If you’re a fan of Vampire Killer Kale Chips, you are going to love these crispy garlic kale chips! I took chopped dinosaur kale and gave it a garlic and nutritional yeast-based coating. A (relatively) quick run through the food dehydrator left me with some of the most garlicky kale chips around! Increase your vegetable intake and dig into this phytonutrient-rich snack that is packed with B vitamins.
There are a few recipes that I’ve hung on to through the years that are back from my vegan days. These garlic kale chips are one example, and I feel they are worthy of sharing.
Be forewarned though – these chips are *extremely* heavy on the garlic. I used double garlic (from both fresh garlic and garlic powder). You can rest assured the vampires will stay away when you are snacking on this.
Your coworkers and family members may want to stay away too. Haha You might want to consider saving this snack for when you aren’t in close quarters with others.
What’s really crazy is that I used to make this recipe with TWICE as much garlic as I have listed below. My helpful recipe testers (i.e., my family) decided this was far (far, far) too much garlic for normal people. Trust me; you are still getting a ton of garlic here.
I picked up my food dehydrator many years ago on Craigslist for around $25. It is an old Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator, and I’ve been very happy with it.
Most ovens will not go to the low temperature needed here. However, just about any food dehydrator should work well for this recipe.
Wait… the nutritional yeast used in this recipe is not a whole food!
Before the food police come and cart me off (joking), let’s talk about nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast (not the same as baking yeast) is a heavily fortified food product. Some say it provides a cheesy flavor to foods without having to add dairy.
Generally, I advise that people aim to get their nutrient needs met with whole foods first. Fortified foods and supplements should be introduced when a person cannot meet their nutrient needs with food. If you consume no animal products, fortified foods like nutritional yeast can help you get vitamin B12.
Likewise, plant-based milk alternatives can help with calcium and protein intake. (See my recommendations for plant-based milk and yogurt alternatives on my freebies page.) An algal oil supplement can provide DHA.
Though it’s a good goal for vegans to aim for a primarily wfpb (whole food, plant-based) diet, some fortified foods or supplements are necessary. It is more important to ensure your essential nutrient needs are met than to eat a “perfect” diet of whole foods.
P.S. Purple laver is considered one of the best plant-based whole food sources of vitamin B12. Also, “Many vegetarian sources of B12—such as fermented foods, algae, seaweed, spirulina, yeast, and mushrooms—may not be bioavailable, despite claims on B12 labels. A large portion of the assayed vitamin B12–like compounds have no B12 activity in human physiology and are referred to as pseudo-B12corrinoids.”
The main takeaway is that it is important to ensure you are getting enough vitamin B12 if you eschew all animal products. Nutritional yeast may help, though the B12 may not be as bioavailable (i.e., usable by your body) as B12 in animal-based foods.
Just like it is possible to get too little of an essential nutrient, it is also possible to get too much of a good thing.
Last year, I posted a review of Bob’s Red Mill nutritional yeast. The article contains a nutritional breakdown of both that product and Red Star nutritional yeast. Head over there if you’d like to see the nutrition labels on these products.
Both of these products are heavily fortified with B vitamins. So heavily fortified, in fact, that a single serving of Bob’s yeast will put you over the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for niacin and folic acid.
I chose to use Red Star nutritional yeast in this recipe. Though it is less heavily fortified than Bob’s, a single serving (1.5 T) will put you over the UL for niacin. You get 2 T of nutritional yeast per serving of this recipe.
Many people will have nothing happen from occasionally consuming this much nutritional yeast (this includes my family). However, if you experience any adverse effects (skin flushing is among the most common), cut back on the yeast. Reduce the serving size I’ve given for these chips into a smaller portion, to ¼ or ½ of what I've listed.
While I’m on the topic of too much of a good thing, I have a short aside on coffee. If you’ve ever become concerned that you might be drinking too much coffee, check out this SparkPeople article. In this piece, I shared some tips that might indicate you are overdoing it with the cups of joe.
But back to the garlic kale chips.
This recipe fits a variety of dietary patterns, from omnivorous low-carb to vegan and many things in between. I like to keep healthy snacks in the house since my son is almost always hungry after school. I’d say this recipe definitely counts as nutrient-dense.
Just remember these chips are super garlicky. Consider yourself warned if you happen to be a vampire!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Garlic Kale Chips
- 10 ounces dinosaur kale pieces (I purchased a bag of Tucan kale at Trader Joe's)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1½ tablespoons almond butter
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- cooking oil spray of choice
- Remove the large stem pieces from the kale and discard them (or save to use in veggie broth).
- Mix everything except the kale and oil spray together in a small container. Make sure the ingredients are uniformly mixed into a paste.
- Add the paste mixture to the kale in a large mixing bowl. Use clean hands to massage the kale and thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Massage the heck out of the kale; it should look damp! You can add a few tablespoons of water if things are looking too dry. Try to get the paste as evenly spread on the kale leaves as possible.
- Mist your food dehydrator trays with the cooking oil spray. I needed three trays for this recipe.
- Spread your coated kale leaves in a single layer on the dehydrator leaves. There will be some clumps; that is ok.
- Set your food dehydrator to 155°F and let your chips crisp up for 1.5-2 hours. I find that they crisp more evenly when I switch the position of the trays in the dehydrator halfway through cooking time. Dehydrators all function a little differently, so feel free to extend the drying time if your chips have not reached peak crispness yet.
- The chips are at their best and crispiest right after dehydrating. I've had success storing them for several days in Ziplock baggies at room temperature, though they will lose some of their crispy goodness. Stick a folded dry paper towel in the bag with the chips to collect moisture if you have leftovers. Enjoy!
This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). Nice snack option! You are getting a lot of fiber, varied B vitamins, provitamin A, and vitamin C here. (Patting myself on the back. Hahaha) If you want a snack that is under 100 calories, I’d simply cut the given serving size in half. Some people will need to do this anyway if they happen to be sensitive to higher levels of niacin consumption.
Do you make kale chips as a snack? If so, what are some of your favorite seasonings to add? Do you prefer to dry them out in a food dehydrator or an oven?
Tell me all about your kale chip-making process (if you have one)! Also, please leave a rating if you try this recipe for garlic kale chips. Remember, this crispy chip goodness is for garlic lovers only!