Every so often, I get a text from a friend asking for a refresher on how to make kale chips. I can't tell you how much these messages make me smile, particularly when they come from a previously skeptical convert.
The first time I heard about kale chips was from a cousin, who was living with her husband in a trailer on a small organic farm. With her long blond dreadlocks, she looked very much like a wood nymph, the sort of mystical creature that would turn kale into chips and delude herself into thinking that they actually tasted good. When I finally made my first batch, I was as surprised as anyone that kale chips are not only delicious, but addicting. They're not potato chips, but they do satisfy that salty-crunchy craving - AND, you don't feel awful after eating a whole bowl. Before you know it, you just ate three servings of kale...and liked it.
So I spread the word. I got my coworkers in on the action, made large batches for my friends and family, and even posted a recipe on my old blog. The reaction was the same from almost everyone who tried them: kale chips are really good, and you don't have to be a hippy or health nut to enjoy them! If you don't believe me, take our First Lady's promo on Thursday's "The Tonight Show: "Kale chips are not 'ewwwww!"
or one, who will totally enjoy them at the time but might regret the decision a few hours later…not that I'm speaking from experience or anything
1 bunch kale - you can use any kind, though curly kale is my favorite for chips
1/2 tbs olive oil
salt, to taste
optional seasonings: sesame seeds, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, chili flakes, seasoning salt or sandwich sprinkle - use your imagination! See below for some additional suggestions.
Heat oven to 275 degrees. In the meantime, wash kale and remove leaves from stem. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.
Dry leaves thoroughly, and then mix with olive oil and any seasonings - except for salt. I've found that sprinkling salt on after the chips are done allows you to use less salt with more taste.
Arrange leaves on a baking sheet, and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes, checking at regular intervals. The range is wide, because this recipe is really sensitive to oven temperatures - I've made these in many different ovens, and the time can vary quite a bit. If you add more oil and raise the heat slightly, these will cook faster. You'll know that the chips are done because they're crispy and dehydrated. It's a short leap from chip to burnt offering, so pay attention!
Chips are ready to eat right away, though you can also store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for several days.
Here are a few other variations if you're feeling adventurous!
Southwest "Nacho" Kale Chips: smoked paprika, garlic salt, cumin, and nutritional yeast
Sesame Kale Chips: sesame oil plus soy sauce or liquid aminos
Spicy Kale Chips: add some hot sauce to the oil of your choice
Super Healthy Hippy Kale Chips: coconut oil plus chia seeds