Cleanse-Friendly Kale Chips Recipe with Kitchari Spice Mix
If you’ve ever done a spring cleanse, you may have experienced that mid-week slump when you’re suddenly hit with an overwhelming longing for savory, crispy treats. Fret not, the craving for crunchy foods is actually natural—and honoring your craving can actually be a good thing.
In Ayurvedic cooking, it’s important to honor your natural cravings, and to provide the needed taste and qualities to your meal to keep your body in balance.
Light foods are balancing during kapha season, which is typically early spring. As the ice begins to melt, impregnating the earth with moisture, the environment can be heavy and stagnant. We can feel these same influences internally as well, and our minds and digestion may grow sluggish, resulting in a desire for lighter foods to balance the impact of the environment on our bodies.
Rather than indulging in treats like potato chips, try adding crunch-tastic foods like toasted sesame seeds, sprouts, cauliflower, or kale to your meals.
Whenever I find myself wishing I had a bowl of popcorn or a plate of French fries, I whip up these kale-chips. This recipe is cleanse-friendly and worthy of a snaccident!
Making the Perfect Kale Chips
Roasting the kale on low heat slowly intensifies its flavor—it is savory, and slightly bitter. The bitter taste is helpful in removing stagnancy in our bodies, as it naturally supports detoxification with downward moving energy. In short, it can support elimination and help rid the body of built-up toxins.
It’s important to add warming spices to your food as well to ignite your agni, or digestive fire. Enter Kitchari Spice Mix! This tasty blend of Ayurvedic spices can be used for much more than kitchari alone and is a delicious way to support strong and healthy digestion during your cleanse.
For this recipe, we first cook the spices in the ghee or oil to spark their prana. Massaging the kale with spiced oil ensures the leaves are well-coated. The oil plays two parts—it helps to fully saturate the kale with flavor, and it also protects the leaves in the oven (hey—kind of like abhyanga!). Think of this massage as more of a gentle Swedish massage than deep tissue.
If you have a dehydrator, you can follow the first part of this recipe and use it according to your equipment. However, be sure to use a low temperature for these chips as too high of a temperature may cause them to burn.
Any kale will do, but if you like a “cheesier” chip, try using curly kale, as the nutritional yeast accumulates in the nooks and crannies. I choose to leave out the kale stems, as they don’t dry out at the same rate and stay somewhat tough. However, if you want to try cooking them on their own, please let us know how that goes!
Once your kale chips have cooled completely, try sprinkling them on your kitchari—or store them in an air-tight container for 2–3 days and keep them on hand for when those mid-cleanse cravings hit!
- 1 bunch dino or curly kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (vegan) or ghee (vegetarian)
- ¼–½ cup nutritional yeast
- Mineral salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Kitchari Spice Mix
Low and slow is the name of the game! Run your hand along the stem of the kale to remove the leaves, then soak in cold water for 10 minutes to awaken prana. Use a salad spinner or pat completely dry—this is important to achieve maximum crispiness! Tear your clean, dry kale into large pieces (they will shrink considerably).
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and prepare a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or use a baking mat).
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the Kitchari Spice Mix and lightly swirl until the aroma lifts. Turn off heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl (need that tossin' room) add a layer of kale, drizzle with spiced oil, then begin tossing and lightly massaging the kale. Add another layer, another drizzle of oil, toss, and massage. With each rotation, sprinkle a bit of nutritional yeast.
Place your coated leaves of kale individually on the sheet. Leaving space between the leaves is important to ensure the kale cooks well. Sprinkle with salt to finish (optional).
Place baking sheet on center or top rack (if you have a gas oven, use the top rack). Bake for 10 minutes, rotate sheet, and bake an additional 5 minutes. If you see the kale browning, turn off the heat for the last 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Enjoy your crispy snacks, and repeat as many times as you desire!