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Kale Chips – A Healthy & Delicious Way To Eat More Greens!

Kale Chips

When it comes to food likes/obsessions I am a CRUNCHY/SALTY kinda girl! I will choose a bag of chips over a chocolate sundae ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! Sadly, my love of all things crunchy & salty over sweets doesn’t do me any favors. Potato chips (try zucchini chips as a healthy alternative), and the like, really are the ultimate “empty calories.” So when my daughter-in-law Kaitlyn suggested we try making some Kale Chips to try and fulfill that crunchy/salty craving AND add a little nutrition to our diets at the same time, I was all ears!

Kaitlyn writes:  A couple of weeks ago while my husband and I should have been paying attention in Sunday School we were playing a game of hang man. My husband put down a four-letter word and gave me the clue “something that tastes bad.” I think it took me one guess to figure out that it was KALE. It’s safe to say he’s been very vocal about his hatred for this vitamin-packed leafy green. And, I have to admit, I’m really not a fan of raw kale either.

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We were both in stitches when we saw this Jim Gaffiigan interview on Conan a few months ago. My favorite line, “I looked at a can of bug spray, and it said, ‘Made with Real Kale!” Haha! Love it!

But seriously, let’s talk for a second about the health benefits of kale. This article from the Huffington Post has a simple rundown on why kale is something you might want to consider adding to your diet. It’s super high in beta carotene, vitamins K and C and rich in calcium. It’s also packed with phytonutrients that help with inflammation. If you’re an athlete or even just someone who frequents the gym, kale is very beneficial for sore muscles that inevitably follow a tough workout.

green smoothie

To avoid the yucky taste I usually just throw a couple handfuls of kale into my green smoothies. I’ve also heard that adding a little olive oil and lemon juice to raw kale can really mellow out the flavor. But the kale recipe I’ve been most intrigued by is kale chips. I’ve been dying to know what the fuss is about and finally got around to making some this week.

I read a bunch of recipes to make sure I didn’t mess them up. I found these three to be especially helpful: NomNomPaleo.com; SmittenKitchen.comKitchenTreaty.com.

After they came out of the oven, I was totally nervous to try them! But I plopped one in my mouth and was pleasantly surprised that my kale had been transformed into a deliciously crunchy, salty chip. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are exactly like a potato chip, but if you’re looking to fill a salty craving these definitely fit the bill. And what’s not to love about a tasty, guilt-free treat?

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized bunch of kale
  • Dash of coarse kosher salt (Seasoning salt would be delicious as well.)
  • 1 teaspoon extra light olive oil (I used extra light olive oil for the mild flavor but EVOO or avocado oil would be great substitutes.)
Kale Chips

Directions

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Start with a medium sized bunch of kale.

Kale Chips

Use a small paring knife to cut the leaves off the center ribs. The ribs have a bitter taste that you don’t want in your chips.

Kale Chips

Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces.

Kale Chips

Rinse the leaves off. I like to put them in the strainer basket of my salad spinner for easy rinsing.

Kale Chips

Dry the leaves until you feel like you’ve gotten as much water off as possible. One recipe I read said they need to be completely dry, but mine were still a little damp and turned out fine.

Kale Chips

Toss the leaves with olive oil.

It only took about a teaspoon of oil to thoroughly coat all my kale. I tossed a handful of leaves at a time to make coating them a little easier.

Dig into that bowl of kale with your hands to make sure each leaf is thoroughly coated.

Kale Chips

Arrange leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. I promise there is a cookie sheet under my enormous silpat ;)

Flatten out the leaves as much as possible to ensure that they cook evenly.

Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes. I definitely recommend starting with the shorter cooking time and then checking on your chips because they can burn pretty quickly.

Kale Chips

Toss with coarse kosher salt. My salt didn’t really stick to the chips so I just made sure I had a piece of salt or two when I ate them. I love the crunch of the coarse kosher salt!

One word of warning…these chips do have a pretty strong smell so they will stink up your kitchen. Luckily Jill had some great suggestions for getting odors out of your house in yesterday’s post!

Kale Chips

And there you have it – a delicious and nutritious snack!

Have you given kale chips a try?

Delicious kale chips arranged in a bowl on a marble table.

KALE CHIPS

Jill Nystul
When it comes to food likes/obsessions I am a CRUNCHY/SALTY kinda girl! I will choose a bag of chips over a chocolate sundae ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! Sadly, my love of all things crunchy & salty over sweets doesn’t do me any favors. Potato chips, and the like, really are the ultimate “empty calories.” So when my daughter-in-law Kaitlyn suggested we try making some Kale Chips to try and fulfill that crunchy/salty craving AND add a little nutrition to our diets at the same time, I was all ears! Kaitlyn writes: A couple of weeks ago while my husband and I should have been paying attention in Sunday School we were playing a game of hang man. My husband put down a four-letter word and gave me the clue “something that tastes bad.” I think it took me one guess to figure out that it was KALE. It’s safe to say he’s been very vocal about his hatred for this vitamin-packed leafy green. And, I have to admit, I’m really not a fan of raw kale either.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 133 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 200 grams Kale
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil extra light

