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15 February 2015

Spicy Peanut Kale Chips

Makes: ~1 cup
Prep Time:5 mins, Cooking Time: 25-30 mins


Friday marked 6 months of my transition to a vegan diet. I'm amazed at how far I've come in such a short time and yet I can't believe that it was only 6 months ago I converted from being vegetarian for 7.5 years and swearing that I would never go vegan to never wanting to consume another animal product again. Once I learned the real truth about the dairy and egg industries I significantly cut down on my consumption, I hadn't drunk milk for years so that wasn't really an issue but eggs and chocolate especially were hard for me to give up. I went to Thailand last summer and came back knowing I was going to be vegan, at first I was definitely in the stage of  the most common question I get asked "What can [I] actually eat?" and it took a while and lots of research to really get my head round being vegan, what I can and can't eat, what I make for everyday food etc.
Today it feels like a second nature to me and I have discovered things like chia or flax eggs and vegan cheese which usually work in recipes that call for them. A very important thing I have learned since being vegan is that it's not about being perfect, being vegan means doing the best you can to reduce harm to others, vegan's get so much criticism if they're seen as doing something 'wrong'  or not 'vegan' because there is a stigma about the word vegan that brings people to believe you are out to get them for eating meat etc, that  means they jump on you the first chance they see a potential weakness, everyone has occasional slip-ups, whether it be what you eat or the products you buy, learn from your mistake and move on, don't dwell on something that wasn't intentional. And also, never interact with people who are trying to tear you down, whatever it may be about, just know that you're doing the best you can and that's all you can really ask for, never let the insecurity of others hurt you, no matter how hard it may be.


What has definitely amazed me is the lack of knowledge about veganism, the reasons for it I wouldn't expect many to understand, but when people ask you questions like "So what is a vegan", "do you eat fish", "do you have eggs then?" it really does surprise me. After people ask about veganism, I will explain to them my reasons why and that I do not consume anything that comes from an animal, meat, fish, eggs, dairy and then I get the question "so what can you eat?" I eat everything else! There is much more to food than animal products which as a culture we are not big on exploring, the food industry tells us we should consume these products so we conform to this because we're told we should, we're told we need it to survive, so we accept that and do not question it. I never really blame individuals for the questions, but rather those corporations who have stopped individuals being able to make an informed decision about what they consume due to the brainwashing industries out to make money. Do your own research and make your own decision about what you eat, whatever that may be, you know you've made that decision and you can be happy with it.

This next recipe combines two of my favourite things; peanut butter and my new found love; crispy kale, to produce kale chips that will leave you craving more. Whilst editing the photos for this post I ate the batch I just made and I'm trying to decide if two batches of kale chips in one day is too much? Surely not? It's just kale after all! It's not just kale though, these are spicy, sweet, salty, utterly delicious kale chips, I can't even believe I'm talking this way about a vegetable right now! I used organic kale that had already been prepared and bagged but if you have access to whole kale leaves then you can make slightly bigger chips. Also a note, I use meridian 100% peanuts PB for this recipe, if using salted or sweet PB then taste as you add the ingredients as it will alter the balance of flavour. These are great with lunches or as a snack and I would advise doubling the recipe if you plan on sharing them, they won't be around long!


You'll need:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Tbsp
  • Whisk/fork
  • Baking tray
  • Grease proof paper (or lightly grease the baking tray)

Ingredients:

  • ~2 cups kale 
  • 1 heaped tbsp crunchy peanut butter (100% peanuts)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp unrefined cane sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 120°C and line the baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Whisk together the PB, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, water and chili flakes in a bowl until fully combined, then add half the kale to the bowl and coat fully in the mixture, shake off excess liquid and transfer to the baking tray. Repeat with the other half of the kale and spread out evenly. If there is any liquid left in the bowl then use a bit more kale.
  3. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, keep an eye on the chips as you don't want them to burn! Serve up with lunch or as a snack and enjoy! Cassidy xx