The best kale chips

Mystery #1:

Our lime/orange/grapefruit tree.

tree (2)

When we first moved in, I was convinced that they were limes.

Then they turned orange and are now splitting open.


A fruit mystery, fo sho.

Mystery #2:

Our dehydrator is broken.


You see, things go in… but they never come out. They just disappear.


The most recent disappearing act: Cool Ranch Kale Chips!


Check out the little sprinkles of flavored goodness:

kale (2)

I’m really glad that they were super easy to make, because it looks like I may have to whip up another batch. Our house also smells like an onion, but it was 100% worth it.

Cool Ranch Kale Chips

Raw, vegan, gluten-free, ridiculous

Active prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 7 hours (1 hour for the cashews to soak and 6 for dehydration)

Yield: ??


-1 C raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour to soften

-1 bunch of kale


-1/8 C water

-1 T apple cider vinegar

-1 T nutritional yeast

-1 t dried chives

-1/2 t dried parsley

-1/4 t garlic powder

-1/4 t dried dill

-1/4 t sea salt

-1/4 red onion, thinly sliced


-paprika and extra sea salt for pre-dehydration sprinkling

-Gum and floss (for later)


1.) Blend the cashews, water and seasonings in a blender until smooth. Place mixture in the bottom of a large mixing bowl and add the sliced onions.


2.) Wash the kale and remove the stems. Tear off chip-sized pieces of the kale and add to the bowl. Using your hands, massage the mixture onto the kale bites so that each piece is well coated.

3.) Transfer the kale to 1-2 Tefflex sheets and sprinkle with paprika and additional sea salt.

kale (3)

4.) Dehydrate for 6-8 hours at 115*.. if they last that long 😉 You can also make these on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven, on the lowest setting with the door slightly ajar.

5.) Feast, floss, gum.

Let me know if any of you try these! I’d love to hear if you enjoy them as much as I do.

I’m back to work for bellydance, a level 1 dance cardio class, and stretch.

See ya later! <3



Playlist: Here’s a playlist I made for one of this morning’s cardio/strength classes. It’s a mix of some of my old and newer favorites, and bonus: it should match up perfectly with the Turkey Treadmill Workout. Enjoy 🙂


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  1. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on November 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Mmmm it’s been a while since I had some kale chips. No dehydrator in my house, so mine are made in the oven, but you’ve just convinced me to pick up a bundle of green goodness on the way home from work today!

  2. Barb on November 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    A dehydrator is on my list for Christmas!! Do you recommend any special kinds?

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      i use the excalibur 9-tray and love it

      • Marie on November 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        is a dehydrator a lot better than just oven-cooking???!! I know it takes longer … is all this extra time really worth it? (just asking before I invest!)

        • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

          it’s not that it’s *better*- the lower temps just preserve the nutrients in whatever you’re making and uses less energy than an oven. you can make a lot of creations in the dehydrator- pie crusts, fruit leather, kale chips, macaroons, raw cookies, raw pizza crusts, cookies, etc

  3. Liz @ Southern Charm on November 23, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Ohhh! Love this recipe! I’ve had store bought ranch kale chips, but am loving your ingredients. Must make soon 🙂

  4. Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs on November 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    OMG! I want to leave work right now to get these in my oven! I can’t wait try these!

  5. Claire @ Live and Love to Eat on November 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I’ve been craving kale recently!

  6. Ali @ Peaches and Football on November 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Time to steal… I mean borrow my mom’s dehydrator. These look worth the gum and floss!

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      totally worth it!

  7. aislin @ scribbles by a on November 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    my boyfriend also follows your blog and he is going to swoon when he sees your recipe for homemade kale chips. i haven’t tried any yet, not completely sold. are they really as yummy as everyone says?

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      YES! once you go kale chip, the obsession begins 😉

  8. Amanda on November 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I love this line: “Raw, vegan, gluten-free, ridiculous”. Yes, these sound and look awesome! I need to pick up a few ingredients, but I’m bookmarking this recipe for later.

    Good call on the floss. Nothing like eating kale chips and then realizing much later in the day that you had them stuck in your teeth…and no one told you.

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      that’s happened to me so many times, haha

  9. Postdoc on November 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    What do the fruits taste like? We also have a weird citrus tree in our backyard (in CA) – they look kinda like oranges, but taste much more like lemons with a hint of orange (ie, you couldn’t eat them as a fruit like you could an orange). Our best guess for ours is a Ponderosa lemon, which is a cross between a lemon and a citron – do you think it’s something like that? . We use them like we would lemons.

  10. Allison on November 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    gah i want to try these so bad! but i found out i am allergic to yeast, bakers and nutritional.. is it crucial for the nutritional yeast to be added into the recipe do you think, or would it be good without?

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      nope, you could totally skip it

      • Allison on November 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm

        thanks! i’ll be sure to try these out. gotta get used to this whole new diet… there is yeast and soy in everything! 🙁 im officially “off” bread now…

  11. Nicole P on November 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    with all of the new foods flying around I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a lemon/lime/orange.

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on November 23, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Gina they sound fabulous! I used to eat Cool Ranch Doritos in junior high and high school like it was my job.

    I have to try these. Because my dehydrator isn’t broken 🙂 good one!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Nicole on November 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    It could be a fruit cocktail tree. I have one that produces lemons and oranges.

