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Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips

October 16, 2012

Two announcements before we begin!

First of all, I was on TV again this morning (eep!), preparing my Famous Five-Minute Blondies on Better Kansas City, a local lifestyle show. Being in front of the camera never seems to get easier for me…but I think I’m getting better at it, bit by bit. 🙂

Secondly, and most importantly, I’m leaving town tomorrow, flying to Boston, taking a bus two hours south, hopping a ferry, and finally joining my radiant friend Éva Rawposa as a guest instructor at her Uncooking101 Raw Vegan Vacation on the gorgeous island of Martha’s Vineyard! This all-inclusive “retreat” is happening Thursday 10/18 through Sunday 10/21 (and there’s a second leg next week), and it’ll be 3+ days of hands-on raw food classes, gourmet meals, relaxation, socializing, and much more. I am SO excited that I’ll be there helping Éva with some of the classes (and doing some vacationing, myself!). I can’t even explain how awesome this is going to be…but I’ll definitely report back about all the fun. Maybe I can even find some time to blog while I’m there—we shall see!

Now, on to today’s recipe!

As you may know, I included an entire chapter of kale chip recipes in my cookbook Practically Raw. They’re one of my favorite snacks, so I thought they deserved their own section! The book includes savory recipes for Curried Kale Chips, Pizza Kale Chips, Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips, and more, plus three sweet varieties: Coconut-Vanilla, Chocolate, and Maple-Pecan. If you haven’t tried dessert kale chips, you are seriously missing out! They are indescribably good, and I can’t decide which of those three in my book is my favorite.

But I may have a new favorite sweet kale chip, after creating these apple-cinnamon flavored treats. It took a couple batches to get them right (let’s just say, using dates as the sweetener was not the best idea!), but I think I perfected them. Get some greens in your next dessert by making these munchable treats that you have to taste to believe.

Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips

raw, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, oil-free, low-fat
(plus nut-free and oven-baking options)

1 cup dried apples (preferably unsulfured), soaked for 2 hours and drained
1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
1 cup water or nondairy milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed, torn or chopped
(about 8 cups chopped)

Combine all ingredients except kale in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water if needed to blend.

In a large bowl, combine the kale and the apple-cinnamon sauce. Use your hands to massage the sauce all over the kale, making sure it’s coated completely.

Raw: Arrange the kale in a single layer on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours or overnight, until crisp.

Baked: Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a fork or spatula to carefully flip the kale chips over (it’s ok if you miss a few). Bake for about 10 more minutes, watching carefully to make sure the kale doesn’t burn, then remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 242 calories, 8.3g fat (1g sat), 40.2g carbs, 3g fiber, 5.6g protein

Substitution Option
Instead of cashews, you could use macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, or a mixture.

Variation
Nut-Free Apple Cinnamon Kale Chips: Replace the cashews with sunflower seeds.

Chef’s Tips
– If you choose to bake these chips in a conventional oven, please keep a very close eye on them; all ovens behave differently, and the chips can go from crisp to burnt in the blink of an eye. You may want to experiment with a small test batch of chips to see how your oven treats them, and find out if you need to alter the baking time at all.
– Soak the apples and the cashews together in one bowl.

I like to get my dried, unsulphured apples from Blue Mountain Organics.

Mmm…this caramel-like cinnamon-apple coating is so good, you could also simply slather it on fresh apple or pear slices for a treat.

Remember to really massage the sauce into that kale. Don’t be shy. Go deep-tissue, not Swedish.

Spread the saucy kale evenly onto your dehydrator tray or baking sheet.

The chips will shrink as they dry.

Ta-da!

Because of the dried apples, these chips don’t ever fully crisp up—they retain a bit of chew, even after a lengthy dehydration. But I loved that about them!

Yum, yum, YUM!

Oh, autumn. Please never end.

P.S.—I also wanted to give you all a heads up on some things I’ve got brewing over here. You’ll start to see some changes on my site in the next few weeks, as I finally undergo the redesign I’ve needed and wanted for such a long time. Most notably, I am at last rebranding—you’ll see my site change from AlmostVeganChef.com to…ChefAmberShea.com! No more labels for me 😀 My Twitter and Instagram handles have already been changed, and the name of my FB page may change too (if Facebook allows it). Nothing about my content is changing—just the name and design of my site. I’ll keep you posted for the big unveiling. Yippee!

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2012 5:35 pm

    Oh, Amber. You’re a lucky girl. 🙂 I’m DYING to go to Martha’s Vineyard. And I LOVE the East Coast and anything near it…NY, Boston, D.C., Baltimore…any little island floating off in the water. Love it all. Your classes sound like so much fun. The more I hear of your adventures (and read about your past schooling), the more I want to take classes, too! (Outside of pastry arts…) But it will have to wait…

    I saw you on TV, just clicked on the channel in time. You looked beautiful and very calm. I would be nervous and start talking so fast, lol. The kale chips sound so yummy. I’m going to wait until I have the funds to invest in a dehydrator (I don’t like them out of the oven so well…probably user error…) before I make them. But the cashew/caramel-ish/apple sauce…I’d probably dip my apples, or pretty much anything, in that. 🙂

    Have a wonderful trip and much-needed relaxing vacay.

