With Spring fever in the air and unseasonably warm weather here in Boulder, my taste buds are craving a bit more variety from my usual warm, mushy Vata-pacifying meals. Although this recipe is best for Kapha, these kale chips are actually fairly balanced and quite hearty, as they have a delicious topping sunflower seeds to give some added protein, sunflower oil to combat the dryness of the kale, and some lime juice and cayenne pepper to help with digestion. This particular recipe is by far my favorite and most widely used in the world of kale chips. In fact, I consider this more of a treat than a healthy snack, although they are definitely both!
Kale has been gaining more and more popularity, and for great reason! It is very versatile, considered one of the healthiest foods per calorie, loaded with antioxidant rich flavonoids, contains anti-inflammatory properties, and promotes healthy detoxification in the system. Some of the more notable vitamins and minerals in this leafy green include vitamins K, A, E, and C; vitamins B1, 2, 3, and 6, copper, manganese, calcium, and fiber. The sunflower seeds provide us with an incredible amount of vitamin E, copper, Vitamins B1, 3, and 6, folate, magnesium, and manganese. But don’t let all of the healthy qualities of these ingredients fool you, these kale chips are filled with flavor and are oh-so-good! In fact, I have yet to not finish all of them in one sitting, making them one of my most favorite “indulgences”.
Spicy Springtime Kale Chips Recipe
- Doshic effect: Vata ↓↑*, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↓
- Vegan, Vegetarian
- Gluten-Free, Grain-free
- Serves: 2
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
*Increases Vata in excess; avoid with any Vata imbalance
- Spice grinder, blender, food processor (for grinding the sunflower seeds)
- Large bowl to mix the kale in
- Small bowl to prepare the sunflower seed topping
- Two cookie sheets
- 1 bunch of kale, stemmed
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, finely ground
- 2 teaspoons Agni Churna
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Pinch cayenne pepper (optional, omit for Pitta)
- Pink Himalayan salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Wash the kale and then use paper towels to thoroughly dry each leaf separately. If you have a salad spinner, this can be used for saving time. It is important to get the leafs completely dry for crispier chips.
3. Remove the stems from the kale and then pull apart each leaf into pieces that are roughly about 2 inches by 2 inches. Place the kale pieces in a large mixing bowl.
4. Grind up the sunflower seeds in a spice grinder or blender until a fine powder is reached.
5. Place the ground sunflower seeds, Agni Churna, sunflower oil, lime juice, and cayenne pepper (if used) into a small bowl. Stir well until a thin paste is made.
6. Drizzle the kale pieces with the sunflower oil mixture and then rub each leaf until the sauce is completely covering all of the leafs. The sauce should be evenly applied and there should be no dry spots on any portion of the kale leafs.
7. Place the kale pieces on to two cookie sheets. Make sure to flatten and separate each piece and avoid piling any on top of each other. This is very important in order to obtain crispy kale chips.
8. Sprinkle the chips very lightly with the salt. Please keep in mind that these delicate chips do not need much salt.
9. Place the two cookie sheets in the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes.
10. After the 7 minutes, rotate the cookie sheets and place the timer on for an additional 6 minutes.
11. Check on the kale chips and if they are not at a mildly crispy state, keep them in the oven and check on them every minute until they have reached the crispiness you desire. Be careful here, as there is a fine line between not-crispy-enough and burnt. The chips will get slightly crispier after taking them out and letting them sit for a moment, so a bit under crispy is much better than over crispy.
12. The finished chips should be mostly crunchy with just a touch of moisture. They should still have their bright green color and there should not be any burnt taste.
13. Once the chips have reached the desired cooking point, take the trays out of the oven and let the kale chips sit for an additional 5 minutes before transferring them on to a separate plate. This step will to allow the chips to get a bit more crispy.
14. Eat, share, and indulge in good company!