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  • Start with a medium sized bunch of kale.
  • Use a small paring knife to cut the leaves off the center ribs.
  • Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces.
  • Rinse the leaves off.
  • Dry the leaves until you feel like you’ve gotten as much water off as possible.
  • Toss the leaves with olive oil.
  • Arrange leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  • Flatten out the leaves as much as possible to ensure that they cook evenly.
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  • Toss with coarse kosher salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSodium: 76mgPotassium: 982mgVitamin A: 19980IUVitamin C: 240mgCalcium: 300mgIron: 2.9mg

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • […] social media lately is cauliflower EVERYTHING! It’s such a trendy vegetable right now – kind of like kale. Turns out it’s trendy for good […]

  • Hey Jillee and Jillee’s fans – you can also make kale chips on your grill (barbeque) which may be useful for those who find the smell of cooking kale a bit strong. Here’s how:
    http://constantlycooking.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/grilled-kale-chips/

    I have several great kale salad recipes on my blog as well; the secret is to massage the dressing into the kale to tenderize it. Never, ever thought it would happen, but my husband is now hooked on kale!! Here is one of his favourite salads: http://constantlycooking.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/shredded-kale-salad-with-dried-cranberries-walnuts-and-parmesan/

    All hail the kale!! :)

  • I am glad that you shared the recipe of the kale chips. My kids love kale chips, the only problem is that, I can’t ever make enough of them. :)

  • I love Kale chips too and have been making them for awhile. Using lower temperature is better as it does not kill the enzyme in the Kale giving you a more nutritional value. 170 is best. My recipe: In a large bowl, combine 2 tsp Tahini sauce, 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp tamari (or coconut aminos for soy-free version), 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup and whisk together until fully smooth in the bottom of the bowl. Add washed and dried kale leaves and 1 cup of raw cashews and toss through with your hands, gently incorporating all of the tahini sauce, and working it gently through all the leaves. Add 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast (I use B12 Nutritional Yeast) and continue to work through the kale leaves. Transfer the kale and nuts to two baking sheets lined with parchment paper (which will help absorb some of the moisture) spreading them out. Sprinkle the leaves with 1/8 tsp (scant) sea salt. I bake for 45-60 minutes (rotate trays once during baking) and then turn off oven, rotate trays again and then let sit in the oven for another 30 minutes. At this point I would check the kale and flip them over and bake again at 170 for 10-20 minutes depending how dried they are. If they are ready before that leave in the over and let them sit until the oven is cold. They will be crispy and a dark green. The nuts will be crunchy. Kale over chips any day. Enjoy!

  • I’m definitely going to have to try these chips. I agree that kale is great in the zuppa toscana recipe. We’ve also used it in a kale and quinoa salad. It’s yummy.

  • Playing “hangman” in Sunday School? Was that supposed to be funny?
    I suppose most people didn’t even notice it. ~ But give me the kale chips, please.

  • Love kale chips and can gobble ’em down! Jillee you were reading my mind! I have whats left of a bunch of kale in the fridge from zuppa tuscona ala Olive Garden style and the only other thing I know to do is make Kale chips. BTW, my other half shares your hubster’s sentiment on Kale with “ugghh!!” But do be careful and not eat too much or it’ll give you green poop!

  • I don’t like the commercially prepared chips, so usually make my own. Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I do them in the microwave. I put them on a paper plate and give the leaves a light spray with Pam Olive oil spray, then cook for about 30 seconds at a time, until they are as dry as I want them to be. Much quicker than the oven.

  • Here’s how I do it (works perfectly every time):

    After tearing the leaves into bite size pieces, spray your foil (if using) with oil spray (whatever kind you like). Add the kale pieces. Spray lightly again. THEN add black pepper and fine sea salt (not a lot; a little goes a long way).

    Bake at 350 for 4-6 mins depending on your oven. Much quicker than the posted recipe and they always turn out crunchy and awesome.

  • I too have been Kale-free my entire life! LOL My Mom cooked it, but I just could NOT acquire a taste for it! I read about the Kale Chips a while back and keep telling myself to try them. So, I WILL! Thanks also to the people who said they put it into their smoothies. That gave me the idea to puree it and throw it in with a thick soup, like green pea.

  • I’ve wanted to try Kale Chips for a while and this is giving me the nudge to try them! I’ve read all the comments and written down several of the suggestions. I think using POPCORN SALT will help when trying to get the salt to stick to the chips during the baking process. Morton makes it and it’s described as “Super Fine Salt”. It’s in a small, light blue shaker. Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the post!

  • Saw this a while back on Pinterest and decided to give it a go as my daughter struggles with ‘greens’, especially leaves – wish I’d seen it sooner – they’re delicious and she’ll eat as many as I can make! I grind the coarse salt in a mortar and pestle with a little garlic powder- helps it to ‘stick’ and is yummy! Lately I tried the same thing with broccoli – cut into small florets (don’t waste the ‘stalk’, cut that into 1/4″ ‘coins’ and bang it on the tray too) – has very similar taste to the kale chips …. and now my daughter will eat broccoli too – even for a snack ……that she asks me to make! Yay! I’m definitely going to give the spinach a try and the cumin to season.

