It’s taken me a while to post these smokey bbq kale chips because every time I make a new batch we end up eating them before I get a chance to shoot them!
They are THAT good.
I literally had two mouths hovering in the background while I was shooting this batch, and it’s fair to say both Nick and Chewie agree they’re the best kale chips they’ve ever eaten.
That may not mean much coming from Chewie being a dog and all, but Nick is not usually one for super healthy snacks such as kale chips, so that’s a great complement coming from him.
The reason these kale chips are so good is their tangy (almost cheesy), smoked bbq spice coating. This is created from a combination of activated (aka soaked) cashews and sunflower seeds which are then blended with nutritional yeast (for the tangy cheese flavour), lemon juice, smoked paprika, cayenne, turmeric and cinnamon.
The secret to a nice crunchy kale chip is in the drying process. Ideally you’d use a dehydrator but if you don’t own one (like me) you can use your oven set on fan bake on the lowest setting (mine is 60ºC) with the door propped slightly ajar to allow excess moisture to escape and ideally lower the temperature around 46ºC.
The idea with dehydrating is to keep the temperature below 46ºC so the kale remains in it’s raw state and all the nutrients intact. You can get a good idea whether you are achieving this by the colour of the kale. You want it to keep it’s lovely green colour while slowly dehydrating the water out of it.
Once the kale chips and are lovely and crispy, let them cool to room temperature then store in a well sealed airtight container. If they go soft simply put them back in the dehydrator or oven until crisp again.
That’s it! A super simple yet extremely nutritional snack. Use the recipe below as a base from which you can vary the spices to your tastes. For a less smokey batch swap the smoked paprika for sweet paprika, or leave it out entirely and add another spice of your liking.
I hope you enjoy these smokey BBQ Kale chips as much as we do and if you know anyone who’d also enjoy this recipe please share it with them!
Any questions or comments about this smokey bbq kale chip recipe?!
Leave me a message down below!
Smokey BBQ Kale Chips
Makes: 2 bakings trays worth
Soak time: 4 hours Prep time: 30 minutes Dehydrating time: 8 to 18 hours
1 bunch of kale (approximately 8-10 kale leaves)
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup filtered water
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne or chilli powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Soak the cashew nuts and sunflower seeds by placing them in a bowl and covering with filtered water. Leave to stand for 4 hours at room temperature (or in the fridge if the weather is warm).
Meanwhile prepare the kale by washing well and either use a salad spinner to remove excess water or pat dry with a tea towel. Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems with a small knife or simply by tearing the leaves off.
When the cashews and sunflower seeds have finished soaking, drain off the soaking water and rinse well. Place them in a blender jug along with the remaining ingredients (except the kale leaves) and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, golden yellow liquid. Pour the spice liquid into a bowl.
If using the oven line 2 baking trays and set the temperature to it’s lowest fan bake setting (usually 50 or 60ºC depending on your oven). Alternatively set the dehydrator to 46ºC.
Dip each kale leaf into the spice liquid and use your hands to ensure it’s evenly spread over the entire leaf. Place the coated kale leaves on the baking or dehydrator trays ensuring they’re not overlapping to allow air flow.
Place the trays either into the dehydrator or the oven and prop the oven door ajar with a large wooden spoon handle. Dehydrating kale chips in a dehydrator takes 16-18 hours and in the oven around 8-10 hours or overnight. The kale chips are ready when crispy.
Store in a well sealed, air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. If the kale chips go soft, simply return to the dehydrator or oven until crisp again.