  14. Ashley on November 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    i say grab one (non-split) fruit and give it a taste! i can’t imagine they’d plant some sort of poisonous fruit tree in a house’s back yard 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      that’s true. maybe i’ll be brave this weekend and give it a whirl

  15. Mara @ What's For Dinner? on November 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    That pic of the spices on the belly is priceless… when she comes out and wants nothing but kale chips, you’ll know why 🙂

  16. Michelle on November 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I love the crumbs on the belly! When I was pregnant I was always making a mess eating, Now all my maternity clothes have stains on the belly! memories!

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      hahah i am a huge mess right now. and everyone can tell exactly what i’ve been eating 😉

  17. Liz on November 23, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I’m considering getting a dehydrator but can’t go for it because I’ve never seen one “in action.” My biggest concern is the noise level (I live in a one bedroom apartment), so I wouldn’t be able to escape the sound if it is! Could you describe how loud they get?


    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      it’s like a loud hum. i don’t think it’s that distracting- almost calming

  18. Ashley on November 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Your tree is most likely a navel orange. Here is some information on navel orange trees in Arizona and why the fruit split.

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      oohhh good to know- thank you!

  19. Christine @ BookishlyB on November 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I have a tree at our new house and we’re going through the exact same thing! At first I thought lime, but now maybe oranges? I wish it was avocado.

  20. danielle on November 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I dream of having citrus tree outside my house!

  21. Tina @ Best Body Fitness on November 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I have never really gotten into kale chips, but these look incredible!

  22. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on November 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    That flavour of kale chips sounds amazing! But I’m allergic to cashews (and all other nuts except almonds). 🙁 Any suggestions for substitutions?

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      young thai coconut meat might work?

    • Kira on May 25, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Soaked sunflower seeds

  23. Kath on November 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I saw you today! I was the annoying girl peeking in on the Boomin Babies (or something) class at Canyon Ranch. I forget if you teach here, but if so, I’d love to take a class with you! Here til Sunday. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      yep that was me assisting boomin’ babies 🙂
      make sure you say hi next time you see me! i teach zumba on saturday 🙂
      so excited to meet you!

      • Kath on November 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm

        FANTASTIC! I will be there. Can’t wait!!! :):)

  24. Jen @ luckandfunny on November 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I had the same thing happen when I moved into my house — we had limes, no lemons, no oranges! Turns out we have all three, but they cross-pollinate. After four years I figured out that the lemons are always lemons, and oranges are always oranges … But limes ate sometimes limes and sometimes lemon-limes. No matter, the important thing is, it’s still a great margarita!

  25. Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT on November 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I’m totally in love with the playlists tailored for a certain HR. I know I can get in the zone and just find the rhythm, whether I’m running or lifting weights. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm

      me too- the right music for whatever i’m doing makes a HUGE difference

  26. Ryane on November 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Haha, I loved this post. Not really sure why – maybe just the randomness of it all or it has personality and real written all over it. My little way of saying you’re a breath of fresh air in what’s becoming a stale “healthy living blog” community.

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      thank you, ryane- that’s an amazing compliment <3

  27. Leslie on November 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I have to agree with Ryane. The time and effort you put into your post is apparent. I look forward to reading because the content is interesting, informative, and motivational. Thank you for being a bright light! I like reading your views on fitness and foods etc. But I love that you share your life in such a sweet way.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Fitnessista on November 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      thank you, leslie! i enjoy writing the blog so much, and write it for you guys, so whenever i get feedback (positive or negative), i really appreciate it.
      thank you for the kind words <3
      have a happy thanksgiving!

  28. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on November 24, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Those look so good! Are dehydrators really expensive? I’ve found cheap ones but wasn’t sure if there was a difference in quality. I just want to be able to make kale chips! haha

    • Fitnessista on November 24, 2011 at 12:31 am

      there are a lot of different types- i think the major convenience with the excalibur is that it’s pretty huge. smaller ones work just as well, but you can’t make as many goodies

    • Therese on June 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Hi, you may have gotten a dehydrator already but I did buy the Nesco American Harvest Garden Master. It was like $130 on Amazon and came with 8 trays and 8 fruit roll sheets and 8 other mesh trays plus a nice recipe book. You can add on more trays that you can buy to this one as well so yes you can do a lot of food at one time. It did the kale chips awesomely. I also did a few tomatoes with some ground rosemary and sea salt and some multi colored peppers. OMG!!! It really brought out the sweetness of those things. I looked at the more expensive ones but the majority still have the plastic trays so went with the cheaper one with the good reviews. The temp can be adjusted from 95 to 160 degrees. This way I can afford more KALE!!! Yum!!!

  29. Ali on November 24, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I wonder if those are Meyer Lemons! You must try them! Those kale look amazing. Ah.Maz.zing.

  30. Therese on June 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I have just started using my new dehydrator and made some Kale Chips the other day. Being allergic to cashews I eliminated them. The chips were still awesome plus I didn’t have all the calories from the cashews so when I ate tons of them I actually didn’t get many calories at all. I just used the nutritional yeast, lime juice as I am also allergic to lemon and the red pepper and just a bit of sea salt. Seems the lime makes them taste salty. I have also made them in the oven and my experience was that it was easier to over bake them and then mine got bitter. The oven is so much quicker though which makes it the best option in the case of a craving….lol!!!

  31. Erin on October 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I started making these later than I planned. But I was wondering, how would I store these? (Besides in my stomach– the “sauce” was delicious prior to being put on the kale)!

  32. Meal Planning Budget Month: Part 2 on March 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

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  33. Jocelyn on April 7, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I just made these and they are FANTASTIC! I used walnuts and hazelnuts bc I had on hand but I like what turned out better than the store bought! Yum!

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