Vegan Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips

September 30, 2011

Today is a fun day because I get to post a recipe from Brendan Brazier’s new book, Thrive Foods!

Brendan’s a hottie, dontcha think?

 And, of course, he’s VEGAN! Yay for strong, smart vegan men (including my husband: love you, honey).

I was sent this book to review and I read it with a bit of a skeptical eye, the reason being that his bio says he is “recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition.” Oh really? That’s a pretty big statement. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading the book! I especially liked all the information about the environmental cost of food production. That’s part of the vegan argument that I’m not that knowledgeable about so it was great to learn more.

I was intrigued by this piece of info: “For the average American, switching to a plant-based diet would prevent more CO2 from being released into the atmosphere than by eliminating driving altogether.” I’m a Californian and I do love my car, so this made me feel a little less guilty about driving (note: I carpool and take public transportation whenever possible to further reduce my carbon footprint).

As far as the nutrition info in the book, it was good but not comprehensive. But, I don’t think that was the purpose of this book. I did learn about something called sachi inchi seed which I had never heard of before. It is supposed to be a great source of omega-3s so I’ll have to look for them online (the book directs readers to

I also really liked the recipes included in this book. I chose to make the Sour Cream & Onion Kale Chips because 1. I used to looooove eating sour cream & onion potato chips when I was little and 2. I have only made kale chips one other time and it was a disaster.

To prevent another kale chip mishap, I followed the directions carefully. I started with a bunch of organic curly kale:

This is important: wash the kale before you pull it off the stalk (reason being because it’s a lot easier to dry this way). I put the kale in a large bowl of water and rinsed it thoroughly:

Then I dried it on a clean towel:

Then it was time to pull the leaves off into chip-sized pieces:

I just threw away the stalks although I’m sure you could juice them if you wanted to. Next I combined the flavorings in my Vita-Mix, but you can also use a regular blender. The ingredients included cashews, water, onion powder, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, salt and fresh parsley which I had to leave out since I forgot to buy some (printable recipe below):

The next step is to pour the cream over the kale and lay the pieces out on two parchment-lined baking sheets:

Then, you just bake them at 250 degrees for about 60-70 minutes. The instructions said to toss once during cooking, but mine didn’t really toss well so I just kind of moved them around. Here’s what they looked like when finished:

Mmmmm, they were SO GOOD! Now I understand what all the fuss is about with kale chips. The book also has a BBQ version that I want to try next.

Here’s the recipe, I re-wrote it in my own words and made the parsley and salt optional since I left them out.

From what I understand, Brenda is also the creator of Vega Foods, the vegan protein powder supplement. He has also authored a number of other books. If you want to find out more about his work, check out his Thrive in 30 website.

I’ll be back next week with news from my visit to San Francisco’s World Vegetarian Day Festival and some new recipe posts for Vegan MoFo!

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) September 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

It looks and sounds really good, maybe a good way to try kale :).
It’s funny, I just put The Thrive Diet on my books-wishlist, now I’m even more excited to read something from Mr. Brazier.


Carrie September 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Thanks Sara! I think his books are worth checking out, I’ve read two of them now. Let me know if/when you try kale!


Faith @ For the Health of It September 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I love kale, but I have never done the chips. I’ve never thought they looked flavorful enough, but this changes that!


Carrie September 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm

They are really great and taste a lot more like potato chips than veggie chips! Let me know if you try making them and how they turn out.


Heather @ Better With Veggies September 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Ooooh – that looks like a delicious Kale Chip Topping! I have the book, but have not had time to read through it yet. Without many pictures on the recipes, it’s harder to just grab & cook (maybe that’s just me). I’m going to try this recipe tonight though, it sounds perfect for my “Veg-Curious” friends coming over for dinner. :)


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Hi Heather, how did your kale chips turn out? I agree, I usually like to cook from books that have pictures, I’m such a visual person. Take care, Carrie


Heather @ Better With Veggies October 4, 2011 at 1:23 am

They turned out great – although I would have add more of the sauce to each leaf next time. Great reviews from our veg-curious friends who had never had Kale Chips before. Yum!


Cynthia September 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm

This looks so good, Carrie! I’ve been lagging behind the kale chip revolution, but I hope to get on the bandwagon with this recipe! I think I’ll try substituting sunflower seeds for the cashews to see what happens (nut allergy in our house). Thank you!


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Hi Cynthia, thanks for the comment! Can you substitute sunflower seeds for cashews in most recipes? Do the sunflower seeds get a creamy texture like nuts? I’m so curious!


Darryl October 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

A great use for those leftover kale stems is to chop them and Vitamix them with some bottled carrot juice. This makes a wonderful soup base.


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Hi Darryl, great idea for the soup base, thank you!!!


sara October 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’ve gotten pretty addicted to kale chips, but I haven’t had this flavor before. I’ll definitely be making these soon. Happy MoFo!


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Happy Mofo to you, too, Sara! :)


Miss Rachel October 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I have not tasted kale chips, but these look great. I have kind of an aversion to using my blender (mostly because I hate having to clean it afterward), but I definitely need to get myself to use my blender so I can make these!


