Kale is nutrition-packed like a multivitamin in every handful of leaves, and generally speaking, we don’t know what to do with it in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, kale has become the in-vogue-green of the last few years…but that doesn’t mean the average person knows how to prepare it (and its super-icky when both raw and plain like, say, a carrot)… So, how to get the best of kale in the average day : Kale Chips!!!
Once your kale leaves are washed, well-dried and de-stemmed, its only a minute more of prep time to make kale chips, followed by a few hours in a very low temperature oven. Simple, right?! They do indeed taste like chips, not like salad. Think a cleaner potato crunch, with, of course, a thousand times the health benefits and none of the carbs. The average serving of kale has tons of Vitamins A & C, iron, calcium, fiber and lots of phytonutrient goodness that is key to your vibrant life. Not a bad deal for a leaf I’d only seen as salad bar garnish until I was an adult!
Kale Chip Basics
- heat an oven to about 150 while you wash, very well dry (salad spinner time is right now!) and then cut the hard stems out of a bunch of kale. i like to do big bunches so that there are plenty and I make good use of this very long oven process. if you happen to have a dehydrator, well, you are well ahead of the game and congratulations, your kale will be done quickly!
- chop the kale leaves into extra large chip size bites, keeping in mind they are about to get dehydrated and shrink a ton
- to add oil, I put a teaspoon of oil at a time in my hands, rub them together and then massage the very dry leaves lightly. repeat with another teaspoon. if the leaves are either WET or OILY you will wind up with chewy, strange kale rather than bright green, delightful crunch
- next, season. I toss with a little sea salt and garlic powder. You can also try a bit of lemon juice and cayenne, a bit of sugar and cinnamon (yes, you are reading this right!) or just about any spice mix you would add to potato chips. I want to try salt and vinegar, but need to be careful about the wetness factor.
- once you are all seasoned, spread the leaves out on a cookie sheet and start the long, slow bake. after about two hours, jiggle them around just a bit so they don’t stick to the pan. generally, in four to five hours you have a big batch of kale chips.
- i shut the oven after 4-5 hours and leave them sit in there until I am ready to serve them or eat them myself, which is usually what happens!
Enjoy! I’ve seen so many kale chip methods on the Internet, but this is the only one I have found that works for me. That said, if you have a favorite kale chip method, please share! This is a worthwhile addiction.