About the Recipe
If there is something I start craving in the fall it is snacks and cozy comfort foods that will help me hibernate and get through the tough winter months ahead. Having a healthy snack at arms length is a necessity or I will find an unhealthy alternative. Winter just does that to me.
Anyone that knows me, also knows that I am a lover of vegetables. Ever since I was a little girl, if there is one thing that I would ask for seconds of, it was salad or whatever vegetable side that went with the main (and dessert of course). Crunchy, crisp salad with a nice saucy vinaigrette, cooked carrots, steamed broccoli...my mouth is watering just writing about it.
Because kale is a cruciferous vegetable (think cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower) it is tough and hearty. (Hence why it grows well in the cooler months of spring and fall). You'll want to remove the leaves from the stems, as it is the leaves that will crisp up so nicely to give you this light airy crunch. Some people enjoy the toughness of the leaves, but most prefer it when the leaves have been slightly softened and less intense to chew through. An easy way to break down the fibers is to massage it. Add the kale to a bowl with a light drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt and massage with your hands until the leaf volume has reduced and it feels slightly wilted to the touch (2-3 mins). Don't be afraid to really get in there, you won't damage the leaves, in fact, that is what you are aiming to do!
Both flat leafed kale as well as curly leafed kale are good for chip making. It really just comes down to your personal preference. The amount of kale you use will depend on the size of the leaves as well as the size of the portion you are hoping to get. The leaves do reduce quite a bit when they have been baked (as they lose their water content). Once you make one batch, you can adjust quantities to your liking.
4 stalks of kale
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 300F.
Prepare kale by removing leaves from the stems. Make sure to give your kale a proper wash and dry the leaves thoroughly. I find the easiest way to do this is by using a salad spinner. You want your kale to be nice and dry so that it crisps up nicely when baked. If they are too wet, they will steam instead of dehydrate.
Move kale to a large bowl. Soften by adding a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt (I like Himalayan Pink Salt but you can use regular table salt) , and massage the leaves with your hands for 2-3 mins. Note- do not over oil the kale. It could soak the leaves and prevent them from achieving the light crispy perfection that you are seeking. A little goes a long way!
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or reusable liner. Spread massaged kale evenly over tray in one layer trying your best not to overlap. Better to do two batches than trying to make one batch in a hurry.
Season kale in some salt (or any seasoning you like). Bake for 20 mins or until the edges start browning. Careful not to burn the leaves. I find it helpful to give the leaves a little shake halfway through cooking to turn them over and see where they are at in the cooking process. (Remember, they really reduce in size once they have baked).
Once they are finished cooking, you can add a bit more seasoning if you want. Et voila! Enjoy!