Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kale Chips and Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast? Seriously? Sounds whack, I agree. I first encountered this term "nutritional yeast" in my absolute favorite baby food book, Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I reference this book on occasion to this day, and it's no secret that Super Porridge is STILL a staple in our diet. Anyhow, this book talks about all kinds of additions to baby foods, such as nutritional yeast. I never went that crazy when feeding the girls - I mean, I went porridge-with-pears-and-spinach-and-hardboiled-egg-crazy, but yeast was reserved for baking bread. Then I found this recipe for Kale Chips, which calls for nutritional yeast. And you know me - I love to try new (and strange) things in the kitchen. I simplified my own concoction and we are hooked - nutritional yeast and all.

Kale Chips
  • One bunch of organic kale (I often buy the fairly curly kind because it is a thicker leaf)
  • 3 T organic olive oil
  • 2 T low sodium organic soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Bragg organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T nutritional yeast (found in the bulk section at The Merc)
    • Wash kale and tear off of stalk into 2-inch-ish pieces
    • Combine olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, yeast
    • Toss kale with sauce in a bowl; use hands to make sure kale is evenly coated
    • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; toss/flip chips over; bake for 15-20 minutes more
    • I typically start removing some of the smaller pieces as they are crisping after 25-30 minutes, letting the bigger pieces bake longer

I can't lie - the nutritional yeast is a bit of an oddity to me. This combination of ingredients gives them a salty taste like chips (the soy sauce) but with a cheesy flavor (the yeast). They are by far the best kale chips we've made and the whole family devours them. These kale chips have been showing up regularly for post-nap snacks - they are quick to throw together and it gets yet one more super veggie into the girls. 

We are just coming off of our first illness since the pneumonia attack in early March. After that whole debacle, the slightest cough, sniffle, or whimper in the night makes me cringe to this day. The girls were in perfect health all summer and their eating habits are nothing shy of incredible. I expected the runny noses and the cough to linger for weeks this time around, again. But they didn't. The girls bounced back quickly, they never missed a meal while sick, and we only encountered one rough night each last week. So "Cheers!" to those super veggies and mega fruits, those whole grains and home-cooked goodness. I truly believe that every meal matters.


  1. These sound interesting, I'm going to have to try them! When I first started cooking vegan I found SO many recipes call for nutritional yeast, took a little while to get used to, but it's a great ingredient!

  2. Hi Jen - thanks for visiting! Yes, my husband and I were baffled by the nutritional yeast, but it really does add something awesome to these kale chips. I'd love to know what else you do with it! -Erin