Baked kale chips are extremely light and crispy. Many people describe them as healthy potato chips as they have the same salty crunch but are much lower in calories and fat than potato chips. They are also full of nutrients. You can even top kale chips with your favorite seasonings.
Some people might not like kale chips though as they do have a unique flavor. However, you can get a bunch of kale for only couple of dollars so it’s worth a try to see if you and your family like it. Also, they are quick and easy to make. The hardest part is keeping an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.
Instead of the eating the kale chips whole you could even try crunching them down and sprinkling them over some freshly popped popcorn.
- 1 bunch (about 12 oz) organic kale - green kale (I used purple but that was all that was available)
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt - if you don't like a lot of salt use 1/4 tsp
Unfortunately, I only had purple kale on hand when I made this kale chip recipe. Purple kale has a purple rib and veins with really curly leaves. Next time I make this I'll definitely use normal green kale. If you make kale chips, please use normal green kale.
Remove the kale leaves from the rib (the main vein that runs from top to bottom). You can just rip the kale leaves off the rib. For larger leaves, just tear them into large chip sized pieces. If any kale chunks have any very thick veins on them, try to remove the veins as the fiber will just make the kale chip chewy.
Pour cool water into a large bowl or plastic kitchen tub. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water to help clean the kale. Add in a small bunch of the kale leaves and agitate to remove any dirt, bugs, etc. Put the rinsed kale in a dish or bowl. Repeat with the remaining kale leaves.
Dump the water out of the bowl or tub, rinse it out, and fill it back up again. Repeat the above step of agitating all the kale leaves to remove any remaining dirt or bugs. In my one bunch of kale I think I removed about 5 tiny dead fruit flies and some dirt. So don't skip the double washing step!
Using a salad spinner, dry out the kale leaves and place between paper towels. If you don't have a salad spinner, use paper towels to dry the kale leaves. You need the kale leaves to be VERY dry.
Place all the washed and dried kale into a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil — about 1 teaspoon at first. With clean hands, mix the olive olive oil with the kale leaves making sure that every leaf is coated. This should take a couple minutes. If the leaves don't feel they all have a thin coat, then add in half of the second teaspoon of oil and mix again. Be careful, adding too much oil can make them limp and greasy.
Once all the kale leaves are coated in olive oil, slowly sprinkle in the sea salt in batches as you mix. You want to make sure that you evenly distribute the salt and don't just get it all stuck to a couple pieces of kale.
Here is our batch of kale leaves covered in olive oil and sea salt. Now if you wanted, you could add some other flavors such as red pepper flakes if you wanted spicy kale chips.
Kale Chip Topping Ideas:While I haven't tried it, in place of most if not all of the salt, you could try using freshly shredded parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is high in salt so that should make a nice substitution while adding flavor. Another idea you could try is instead of using all olive oil, split it up by using 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar. Some additional topping ideas would be garlic powder if you like garlic, or red pepper flakes, cheyenne pepper and paprika if you like spicy / smokey flavors.
Place the kale chips on a baking tray. You will more than likely require 2 trays as I did. Be sure to give each kale chip enough room. They should NOT be stacked on each other, otherwise they might steam cook. See image to the left.
Turn on your stove fan if you have one to pull out the smell of the baking kale as it isn't very pleasant. Kale falls under the cruciferous vegetable family, and they release a sulfur odor when cooked.
Bake at around 300º Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Ovens vary in temperature and cooking times though so DO check your oven temperature if you can with an oven thermometer to make sure your oven gauge / regulator works correctly. Your kale chips will burn extremely quickly. You want GREEN kale chips, and want to aim for not seeing any brown at all. If they go brown they go bitter and taste horrible. The best thing to do would be to stay close to your oven and around 8-10 minutes poke a few leaves with a fork. If your hear them crunch / crackle like a crispy chip, they are done. It's a very fine line between good and ruined, so be very watchful. If they don't crunch when you poke them, give them another minute and test them again.
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