    • October 16, 2012 5:37 pm

      I’ve never been to the Northeast, so I’m looking forward to it 😀
      Aw, thanks for the compliments on my TV spot. As usual, they didn’t tell me where to look, so I hate that I’m totally sideways the whole time (and on my bad side, at that), but as far as the talking goes, I feel like I’m improving!
      Do you have my book yet, lady? You need it! 😛

      • October 22, 2012 12:15 am

        You won’t want to come back from the NE…or maybe you’re already home? You either love it or hate it. The people are definitely tell-it-like-it-is, and I love it! 🙂 I wondered about how you were positioned on the morning news…I just thought the camera man like your boobs, because that’s all I could see, lol. And as for the book…I SWEAR it’s at the top of my list. I was banned from cookbooks for the entire summer by the hubz. He got so sick of Amazon boxes coming to the door every other day, hehe. And because I’ve not really worked in so long, aside from the healing work (which is not happening any longer, at least for the time being–lost my space where I was teaching and facilitating), I really had to cut down on extra expenses. But I’m hoping that will all change soon, very soon. May get back into cake decorating for a while, not sure yet. And as SOON as somebody is actually paying me to do something again, I shall be purchasing your book–hopefully before #2 is out! I can’t wait to start trying kale chip recipes. 😉

  2. October 16, 2012 5:41 pm

    These are going to be the next kale chips I make!!!! They sound sooooo good! I don’t have any dried apples, but I’m assuming they are critical and that you can’t substitute nondried apples?

    ~Kelly
    http://www.leafynotbeefy.com

    • October 16, 2012 5:46 pm

      I’ll be honest, I didn’t try it with fresh apples. The thing is, fresh apples have so much moisture in them, so your caramel sauce could end up extremely runny and not likely to adhere to the kale properly =/ If you do try it, make sure to omit the water/milk, and give them extra time in the dehydrator/oven to dry out. And let me know how it works!

  3. Dede Stoykova permalink
    October 16, 2012 5:59 pm

    Hi, Amber, I just tried the basic naked Kale chips, and OMG, it really works! It is as crunchy and melt in your mouth as it can get! Who knew kale had such a pleasant side; because it is hard to enjoy it in a fresh juice or cooked as much as in chips! Thank you for that, and I will sure try the other varieties.

    • October 16, 2012 6:14 pm

      Happy to hear that, Dede! If you liked the Naked ones, you’ll LOVE the other flavors. 🙂

  4. October 16, 2012 8:08 pm

    Nice job this morning! I’ve never had sweet kale chips, so this sounds really interesting. The apple coating looks so good though that it may not even make it onto the kale 🙂

    • October 16, 2012 8:20 pm

      Thanks!
      The apple coating is totally good enough to make for other [dipping] uses. 🙂

  5. October 17, 2012 4:14 am

    Hi Amber. These Kale Chips look amazing. I love sweet kale chips and I use different kale chip recipes from your book all the time. They are the only kale chips I’ve ever tried in the oven that have actually worked really well. I love your book. Thank you so much. I really like your new domain name too.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve featured you in my Top 8 Vegan Blogs list. http://www.greenthickies.com/8-best-vegan-blogs-vegan-recipes If you like it I would love it if you could share this with your Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter?

    Many thanks

    From a big fan, Katherine

    • October 17, 2012 4:31 am

      Wow, thank you so much Katherine! For the compliments on my book (so happy you love it!) and for featuring me on your list. I am honored. 🙂

  6. October 17, 2012 12:56 pm

    You sound terrifically confident, Amber, and really comfortable/in your element. It shines, and thereby makes you shine even more.

    Wish I could’ve been at the retreat! Can’t wait to hear about it 🙂 xoxo

    • October 18, 2012 7:42 pm

      Fake it till you make it, right?
      I’m finally here, and finally got my luggage after the airline lost it…for 30 hours. Long story. Ugh.

      • October 18, 2012 7:46 pm

        Right. And oh, how you make it 😉

        Ah, lost luggage. It’s a rite of passage, but the shitty thing is that the universe seems to think it’s a rite of passage we need to go through multiple times in our lives… but you’re there and shining!

      • October 18, 2012 7:48 pm

        Yeah. Way too many effing times, for me.

  7. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts permalink
    October 18, 2012 6:42 pm

    I love anything apple, so these look like my sort of kale chips 🙂 And congratulations on the TV appearance! Have a great vacation now 🙂

  8. October 19, 2012 4:37 am

    This is awesome! Your cinnamom apple coating looks so good… I am not sure wether it would make it’s way to the chips! I guess I could just eat it on it’s own!

    • October 19, 2012 3:27 pm

      It’s great on its own! Grab a spoon 😉

      • October 20, 2012 8:09 am

        I was just wondering… do you think there’s a chance that this could also work with fresh apples?

      • October 20, 2012 4:43 pm

        Like I told Kelly above, I haven’t tried it with fresh apples – the thing is, fresh apples have a lot of moisture in them, so your caramel sauce could end up extremely runny and not likely to adhere to the kale properly =/ If you do try it, make sure to omit the water/milk, and give them extra time in the dehydrator/oven to dry out. And let me know how it works!

  9. October 21, 2012 11:00 pm

    Hi Amber,

    Wow, so much going on. So excited for you. How fun to be on TV, but I’m sure it nerve-wracking. Have a great trip.

    And these kale chips look just amazing. My kids happen to LOVE kale chips and this variation looks like it was made for little ones. 🙂

    So awesome.

    Hugs,
    –Amber

    P.S. Look forward to your new site.

  10. October 22, 2012 7:06 am

    These look great, Amber. Unlike you, tho’, I’m not a fan of fall.

    • October 23, 2012 9:27 am

      Thanks Dynise. You might like the Midwest; we hardly have a fall here. 😛 This Wednesday it’ll be 82 degrees out, and then on Friday it’s going be 38 degrees. HA!

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