Kale Chips

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my friend and office-mate Maggie bringing in some homemade kale chips.  Maggie was inspired by watching Gwyneth Paltrow talk about them on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (watch the segment here; she also makes a vegan paella), and I, in turn, was inspired by Maggie.  So I made kale chips a few days ago, and I documented the process with my handy-dandy camera.

The first step?  Buying kale.  I recently bought kale for the very first time.  See?

I was super excited to buy this kale, and I bought these two bunches knowing that they were destined to be turned into chips, and yet they sat in my fridge, untouched, but about a week.  Kale is a hearty green, however, and so when the time came for the kale to meet its destiny, it was still in good shape.

I got out my cutting board, and laid out the two bunches of kale:

Each kale leaf has a thick stem going down the center that you don’t want to eat – so you gotta cut them out, one by one.  It’s easy to do:

After depositing the stems in the trash, rip up the leaves into chip-sized pieces.  No need to be scientific or exact – just rip big pieces in several smaller ones.  Then, you give the kale a good wash.  My kale was kinda gritty – so I piled all my kale pieces into a colander, and rinsed it all under the faucet.  If you have a salad spinner, use it!  I don’t have one (and don’t want one, either – just another kitchen device that I don’t have room to store), so I got out a clean kitchen towel, and rolled the kale up, and gave it a good squeeze, and than seemed to work pretty well.

Here’s the dry kale, in my new orange bowl that I got about a month ago:

I drizzled 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the bowl.  I have this basil-infused oil, and I actually don’t remember exactly where it came from… it was either given to me as a gift, or I may have won it in a foodie-related package at a silent auction a few years back.  Either way, I like it, and thought it’d work well here:

Most kale chips recipes also call for salt, but I try to cut out salt wherever I can, so instead, I tossed in some Mrs. Dash (table blend) and cumin, because I love cumin and thought adding a little smokiness might be fun.

One you have your kale oiled and seasoned how you want them, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  I sprayed my sheet with a light coat of Pam, just to be safe:

Into the oven they go!  350 degrees, for 20-30 minutes.  You want the kale to be crispy all the way through, but they’ll go from crispy to scorched quickly, so you gotta watch them near the end.  I pulled out mine out after 25 minutes, and about half of them were perfect, and half of them were a little too brown.  Not inedible, but not perfect, either.  Those not-perfect ones, interestingly enough, taste really similarly to scorched microwave popcorn; whereas the good chips taste so much like potato chips, you can hardly believe it.  They’re crispy, light, subtle, and delicious.

That’s the finished product in a Tupperware-type container.  I divided the chips between two of those containers, with the idea that I’d eat one over the course of the day, and take the other to share at the office the next day, but guess what happened?  I ate both containers, completely, before bedtime.  All gone.  And they were good.  And so guilt-free it’s ridiculous!  Oh, and I haven’t mentioned that kale is a superfood – a great source in vitamins A & C, copper, manganese, calcium, and a bunch of compounds that may help prevent cancer.  I’m going to keep making kale chips – are you gonna give them a try?

Keep it up, David!

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9 Responses to Kale Chips

  1. Elisha says:

    I have a horrible potato chip addiction, so I think I need to try these kale chips. I’ve heard about them all over the place, and the thought has always been, “Um, kale? Baked until crispy? Ew.” But, what have I got to lose (other than all the calories in the potato chips I would eat instead)?

  2. Karen says:

    I had wanted to try these since you linked to the segment. So I made them about 2 weeks ago and (since you were so successful) I will now have to try again. I scorched most of mine, and added waaaay too much salt (when the kale dries up, there’s almost no mass to it, so a teeny tiny bit of salt goes a long way). Have you tried roasting/crisping thinly cut cauliflower this way? It doesn’t get as crunchy as kale, but it does have a nice crunch on the outer tips and I really enjoyed that recently too. Also very guilt-free!

  3. I’m gonna try it! Thanks for posting it.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Okay, I’m gonna try it!

  5. Katherine Gill says:

    your kale chips sound great!..Im going to try my hand at them..oh by the way .. I looove your orange bowl!..where did you get it?

  6. Just discovered your blog about a week ago, made these chips today! They are surprising good! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  7. Ellie Wing says:

    Thanks for the kale chip recipe, David! I’ve been making “kale soup” for years, so it’s a well-known veggie in my family. It’s already on my shopping list for the next trip to the grocery store!

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