Kale chips are something I had never eaten until just a few years ago. While living in New Hampshire I tried growing kale and used my homegrown kale to give kale chips a try.
After baking a few batches I have decided that the recipes online are too difficult and time consuming. I’m all for making cooking and baking as simple as possible.
Baking Kale Myths
The online recipes almost always say to make sure the kale is totally dry. I can’t wait that long. It’s very difficult to totally dry kale, unless you don’t rinse it at all. Yuk.
I’ve found that this doesn’t really matter.
Dry it with paper towels by squeezing it and just do your best. My kale is always slightly wet.
Nearly every baked kale chips recipe tells you to place the torn pieces of kale on the pan and then drizzle with oil. Some recipes say to “massage oil into each piece of kale”. What? I am not doing that. How long would that take?
In a large bowl, toss your kale with oil, salt and spices, and THEN place onto the baking sheet. This method works just fine. And the pieces don’t all have to be the exactly same size either. Don’t include big stems. I drizzled sesame oil into the bowl and stirred well with a fork, then I sprinkled in some hot pepper (not too much!) and a tiny bit of sea salt – a quick sprinkle. (I seldom add salt to anything, but I did use a tiny bit here.) The chips end up very thin, so sprinkle very lightly, or you will have too much flavor. Stir again to spread the flavor around to all pieces of kale.
Most recipes call for cooking at a low temperature, and this is probably a good idea in many cases, but if you use a stone baking pan like I did, baking at 350 degrees is fine (I did not heat the stone first). I baked each batch for about 10 minutes.
Don’t blindly follow the suggestion on the recipe. Some ovens bake quicker too – like a toaster oven.
It is easier to burn the kale at a high temperature, but it’s also easy to burn it at a low one. Chances are not all your kale will fit on one pan, so keep a close eye on the first batch to gauge the time. Write down how you did it to reference next time.
Kale will burn quickly at any temperature.
My baked kale chips came out perfectly. I always get a few that are not crispy, but most of them were just right. I put them onto a paper towel while I baked the second batch and then I ate them all….!!!
I often see people online asking how to save their baked chips, and there are a lot of answers online. I eat them all myself, so I don’t have that problem! Google it if you need to know.
Kale nutrient info: 1 cup chopped Kale has lots of vitamins A, C and K. It is low in calories and contains some protein, as well as many other good nutrients. For those who have to watch their phosphorus and potassium levels, it does contain some of each.
View the full nutrient chart at whfoods.org.
The other way I eat kale is to chop it and simmer it with other vegetables in my homemade soup.