RECIPE: Baked Kale Chips You’ll Get Hooked On

I’m a recovering junk-food addict. And football season was when my bad eating habits kicked into high gear. Oh, how I loved crunching on chips during football games! When I decided to take better care of my body, junk food was the first thing to go. So I accepted that the days of snuggling with my bag of chips during footballs games were over. Until now! For, now, I have discovered … baked kale chips!

If you’re wondering if kale chips are as good for you as, say, a kale salad — they are! Kale chips are just as nutritious as eating kale in a salad or any other dish. When you bake kale to make chips, it loses water content, making it dry and crispy. But all the nutrients stay in the kale chips. You just may eat more kale in chip form than in salad form because, without its water content, baked kale will not fill you up as much as the raw kale would. But, hey, it’s kale, so eating a few more chips isn’t a bad thing.

After surveying a few foodie friends of mine, I have tried and tweaked the recipe to perfection. Now that I can satisfy my craving for chips with kale, I’ll never go back to potato chips again. Ready to try it?

WHAT YOU NEED

1 bunch of “curly” kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon (or to taste) extra-fine grain Himalayan pink salt

WHAT TO DO

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Line a non insulated baking sheet (for best results) with parchment paper.

With a knife, remove the leaves from the ribs and cut or tear into chip-size pieces.

Wash and thoroughly dry the kale.  You must thoroughly dry the kale or the chips will steam rather than crisp in the oven.  I found using a salad spinner does the trick.

Drizzle kale with olive oil just enough to barely coat the leaves to avoid soggy chips.

Arrange the kale pieces curly side down. The chips come out crispier this way, maybe because it allows circulation under the kale. Try not to overlap the kale pieces.

Sprinkle with extra-fine grain Himalayan pink salt to taste.

Bake until the edges turn brown but are not burnt.

When you take them out of the oven, move the chips immediately onto paper towels (or a rack) to cool.   Don’t pile them up while they’re still hot or they will steam and wilt.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE

The timing of the baking is critical and the trickiest part to get right. Under-baking gives you limp kale leaves, while over-baking causes a burnt taste. It should take 10 to 15 minutes, but start checking it around the 9 minute mark and check often.

I use the “curly” kale variety because I think it’s less bitter and makes crispier chips.

I use a non insulated baking sheet because my gourmet-cook-foodie-friend told me to. I rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through so the kale cooks more evenly.

Sometimes I get a little impatient waiting for the chips to cool and start eating the chips while they’re still a little warm.  So delicious!

Are you addicted to baked kale chips, too? What’s your favorite way to season it?

Posted in Healthy Eating

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