  • I love love love kale. Most people in the deep south do and have for years. I am 60 years old and have eaten it since I was a small child. It’s rather amusing how the rest of America just recently discovered it. However, we put it in a little water and cook it for a very long time. It is amazingly sweet after long cooking. My husband acts like Pavlov’s dog when he walks in the house and smells that lovely odor, lol. I also like it and all greens lightly wilted in bacon fat. If you love the flavor of bacon fat but want it to be a tad healthier, add a healthy fat to a small amount of bacon fat, you’ll still get the flavor but will be using less of it.

      • I made some tonight and salted them in the bowl after adding the olive oil. I didn’t think they were too salty. I used seasoned salt, lemon pepper, and a little onion powder. I also added a small amount of lemon juice to the olive oil.

        I think I baked mine too long, though, but I still like the way they turned out. Thanks! :)

  • Make sure you are using only organic kale!!!!!!

    Kale is one of the top offenders for having the most sprays and pesticides used on it, and since it is a leafy green, you can’t just peel off the worst of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Love, Love Kale Chips … my daughter makes them – she likes using a baking stone — i’ll tell her about the silicone pad. She uses EVO and Braggs and my grandsons eat them like they are … well – chips :-). We don’t use nutritional yeast as I have SUCH a niacin reaction to that – but we don’t miss it either. I saw a recipe for doing it in the microwave but haven’t tried that yet. This is a great way to eat kale (if what someone had was bitter – might have been too old kale – or baked too long).

  • I agree with Cindy. Baking at a lower temp for a longer time, so they don’t burn and they get really crispy that way.
    I use a garlic or lemon flavored olive oil and toss them in a deep bowl. I also use a long pair of chopsticks and stir them around until they are nice and evenly coated. And I also salt them in the bowl ( Crystal Diamond kosher salt is best, you can crush it very finely with your fingers).

  • Made these last night. I use salt & ground cumin. It’s hard to picture, but the cumin works so well with the kale!

    One tip: Once you oil the kale, that’s when you add the seasonings. That way they stay one during the drying process.

  • We make these also and I am always pleasantly surprised to see my son’s high school athlete friends actually choose to eat them! Instead of tossing mine in a bowl of oil I spray them with the olive oil in my Misto. I love that Misto!

  • I was a little skeptical about these, but my friend assured me they were delicious. She was right! I liked eating right out of the oven while they’re still warm, I wasn’t crazy about them after they sat out for a bit. Like a potato chip you can’t eat just one but if they’re healthy there’s no harm in eating more.

  • I make these to sell at our local farmers market. I bake them 3-ish hours at 170 less smell, less chance of burning. Also for seasoning, use coconut oil and olive. Warm it so it will spread easily. Then I mix sea salt, garlic powder onion powder large flake nutritional yeast and a dab of cayenne pepper,. You can make it as spicy as you like it. I also dehydrate them but my taste buds say the baked are better. Everyone who tries them says how much better they are than store bought. This is a good way to take extra garden produce and make extra money. I sell them $3./oz sandwich bag size. I hope you enjoy them as much as my customers

    • @cindy burson: Could you tell me the name of the nutritional yeast you use? I’m very intrigued by your recipe! (Sorry if this is a duplicate comment, the first one was eaten up, but may show up later)

  • I made Nom Nom Paleo’s brussel sprout chips last week and they were AWESOME! Save the outer leaves of brussel sprouts and do the same thing as you do for kale chips – oil and salt, bake til crispy. Such an easy and tasty way to get your greens!

  • Really, I have to differ. I have tried them a few times and I find the taste of kale still disgusting. Don’t like the texture either. Sorry. If I am going to eat kale it will have to be in a smoothie, well disguised!

  • Kale lasts a long time in the frig, but once it starts to go, it goes bad fast. Before it starts to turn, I bag it up and freeze it and use it in soups in place of spinach. We like the kale chips, too, and melt some cheddar on them for extra flavor.

  • I ABOSLUTELY LOVE Kale Chips! They are the perfect solution when I’m craving something salty and a little crispy. You can totally play with different seasonings too. We love using some taco seasoning on them. I have also heard people put them in their dehydrator instead of the oven – don’t have to watch them and stir them. I have just had other things in mine at the time.

    One tip, from experience, be sure to buy the whole kale leaves and tear the leaves off the stem. The stem dries at a much slower rate, so doesn’t really get dried out before the leaves burn. I tried buying chopped kale once to save time – and the stems were soggy and made the rest soggy after sitting. Also, if you have any left store them in an airtight container so they stay crispy – they absorb the moisture from the air pretty easily and aren’t as good soggy (experience talking lol)

  • This has become a staple in our household, doing up a couple of bunches a week. Rather than watching the oven to ensure the chips don’t burn, I set the oven to the lowest temperature (175 in my case) and let it sit in the oven for 3 hours, swapping the pans around and mixing up the leaves. No danger of burning this way.

  • I make kale chips all of the time for my daughter and I. I just worked a part time catering job prepping for a chef. She had me add a little honey to the salt/oil mix. Delicious! The honey really takes the bitterness out while retaining the saltiness!

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