Perfect Kale Chips
So I’m the kind of person who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, I have a salty tooth. My favorite snacks are things like chips, crackers, or popcorn. Usually, those are not very healthy, of course. So when I was introduced to the humble kale chip, I went crazy. When made correctly, these chips taste the way I remember Cheezits taste, and it’s SO good.
I made these for my dude friends when they ported after a month’s journey across the seas, and they too fell in love. From then on, I tried to have a gallon ziplock bag or two of these babies ready for them whenever they got back to land. Did I succeed? No. Did it help that I can easily throw back three batches of these just as soon as they get out of the oven? No. Sorry guys. No kale chips for you!
This is a very easy snack to make. There are a few ways to make them, so if you don’t want to use any oil, you don’t have to. They are better with just a touch of oil though, I will say.
All you have to do for a bag of delicious kale chips, is buy a couple bunches of kale at the store (organic is always better with kale!). Clean them very well. I’m talkin’, rubbing each leaf with your fingers to make ’em feel loved!
Then you separate the leaves from the stems. You can do this very easily by holding the bottom end of the stem, putting another hand just below where the leaves start, and holding the stem as you slowly pull off the leaves in one fell swoop. The leaves should easily detach from either side as you go along.
Then you tear the leaves into slightly-larger-than-bite-sized pieces – kind of about the size of a regular chip.
Put a bit of olive oil in a little bowl, touch a finger to the oil, and massage each piece of kale. Only add more oil to your finger when the oil is gone. With this method, I usually use less than 1/4 of a tablespoon per batch. To save time, you can drizzle 1/4 tablespoon of olive oil over a bowl of the kale and massage it through, thoroughly.
During this process, I like to keep the cleaned kale in the colander in order to allow more water to drain off. We don’t want to steam the kale, we want to make yummy, crispy, chip-ies!
This is what my kale chip prep station looks like:
Next, you put the pieces of kale on a tray, making sure not to overlap them. You want each one to be flat so it can get nice and crispy. They can be crowded, just not stacked. They will shrink up a bit in the oven. Sprinkle sea salt, and any other seasonings you desire, evenly over the kale.
Set your oven to the lowest setting. My lowest setting is 240 degrees. At this heat, bake the batch for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around and finish them up with 10 more minutes. I turn the tray to make sure everyone is receiving equal heat. Fair is fair! I’ll save you the trouble I used to go through and tell you that there is NO NEED to flip each individual kale chip! Thank goodness!
For a RAW VERSION of these kale chips: Set your oven or dehydrator to 118 degrees. Let them “bake” overnight or for 8 hours. Then, congrats! You’ve got yourself a fully-loaded nutritional snack to enjoy right there!
Here is a before and after shot of these puppies:
For extra crunchiness, let them sit for about 2 minutes once they’re done. Or… you know what? Just eat them! Forget that step – they’re too good to wait for!
- - 3 leaves of kale (or half a bunch)
- - 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- - Sea salt
- Set the oven to 240 degrees or lower. The lower it goes the more nutrients are saved!
- In a colander, clean the kale thoroughly, using your fingers to massage every nook and cranny.
- Separate the leaves from the stem by holding the bottom of the stem, grasping the stem lightly with the other hand just below the leaves, and pulling to the end.
- Cut or rip the leaves into just-larger-than-bite-sized pieces - about the size of a regular chip.
- Pat the kale pieces dry or keep them in the colander to further dry.
- Add a little bit of olive oil to a dish. Dip one finger in and massage as many kale pieces as you can before the oil runs out on your finger. Then dip again. Try to cover all of the surface area. To do this step faster, put the kale pieces in a bowl, add the oil, and massage thoroughly. You really want to cover as much of the surface area of the kale as possible.
- Lay the kale pieces on a baking tray. They can be crowded, but make sure none of the pieces overlap.
- Sprinkle on a thin layer of salt or any other seasonings of your choosing.
- Put the tray in the oven and let cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn the tray around and cook for another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, try a chip and make sure it's crunchy. If it's chewy (for example because it's on a slightly lower heat setting), keep in the oven and keep testing at 5-minute intervals. If you are trying for a raw kale chip, set the oven or dehydrator to 118 degrees and let it "bake" overnight (8 hours).
- Let the chips firm up even more by waiting 2 minutes, or disregard this step completely because they're too yummy to wait.