I realized since my food allergy discovery that I’ve been eating less and less fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These are things I used to eat by the ton, and they’re part of a well-balanced healthy diet. Obviously it’s not healthy (or fun) to eat things you’re allergic to, so I’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions for snacking to replace what I used to eat, which was usually cut up veggies with hummus, fruit and nut butters, yogurt, and trail mixes.
One thing I found that I love is raw kale chips. Come to find out, most of the pre-made versions have allergens in them (tree nuts! onion powder!). I’ve been contemplating getting a dehydrator to try to make my own allergy-free kale chips for a while, but just now bought one. Besides the fact that I’m allergic to store-bought kale chips, they are EXPENSIVE (like $7 a bag!). Mark refers to kale chips as “food gold”. It also turns out that I’ve got kale growing in my front porch, so not only is it going to be cheaper and allergy-friendlier to make my own chips — it’ll practically be free.
My first experiment with kale chips and my dehydrator went well. I will tell you that all the recipes I looked at said that they could be done in the oven, and I have TRIED making these in the oven before, and they NEVER turned out. I’m glad I finally picked up the dehydrator because these chips are better than store bought.
- 1 c sunflower and / or pumpkin seeds (I used roasted)
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned (discard seeds)
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c (or more) of Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- Dash Black Pepper
- 1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and torn into chip-sized pieces
- Optional for BBQ: 1 T honey + 1-2 T smoked paprika + a dash cayenne pepper
- Water (if mixture is too thick)
- Blend all ingredients, except kale and water in a food processor and blender.
- Taste (this is what your chips will taste like) and season accordingly.
- Add more water if this mixture is too thick.
- Place kale in a large mixing bowl and pour sauce mixture over kale and massage it into the kale very well using your hands.
- Dehydrate for 8-10 hours at 125°F, or until desired crispness is reached.
- Alternatively, many kale chip recipes say you can do this, but I have never gotten this to work: bake in a 200°F oven with the door ajar for about 3 hours, or until done and crispy, flipping intermittently.
I must be in a chip-making mood because I also made sweet potato chips. I picked up a sweet potato because it was the cheapest of all fruits and veggies I can eat at the grocery store. I was just looking for something to dehydrate to test out my new toy! These are even easier to make than the kale chips.
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes
- 4-5 T coconut oil (in liquid state)
- sea salt
- Using a mandoline, cut your sweet potato as thin as possible. The thinner you go, the crispier your chips will be.
- Fill a VERY large bowl with water.
- Soak the sweet potato slices in water for a half hour.
- Rinse, and repeat the soak. (This part removes some starch which makes your chips crispier!)
- Remove slices from water and lay out to dry. (I put directly on the dehydrator trays).
- Once slices are dry, drizzle some coconut oil on them and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Dehydrate 10-12 hours at 145°, or until desired crispness is reached. Be sure to flip and / or move the chips around. These will shrink significantly in size from the original slices. I was able to combine several trays after only an hour of dehydrating.
What do you eat for healthy snacks? I’m seriously lacking on creativity because everything I used to eat is off limits!
In case you’re wondering what dehydrator I bought, here it is. I’m not going to make money if you click the link, I’m just linking to inform!