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The Art of Raw Snacking : Spicy Kale Chips

August 11, 2010

Hey Gang:  A quick side note before I delve into my raw snack. I’m on my third week of physical therapy. My back is still a bit wonky. I thought it was getting better, and then last week had a major relapse. It’s been tough to stay in my raw girl blogging mode, although I am still eating raw of course, and the heat around here has pushed me to eat even closer to 100% raw. So bear with me and forgive me for my absence. Hoping that very soon I will be back to normal. – XoXo Raw Girl

People ask me all the time how I survive on raw foods and what snacks I keep around to keep me going. I’m not too much of a snacker, but I have developed and ongoing arsenal of small meals to grab on-the-go if necessary. Especially for road trips when all that there is to find in convenience stores is fast processed foods of various kinds. To avoid having a raw foodie breakdown and eating something you regret, only to suffer the consequences later, it’s definitely best to have something on hand to stop your tummy from growling.  The key to snacking in my opinion is to treat it like a meal and be cognizant if what you are eating needs more time to digest. I do snack on dehydrated nuts from time to time, but you have to remember that depending on what meal you are planning to eat next, your body may need sufficient time to digest the first “snack.” For example: I wouldn’t snack on a bunch of nuts and then eat a huge bowl of fruit afterward. That, my friends is a recipe for gas/indigestion. In that case I would probably eat the fruit first, wait awhile and then eat the nuts. Keeping it simple and eating foods that combine well keep you gas-free and still fill you up. If you are already in tune with your body, it’s good to snack on things that you crave. I find that very often I am craving a particular dried fruit or veggie and it is because my body really needed that at the moment.

My new ultimate favorite crave is SPICY KALE CHIPS. I really can’t get enough. Not only are they crunchy and slightly cheesy, thanks to the nutritional flakes, they also provide the double duty of helping me ward off mosquitoes by providing a healthy serving of Vitamin B1.

I’ve read a bunch of recipes for kale chips, some that profess to be crunchier than others depending on whether or not the kale is coated with a batter prior to dehydrating. I haven’t tried the recipe that professes to produce the crunchiest kale chips ever, but I have modified my own version of the regular kale chip that is crunchy enough for me, and slightly spicy.

Spicy Kale Chips

Ingredients: 2 bunches of kale, organic olive oil,  two teaspoons red pepper,teaspoon sea salt

Making kale chips is super easy. First you wash the kale thoroughly and get rid of stems (the stems aren’t fun to chew on when dehydrated).  I always use a Veggie Wash to remove unwanted dirt/bacteria/pesticides. Then coat the kale with 2-3 capfuls of organic olive oil and add spices. Add sea salt and red pepper, and 1 capful or two of organic apple cider vinegar. Massage the veggies til everything is worked in.

Once that’s done, I take heaping tablespoons of nutritional flakes and mix into kale. Do this with a spoon because if you use your hands, you’ll get more flakes on your hands than on the kale, which you don’t want. The nutritional flakes give the kale an awesome almost cheesy flavor once dehydrated. Then you pop the kale into the dehydrator  for at least 6-8 hours or until crispy enough for you. I usually prepare the kale and let it  dehydrate over night. It’s also good to do at least two bunches at a time, or you’ll be left wishing you made more! Remember that it shrinks considerably when you dehydrate it.

Another raw snack I like:

Zucchini “Chips”: I just chop up raw zucchini maybe add a little seasoning and eat with hummus. In this photo I added in some sun dried tomatoes, which were made by dehydrating tomato slices.

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