Alright, so Kale chips aren't exactly new and ground-breaking, but I still think a good recipe is worthy of a post! You can easily find them on the shelves at your local grocery stores, but I find that other than the fiber content, the store-bought kale chips aren't that much better nutritionally than many other kinds of chips. They tend to be just as loaded with oil and salt, changing them from a nutritious snack to an 'enjoy as a treat' food.
Solution? Make your own! It's really simple if you can get your hands on some fresh kale and a good pan, and the options for flavouring your chips are practically endless. Keep on reading for ideas and some of my faves, as well as for creative ideas for using kale chips - they're not just a snack food! Making them at home gives you a healthier end result to enjoy, and will most likely save you a few dollars over the pricey trendy store-bought varieties.
- Large bowl
- Salad spinner (mine was a bit of a splurge, but I use it more than I thought I would)
- Stone baking sheet, or good metal baking sheer + parchment paper
- ~ 8 cups of fresh kale (1-2 bunches, depending on the size)
- 2 tsp oil (canola, sunflower, avocado)
- Seasonings (see ideas below the instructions)
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Wash kale and spin or pat dry until it is thoroughly dry.
- Tear kale leaves into bite sized pieces, discarding the boney stem in the middle of each leaf. Place the bite-sized pieces into a large bowl as you go.
- drizzle the oil over the kale leaves, and toss with your hands. Then use your fingers to massage the oil into each kale leaf. This sounds like a pain but it will make a big difference in your end result! You can adjust the oil if you feel you need to, but you'd be surprised - you can get away with less than you think. 2 tsp is plenty for 8 cups of kale for me.
- Once you've massaged the oil into the leaves sprinkle your seasonings on top and toss again until well mixed.
- Spread kale leaves evenly onto stoneware or parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary by oven so make sure you keep an eye on them! If they start to brown they're a little overdone. The trick is you want to get them dry, but not burned at all. If you're not sure, pull the pan out of the oven and try lifting a leaf up. It should feel crisp and light, not limp.
- Pull chips out of the oven and transfer them from the baking sheet into a bowl. Pop in the next batch!
Storage: Don't keep these in an air-tight container - they'll go limp! They keep best in an open bowl on the counter. If they don't get gobbled up sitting out like this, see my ideas for creative ways to use kale chips below.
- Plain Jane: Salt and pepper, optional squeeze of lemon juice
- Cheesy: Nutritional yeast (add salt if you like)
- Spicy: Add hot sauce, chill flakes, or sprinkle with chipotle
- Sweet and savoury: Try a flavoured salt like Epicure's maple bacon sea salt (it's so yummy!)
- Curry: Toss with a pinch of curry powder and salt
- The list goes on - try any flavour or combo of herbs and spices you like!
Creative ways to use Kale Chips:
- crumble and us as a topping for pastas or salad
- as a topping for popcorn
- crumble or add to asian dishes (ex. sushi or soba bowl) - as a substitute for seaweed
- crumble and use as a topping for scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble
- add them into a red pasta sauce for some extra veggies if you don't have any fresh greens on hand, they'll rehydrate and mix in well.
- as a snack! (not so creative, but my go-to!)
Nutrition info per 1/8 recipe (about 1 cup uncooked kale).
- Nutrition info will vary depending on the toppings you choose. For example nutritional yeast is packed with B vitamins! Most toppings you'll use in such small amounts they won't really affect the nutrition info that much, with the exception of salt. Be modest with the salt shaker and use as little as possible!
- Chances are you'll be saving yourself a whole lot of added oil, salt and calories with this home-made version compared to the store-bought kinds.