Kale crack

Kale crack

One time I bought a garbage bag full of kale.

Why would someone do that? Well, it was a good deal. And I thought we’d be having more guests at Thanksgiving dinner. And it was being sold by an old farmer my grandpa worked with at the Clinton Bailey Market. And I like kale.

But when I hauled that white plastic bag home by its yellow drawstring, all of a sudden a washing machine’s worth of curly green leaves seemed a little much. Especially since the chest freezer is already full of Ziplocked evidence of my garden’s only victory this year (don’t get me started). Massaged kale is one of my favorite things in the food universe, but we’d likely wear down a set of good molars chomping through that much raw green for sure. I thought about kale chips for a hot minute, but I’m pretty good at burning them and they don’t keep well when made in the oven. But in the dehydrator – different game altogether.

This recipe comes via my pleas for a recipe on the Facebook mind hive thanks to our neighbor Justin Dahl. And it’s a feckin’ keeper if ever there was one. Salty, crispy, flavorful, umami-loaded treasures, these are – not the crumbly, healthy-tasting seaweed-ish crap you buy for $6 an ounce at your local co-op. And they’ll keep in a sealed container for a while if you manage enough self-restraint to keep from inhaling them in one day.

Spicy Thai Kale Chips

Edited from http://hilahcooking.com/spicy-thai-kale-chips/

  • 1 large bunch kale; curly works best
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1-2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Tear the kale into bite-size pieces and discard the stems.
  • Wash the kale well and dry.
  • Combine all the other ingredients in a blender until smooth. Give it a taste and adjust the salty/sour balance to your taste.
  • Put the kale in a large bowl, pour the sauce over, and use your hands to coat every leaf well including the little crevices. Taste a leaf now and sprinkle a little more salt or red pepper if it needs it.
  • Spread out in a single layer in your dehydrator and turn it on. Check after 6 hours and rotate racks. Depending on how much kale is in there and the age/temp of your dehydrator, it can take up to 10 hours; check every 2 or so. They’re done when they become brittle and crisp. Store in an airtight container.

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