Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Make Great Kale Chips

Kale chips are one of those foods that have blossomed from total obscurity to a fairly mainstream presence. It seems that there are as many posts on making kale chips as there are food bloggers. So why am I making my own? During the several years that I have been making kale chips, I've followed many different recipes. Each one seemed to prescribe a different time and temperature and even method for baking the chips. Through trial and error (and a lot of burnt kale) I figured out what works, what's important, and what is unnecessary.

If you haven't had kale chips before, give them a try! The leaves turn crispy in the oven, and have a taste akin to good broccoli. Some folks have touted these as a less-guilt potato chip swap - I don't agree with that assessment. If you really want potato chips, these don't taste like potatoes. But they are crunchy and salty and great to snack on.

Use whatever seasoning or spices you like, even just plain salt. I usually use a blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

How to Make Kale Chips
Yield: depends on amount of kale used, usually 3-4 cups per bunch

You will need: 
1 bunch kale leaves (any variety)
Spray oil (like 100% canola oil cooking spray)
Baking sheet

How to make kale chips:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Wash and dry your kale. You can use a salad spinner to dry the leaves, or pat them dry with paper towels. Sometimes kale is quite muddy, so don't skip this step.
Step 3: Tear kale leaves into chip-sized pieces, and discard the tough stems. I like pieces 1-2 inches across.
Step 4: Spread kale leaves on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with oil (100% canola oil cooking spray works well for this). Toss the leaves with your hands and spray again. Sprinkle on your seasonings, and toss one more time, so all the leaves have a thin coating of oil and seasoning. Arrange in a single layer.
Step 5: Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Wait until the leaves are crispy (no soggy bits), but still bright green. If your oven bakes unevenly, turn the pan once during baking. 

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  1. Man, following your blog is making me prone to urges to GO HOME AND COOK THINGS RIGHT NOW.

    That's a compliment, in case you're wondering :)

    Also, I am thrilled that this calls for cooking spray. Every time I try to put some in our grocery cart, my boyfriend tells me we don't "need" it, as regular oil is just fine.

    Now I have ammo, so thanks for that.

    1. The cooking spray is essential here! You totally need it. :)

      And thank you!



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