When I left the States to live in Europe 16 years ago, I don’t think you could even find kale in the grocery stores in America but now they’re everywhere! And though kale has strong “roots” in Europe–with dishes like stomppot in the Netherlands to ribolita with Tuscan kale in Italy–it wasn’t as readily available there as it is here since vegetables are often sold seasonally, rather than imported year-round. Now that we’re back in the “Land of Plenty”, I’ve bought kale several times, mixing it into salads–though sometimes the leaves are a little tough for salad–and sometimes sauteing it with a little onion and olive oil–a dish that tastes like it must be good for you. Just trying to get more healthy kale into our diet…I’m sure you’re aware of kale’s many health benefits:
- high in anti-oxidants
- low in calories
- helps prevent cancer
- high in Vitamins A, C, and K
While I love eating healthy food, I don’t really like it when my Good Husband says, “Looks like it’s good for us!” I want it to look delicious, taste delicious–and be nutritious.
One day recently I decided to experiment with making kale chips, which I had only heard about, but never made. I found them to be easy to make and irresistable! When I served them beside a sandwich for lunch, my Good Husband didn’t say anything about them looking good for us–he just thought they were yummy! So when I’m craving a salty snack–that’s healthy–I bake up a batch of kale chips.
The first time I made kale chips I used a bag of prewashed and cut kale, but it was difficult to pick out–and throw away–all of the pieces of stems since the stems don’t really make good chips. So I would recommend just buying an entire bunch of kale. First, pull off the tough stem and rinse off the leaves. Be sure to dry them well in a salad spinner or with a towel because it’s important that the leaves are dry so the oil will adhere to them. (I throw the stems away though I’m sure they could be used in a soup or smoothie…)
Tear the leaves into chip-size pieces and place them on a baking sheet lined with silicone or parchment. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. You really need very little oil. I probably used about one tablespoon for the whole pan of kale–about 8 cups.
Then, “massage” the oil into the leaves so that they are lightly coated–even into the creases. I work quickly on this, not rubbing each individual piece one at a time but just quickly rubbing all of the pieces….tossing and rubbing and tossing and rubbing. You get the point
Hopefully you can see in this picture how shiny the leaves are, coated with oil.
Next I sprinkled the kale with nutritional yeast…just because I had some on hand. You might want to try chili powder, garlic powder, dry mustard or cayenne pepper.
…if you don’t sprinkle on anything else, be sure to sprinkle on some salt…
Put the kale in a 300 degree F (150 degree C) oven for 15 minutes. Then toss the chips around a bit–I just use my fingers but you could use a spatula to toss them–and bake for 10-15 more minutes. They’ll be nicely dried and crispy. They’re not pretty. But they’re not supposed to be!
They’re just yummy!
They go great with a sandwich, or with salmon patties…or just on their own, instead of a bag of chips or a bowl of popcorn! Enjoy!
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