Kale Week: Tahini Kale Chip Recipe and Dehydrator review

February 25th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Dehydrator Recipe, Kale, Nut Free, Nutritional Yeast, Raw Food, Soy Free, Vegan 19 Comments »

And so, Kale week continues! We started this event with a fun recipe for Sweet Onion Balsamic dried Kale Chips, and then I shared a review for pre-made kale chips, in case you didn’t want to bother making your own. And now, to wrap things up, I’m including a Tahini un-cheese, nut-free Kale Chip Recipe for you to enjoy. I’m also hosting a fun Mr. Linky with links to other Gluten-free kale recipes. To join, just click the link at the bottom of this post. Rules? Where we’re going we don’t need rules- except, well, you have to link a kale RECIPE* and add a link to this post on YOUR post. So I guess there are rules. Oops. Maybe I need to pick my quotations more carefully.

Ok, you got me. I’m a rule-girl, but only because I want this post and Mr. Linky to celebrate the joy that is kale. Old posts are ok, and multiple posts are ok; just add a link to this post to your post!

*No reviews or unrelated links please. If you have a kale product review comment on my Kale chip post and I’ll add you.

Speaking of kale, one of my favorite ways to prepare it is in the dehydrator. People ask me all the time which dehydrator I use. Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr. Nesco.**

I have the Nesco 700-Watt Round Food Dehydrator. The DH bought it for me for my birthday two years ago, as we were expecting Baby Yum. Shortly thereafter we moved and then had Baby Yum and I was far too busy and, I might add, intimidated by said device, to use it. It lived in our storage shed for quite some time, nestled in with our suitcases and holiday decorations. Oops. The DH was not happy with me, to say the least. I knew I would use it someday, though. I just needed to get over my reluctance to read the manual and figure out how the thing worked. But when I finally did get the courage to use the thing (two years later), I couldn’t figure out what had taken me so long. The dehydrator couldn’t be simpler. You pick your dehydrating temperature, put your food in the racks and plug it in. Take food out when it has achieved the desired texture. Cleaning the racks is a bit of a pain. My dishwasher is always far too busy to use for dehydrator racks, so I have to do them by hand, which I hate. I don’t trust my sink to be clean enough for food that won’t be superheated, so I take them to our shower and hose them down there. Not ideal. I’m thinking of having the DH put in an additional utility sink in our garage where I can do special hand wash. Now that would be useful.

So, I have the round Nesco and like it. But, truth be told, if I’d shopped a little later, I would have bought the Square-Shaped Nesco after it came out on Amazon. Square is a nicer shape for raw flatbreads, like you can make with recipes from the I am Grateful cookbook, and you can line it with parchment paper more easily. You can line the round one with parchment, but cutting it to shape is a nuisance. If you read the reviews on Amazon (click on the pictures of the respective dehydrator) people like the square one as much as (or more) than the round one. Both have very positive reviews, though. One more plus of the square dehydrator is that you can get more on the square trays than the round trays. *yippee* Unfortunately I guess I’ll be using a round one until it bites the dust. Guess I’ll have to use it a lot to speed up the process!

**I didn’t get anything free for writing this, more’s the pity. I just thought I’d talk about it here rather than trying to cram a good response in 140 characters on Twitter. ;)

I shared this post with Gluten-free Wednesday.

Gluten-free Kale Recipe Carnival:

Tahini un-cheesey Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
1/2 large bunch of kale or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined.

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari
1 tsp. liquid mustard
2 tbsp. diced sweet peppers (yellow, red or orange)- I used two mini sweet peppers
Enough water to form a smooth sauce that can be drizzled

Special equipment: dehydrator, food processor or sturdy blender

Rinse your kale and then spin dry in a salad spinner or press dry between clean towels.

Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and combine until everything is smooth. Add water as needed so that the sauce can be drizzled or poured.

Put your kale leaves in a medium or large bowl and drizzle with the sauce, massaging into the leaves. Put the seasoned kale on two or three racks of a dehydrator and dehydrate at 115F for around four hours or until you have completely dry, crunchy chips.

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Rhythm Superfood Kale Chip Review

February 23rd, 2011 yum Posted in Gluten Free Product Review, Raw Food 8 Comments »

I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of dehydrated kale chips. I’d made my own baked kale chips ages ago, inspired by a certain Gluten-free Living Without magazine recipe. They were just simple things, with oil and salt, but I enjoyed them. They did seem to be an acquired taste, though. My father and another guy I know compared them unfavorably to dried autumn leaves, and castigated them quite firmly as House of Yum Rabbit food. My DH is generally open minded about vegetables, but he is not terribly fond of green leafy vegetables that resemble his nemesis, spinach. I’d never had dehydrated kale chips until quite recently.

I’d seen packaged dehydrated kale chips at Whole Foods for a minor king’s ransom. Nine dollars for a tiny little bag? I might as well buy gold leaves for my snacking pleasure. In fact, I think it might have been cheaper to buy those gold leaves. However, early in January I got an email from Rhythm Superfoods asking if I wanted to try and possibly review their gluten-free raw foods kale chips. Imagine my excitement at finding a company beating down my door offering me the chance to try not just one but three varieties. How cool was that! The next time I went to Whole Foods, I found Rhythm Kale chips available for a far more reasonable price, although they were still high enough I’d have to be really hungry for some healthy greens and very hard pressed to find the time to make my own. I waited with bated breath for my chips to arrive. When they did, I was very happy to dive into those little bags of yummy, dehydrated goodness and try them out.

First I tried the Kool Ranch. They were crispy, salty, and addictive. The only negative was a faint seaweed aftertaste. Even so, I went through this package faster than the others. In a weak moment I might buy them if I had a craving for ranch dressing flavor.

Next was Zesty Nacho. These were also crisp, with a red-peppery, hot flavor that lingered in the mouth, and a creamy, almost nutty undertone. I really liked these, although at first I wasn’t sure about the “zesty” part of it. The nutty undertone won me over in the end, though, and I’d probably be most likely to buy them again.

The Bombay Curry was the final flavor I tried. Like the others, they were crisp, and smelled like a powdery India spice bazaar. They had a cinnamon flavor on the tongue, that reminded me of a dry packaged curry with potatoes and spinach, and a grassy, dusty overtone. When I first tried them I enjoyed the flavors, but after a while they started to remind me of a packaged supermarket curry blend. They were my least favorite of the three, and I probably wouldn’t buy them again.

Because the sauce for the kale chips contains cashews, they are not suitable for those with nut allergies, but are otherwise pretty friendly for those with restricted diets, and are of course naturally gluten-free.

Soon there will be a Texas BBQ and Mango Habanero flavor. The BBQ flavor could be interesting if it isn’t too overpowering. Mango habanero doesn’t sound like something I would enjoy. However, the company plans on offering raw sweet potato chips in the future, which I think sound delightful.

Even at their new reduced price at around $6 (look for coupons) prepared kale chips are a bit pricey for me, but like most packaged raw foods they offer a lot more nutritional value than their cheaper processed cousins. The next time I get an urge for some kale chips and don’t have time to make my own, I just might buy one as a special, guilty pleasure.

Have you tried these chips? What did you think? And, what are your favorite raw foods products that can be purchased in a health food store? Tell me in the comments!

Some other Gluten-free Bloggers Review of Rhythm Kale Chips:

Gluten-free is Life
Gluten Free Fun
Gluten-free RD

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