I’m on the path towards edible righteousness, attempting to cut out all the junk and focus on healthy, local food – but I have one serious obstacle that keeps bringing me down:
I love to snack.
I work from ‘home,’ which means one of two things: I’m either cooped up all day at the little wooden table in our kitchen, or I’m holed up for hours at a coffee shop. Either options inevitably puts me way too close to tempting munchies. And let’s face it, my willpower is weak.
Snacking is something that I simply can’t not do. I love to munch, my belly is always begging me for treats, and frankly, I just really adore food.
My first experience with kale came when my lady friend Teresa (who is a truly phenomenal gardener/baker, this chick defines “green thumb”) moved away to Texas. She bequeathed me one cherry tomato plant, one Tabasco pepper bush, a chard, and three little kale stalks. I had never eaten kale before, but had seen a few recipes for kale chips – so I decided to give it a try.
The first three batches were a complete disaster. I was using this kale chip recipe, which instructed me to bake them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. I burned those poor kale leaves to an inedible crisp every time.
Eventually, I realized this recipe simply wasn’t working, so I decided to do things my own way – and now, I get perfectly crisp, perfectly flavorful kale chips.
Here’s your seriously simple, seriously delicious guide
to baking your own batch of seasoned kale chips:
What you’ll need:
1. Kale – Bonus if you buy it local at a farmers market or grow your own!
2. Salt and/or your favorite seasonings – I am all about garlic salt and black pepper; keep it simple.
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4. A Sookie Sheet – Or, in my case, many cookie sheets.
How to make ‘em:
1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
2. Prep your kale. I buy mine from local farmers, so they’re often full of little caterpillar buddies – which means I have to take about 15 minutes to scrutinize each leaf and save any critters who might be snacking on my kale. Rinsing your kale is recommended, but be sure to properly dry it afterwards. I just got a salad spinner, and aside from being really fun, it’s really essential for drying out the kale.
3. Break up each big leaf into bite-sized pieces. Mine are usually about two inches long, with some smaller pieces mixed in. Tear the leaf along the thick spine, and toss that spine afterwards. It’s a bit tough to chew on compared to the flaky leaf parts.
4. Toss all the kale into a big bowl, and drizzle olive oil over it – the amount depends on preference and how much kale you’re cooking, but be sure that each leaf is slightly coated. Season to your liking, but don’t be shy with the salt! It really does a lot to overpower kale’s natural bitter flavor – and makes your kale chips taste just like potato chips.
5. Arrange the pieces on a cookie sheet. I try to get ‘em all pretty flat, but they inevitably overlap a little – which is fine, kale shrinks A LOT when it bakes. Just don’t make it a big jumbled mess; you’ll need to toss ‘em halfway through.
6. Put your cookie sheet into the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Halfway through, pull the tray(s) out, and flip each piece of kale to ensure even crisping.
7. After 20 minutes, check on your kale to see if each piece is entirely dried out. I often end up pulling out the majority of my kale chips, then putting a handful back in the oven to finish up – the pieces are never perfectly uniform, so some may take a little longer.
Final step: Devour your delicious kale chips, totally guilt free. In the rare event that you don’t finish your entire batch in one sitting, you can store kale chips for a few days in airtight containers. Just be sure that there is no moisture in any of the kale chips – that’ll make the rest of ‘em soggy. And no one likes a soggy kale chip.
Did you know kale is loaded with antioxidants, and provides 100% of your daily Vitamin A, C, and K in just one cup? Yeah, it’s that good.