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Hi Rachel! Isn’t cleaning up the worst part of cooking? I make my husband do it. :) When I used a blender I used to put it in the dishwasher to clean. Now that I use a Vita-Mix it’s even easier, you just add soap and whirl it for 30 seconds and then rinse it out. Good luck!


Glauce October 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Kale chips are amazing! I found your blog in the Vegan MoFo list and I’m adding you to my blogroll list to keep updated with your posts :)


Carrie October 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Thanks Glauce, looking forward to checking out your blog! Vegan Mofo is so much fun!


Michaela October 14, 2011 at 6:24 am

I had a bunch of kale at home that I didn’t know what to do with (I have been adding kale to my green salads, but I don’t really like it that much), so I decided to try this recipe. :) I think I might have burned them a bit, they got quite dry and crispy and ended up looking a lot greener than the ones in your picture, but they very actually quite nice. :) An easy and quite healthy snack? I will make these again :)


Carrie October 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I forgot to say in the recipe that the chips can burn easily. So glad you liked them!


christine October 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I adore kale – so much so that I grow it in my garden:) I always tend to steam it, I love the rich, deep flavour it has, so, although I’ve seen mention of kale chips, I’ve never really thought about trying them! However, this recipe sounds great, so next time I have the oven on, I’ll give it a whirl. thanks:)


Carrie October 18, 2011 at 12:26 am

Hi Christine, this recipe is really worth checking out, I was amazed by how satisfying and delicious the kale chips are. Just remember to follow the directions carefully because I’ve messed up a few batches by either cooking them too long or leaving out a key ingredient. Good luck and let me know how they turn out!


Dave November 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm

These look great. I’m recently addicted to kale chips. I just made a quite tasty batch of nacho kale chips with both “dinosaur” kale and curly kale using this recipe: The only change: I used some dried peppers that I grew instead of the cayenne.


Carrie November 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Hi Dave, I loooove kale chips, too! Thanks for posting the link to the recipe you use, it looks delicious and not that different than the one I’ve been using. I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to make kale chips without as much fat from the nuts, but I have a feeling that they wouldn’t be nearly as good. :)


Joanne February 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I tried these for my heart healthy Valentines Day, however, they did not turn out looking like yours. I know I made my pieces too small. But I wonder why my cashews didn’t cream as well as your pictures? The flavor was wonderful.


Carrie February 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hi Joanne, did you use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix to blend the nuts? A regular blender will not get nuts to turn creamy.


Beth February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi Carrie – thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve been wanting to try kale chips for some time and hope to experiment soon. One thing to mention: a salad spinner will make the process so much easier and they are inexpensive. They have a colander that fits inside another bowl so you can rinse your greens efficiently. Then just spin them dry!


Carrie February 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thanks Beth! Let me know how your kale chips turn out. Just remember to not let them burn, just keep checking them until they get crispy but not too brown. They are sooooo good!!! :)


Christine September 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Great recipe. I want to get the book soon. Since I don’t have a vitamix I get a much creamer cashew cream if I blend the nuts first before adding the liquid. Still not as good as the Blendtec or Vitamix.


Cory February 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Hello Carrie! I’m new to the vegan lifestyle, i just found your blog and it hugely inspiring! these look amazing so I wanted to try them. How long do you soak the cashews?


Carrie February 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Hi Cory! To be honest, I don’t soak my cashews anymore, I don’t think it’s necessary if you are using a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. If you are using a regular blender, then 30 minutes should be long enough to soften them. Good luck!!! :)


Trish February 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I’m so glad I made a double batch of these yummy chips! They are awesome. First thing my hubby said was, “These are so much better than Trader Joe’s.” Much cheaper, too! I’ll be making these next week for company. Just a note: I used curly kale which is kinda “fluffy” so I had to skip a slot between my dehydrator sheets. A double batch just fit into my 9 slot Excalibur. Thanks again, Carrie, for another FANTASTIC healthy recipe!


Wendy@Plantivores June 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hi Carrie,

I tried these yesterday and they were absolutely delish! My only issue was that when I added all of the ingredients to my Vitamix there wasn’t enough volume to get above the blades and it wouldn’t mix. I ended up doubling the recipe so that there was enough volume to get everything to mix together and ended up having to add some water to get it to blend. I didn’t soak my cashews ahead of time. Did you run into any similar problems or was this just a user error? :)


Carrie July 1, 2013 at 5:29 am

Hi Wendy, I’m pretty sure the problem was that you didn’t soak the cashews. Soaking makes them very soft so they would have blended much easier. So, in this case, I believe it was user error. :)


Lisa August 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Hey Carrie…the chips are in the oven…first try…once they are done, how do you store them to keep them crisp?


Carrie August 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

Hi Lisa! I just put them in a ziplock bag or closed glass container.


Lisa August 19, 2013 at 4:38 pm

thanks Carrie! that seemed to work and they are delicous!!


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