Easy Kale chips

The word kale used to make me shudder. The way my mother served it when I was a child was to blame. My memory of it was a bitter, boiled, unseasoned soggy mess that pooled discolored water on your dinner plate which floated over and infiltrated the other foods, a further insult to trying gag the vegetable down. It was a LONG time before I went near the stuff again. It’s good I did because kale is nutrient packed (high in fiber, Vitamins A, C and K with lesser amounts of protein, Vitamin B6, calcium, folate, magnesium, copper, potassium and iron) and it does not have to be disgusting!

Kale is a cool-weather annual and tastes best in season. My opinion is that kale grown in warmer weather is more likely to be(come) tough and bitter. It should be a beautiful deep green. If it’s yellowing it’s old.

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I took a kale chip recipe and simplified it. I am ALL for short cuts in cooking. First I wash the kale. I use my salad spinner and break it up into roughly bite-size pieces, tearing off the toughest, thickest stems closest to the bottom. If you want an extra step, you can first put the kale pieces in a mixing bowl but I put them directly onto a large cookie sheet. I add a capful of canola oil, a capful of cider vinegar, a bit of cayenne pepper and a little coarse sea salt and mix them up so that all the kale is coated. Adjust the seasonings to your taste; I love spicy/hot but if that’s not for you, just eliminate the cayenne. I’ve just discovered the easiest way to mix is by hand (it keeps the kale from leaping off the cookie sheet) but a spatula works too.

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I cook the kale in a 400° oven for about 15 minutes, stirring a few times. The goal is crispy but not burnt so it’s important to keep an eye on it. A higher oven temp speeds things along but necessitates more stirring as we aren’t aiming for carcinogenic kale chips.

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Kale clearly has high water content  – see how much it cooks down (and don’t look at my discolored pan)

Now I’m not gonna kid you. These aren’t anything like potato chips but they DO have a delicate, satisfying crunch. Completely different from steamed kale, say. This is now my favorite way to cook kale.

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Isn’t that pretty? And nothing is floating around!

 

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19 thoughts on “Easy Kale chips

  1. foguth

    I had a similar introduction to okra by my mother . Hated the green slimy stuff for years, then accidentally (didn’t recognize it) ate some breaded, baked okra and it wasn’t bad… not as healthy as kale, but does admonish us that we need to pay attention when introducing new foods to others.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I love okra, having NOT been introduced to it as a child, but my readers recently balked when I talked about it! It pays, like you say, to give foods another chance.

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  2. Ron Walker

    I have never had Kale. It really does cook down a lot doesn’t it. If the end product is as tasty as you say, it is well worth it. Thanks for the tip, I may get Michelle to try preparing it, so I can at least say I have had some.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh definitely, give it a go. Sometimes just preparing a food the right way makes ALL the difference. Years ago I couldn’t stand raw green pepper (still can’t) but a woman I knew advised cooking it, saying it was “a whole different vegetable.” She was right and I’ve been eating cooked green peppers ever since.

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  3. edgar62

    I have never had Kale. Oh yes I know all about it but my mother never bought it, we never grew it and I have never tasted it. Likewise for Okra. Sorry people, I don’t feel as if I have missed out on anything.

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  4. Ally Bean

    I’ve had kale chips that were from the grocery. They were so salty that I couldn’t eat them. I never thought to make some myself, but you’ve inspired me to give it a go. Your simple recipe calls to me. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh, that’s great! I’m too cheap, er frugal to buy them but the salty business is good to know. I understand – if recipes have 20 ingredients and look like a lot of trouble, I lose interest pronto. -Colette

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