For me, having raw snack foods within arms reach is central to being able to maintain a mostly raw diet. I have accepted the fact that I like to nosh. What happens is that I get cravings to bite into something at various points throughout the day - though I must admit that the cravings are far less frequent and intense than before I began eating mostly nutrient-rich raw foods. Still, when my tummy starts growling I lose all focus on whatever it is I'm doing and I begin a food-seeking mission that I have to believe is somewhat primitive evolutionarily. The problem is that healthful food is generally not within arms reach. To obviate the temptation for junk food, I try to cary an arsenal of healthful raw snacks with me wherever I go.
On Sunday, while at Blooming Hill Farm, I bought a gigantic bag of kale so that I could make one of my favorite snack foods - Cheezy Kale Chips. This recipe comes from my friend Chela Crane, who is an incredibly talented raw food home cook. Making kale chips in the raw requires a dehydrator, which I don't have. Luckily, the oven that came with my apartment has a "dehydrate" function with the lowest setting at 120 degrees. For those of you who don't have a dehydrator (or a fancy oven like mine), you can set your oven at the lowest temperature it will go, crack the door, and monitor the heat with an oven thermometer. Just make sure the thermometer goes below 150 degrees - some don't!
2-3 bunches of kale (depending on size)
2 cups raw cashews - soaked 2 hours
1 lemon - juiced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1.5 tsp salt
1 small red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Wash and dry Kale. Cut along the rib of kale to remove the stem. Cut or tear remainder of kale into "chip" sized pieces. Place kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment (or a teflex sheet in your dehydrator). Because the kale is so fluffy, you may need 2 or more sheets to keep kale in a single layer.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender. You may need to use a bit of filtered tap water to thin out the cheese sauce. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Pour over kale chips and toss with hands to coat evenly. Spread into a single layer and sprinkle with fine sea salt (optional)
Place in the dehydrator for 7 to 10 hours (I put them in before I went to work today and came home to a finished product).
I put some of the chips into a large gallon-sized ziploc bag for home and the rest into a small bag to take to work tomorrow.
I'm completely prepared for a new day of healthy raw living.