so with the kale that didnt fit into the dehydrator I made it into a salad, added some tomatoes, voila! Spicy Smokey Dressing :-)


Aria Nicole February 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I absolutely LOVE kale chips. I make them all the time and also use a food dehydrator. I can speak from experience that kale cips made in the oven do not come out as good. Some will be scorched while others soggy…the kale doesn’t dehydrate evenly. And in the oven u’re really not dehydrating, u’re baking which defeats the purpose of having a raw healthy snack. Also I have kept kale chips in and airtight glass canister for about month they were still as tasty as they were when I first made them. You can purchase a really good deyhrator for about 60 bucks or less depending on where you go. And you can make all kinds of delicious snacks!!!

I’m going to try the spicy kale chips Susan, thanks for sharing!!! :-)


Rosanna May 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

i love kale chips! i make mine with a little bit of fresh lime juice, garlic, olive oil, sea salt and cayenne pepper….im mexican, so the lime and spiciness really appeal to me!


Bertha June 17, 2011 at 3:06 am

I just made some Kale Chips. I changed your recipe a little bit. I used cashews, nutritional yeast, water, agave, dried onions, sweet basil, dehydrated red bell peppers, paprika and Vital Heat Raw Hot Pepper Chipotle Sauce. They taste wonderful!


Regina H July 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Do you think I can sub cashews for soaked sunflower seeds? I know it’s a bit odd, but I currently have an abundance of them and don’t think it would taste half bad. I’ve had awesome sunflower seed butter before…


Susan July 12, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Do you mean sunflower seeds for the cashews?


Spicey Mary Jane July 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

I live in Bali, and, although I am growing a little kale, what I have in abundance is kailan and broccoli leaves. Has anyone tried “chips” out of these?


jean.bean July 18, 2011 at 9:37 pm

happy yall are finding out about raw foods and new recipes!

as a raw food chef i cannot help but share what i know about food nutrition and raw food.

the olive oil you are using is much better than what most of our former diets consisted of, especially if you are truly do it all raw n using raw e.v.o.o…in the long run oils of any kind slow down your metabolism and actually get in the way of your digestion.

unless you are spending an arm and a leg on truly raw cashews you are not eating raw cashews.

please all do more research the more you get into raw foods, this is new territory and there is alot of information out there, some good, some not. and remember EVERYBODY is DIFFERENT.

hope this helps someone
with <3


Susan July 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Jean…you might want to take a look around the site. I talk at length about nuts and finding truly raw nuts, etc. I am not new to this, have done extensive research and speak at length about biochemical diversity…or as you say, everybody is different. This site is not about being 100% raw. It is about incorporating more raw food into your life. We welcome everyone here whether they eat 12 steaks a day or are 100% raw. Have a look around the site, read some of the articles. You will quickly see what it is all about. :-)


raelynn noel July 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm

can you make them with Collard greens too?


Susan July 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

I have not tried that so I am not sure. I used mustard greens once and the flavor was a bit strong.


Ashley September 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I just made my first batch of kale chips using the recipe you provided and they were delicious! I had to hide them from myself so I wouldn’t eat them all at once. I tried substituting other things for the chipolte and paprika flavorings. I used some of those powder packages for a ranch dressing and a honey bbq mix instead of the nutritional yeast and spices. Tasted REALLY good, the ranch ones were my favorite, and it was a breeze to do :)


Mischa September 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I have a batch of both version 2 and 3 in the dehydrator right now. They both smell so good! Thank you for sharing several options.


Shana October 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I love Kale Chips!!! :) Your site is absolutely amazing, Susan. I love checking in to see your latest pix and recipes! You’re an inspiration.


Caroline November 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Do you gain weight generally speaking eating raw due to the high caloric content in the oils, dates, raisins, etc. Most recipes in books seem high in fat/sugar. . Any feedback re: this issue?


Susan November 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I can’t speak for other people’s books or recipes. When I eat raw, I don’t gain weight, I lose weight. I balance my healthy salads and meals with some of the more calorie intense treats. No matter how you eat, you need to eat a balanced diet.


ToeKnee December 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm



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