Kale is all the rage these days. I use kale to make my Ultimate Green Smoothie and Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette among other dishes, but it is the main ingredient in these delicious crispy Kale Chips. The only other ingredients are the spices you choose to season them.
I was looking for a crunchy healthy snack for the kids. I saw Kale Chips at the grocery store and checked out the ingredients. Simple. Then I checked the price and realized it’s much easier and cheaper to make at home. I can also season with as much or as little as I want creating so many different varieties.
I have been making these Kale Chips for years, but the first time I made these chips I got a funny look from my kids. “What is that?” and “I’m not eating that.” The only one who didn’t object was my daughter because she is into the health thing. After they tried it – my middle child had to be coerced – they were hooked. Now, I make these Kale Chips often with no objections.
For these Kale Chips, I chose to season with my tgc Spice Rub resulting in a spicy, crunchy, and delicious chip. Not into spicy? Then a simple seasoning of kosher salt and pepper is also delicious. You control how much salt and pepper you like. As a matter of fact, you control how much of whatever you choose to top these Kale Chips.
Although purchasing the big bag of triple washed kale is easy and convenient, I usually don’t tend to go that route. There have been times where the date was good and it looked good, but opening the bag and spreading them out on the baking sheet revealed leaves I wouldn’t eat. You can’t see that in the middle of a colorful plastic bag. I prefer to buy kale by the bunch and wash it myself. The choice is up to you.
It’s not that hard to prepare a fresh bunch of kale. The stems are tough and thick and need to be removed before cooking. You can either slice the stem off by placing the kale down on its side, folding it in half which exposes the stem, and running a knife down the stem. I prefer to slide the leaf off by holding the bottom of the stem with one hand then pinching the stem loosely using my thumb and index finger of my other hand. Starting at the bottom of the stem, I slide up the leaf from bottom to top. The leafy part slides right off then the leaves are tossed into a big pan of cold water.
Washing the leaves is important, of course. I don’t like to use my sink for that purpose, but if you do, by all means. Instead, I grab my large pot and fill it with a good amount of cold water. After pulling (or slicing) the leaves off the stems, I toss them in the pot of water and swish them around a bit. Then I take them out a few at a time, shake them off, and transfer to a clean dish towel. Try to shake off most of the water. If you want to spin these dry and have a salad spinner that’s fine. I grab another dish towel and place it over the leaves and press down. I get most of the water out and it’s always worked for me.
After the Kale Chips are baked they break up easily, therefore making it unnecessary to break up beforehand. Transfer the leaves onto two parchment lined baking sheets. When I first started making theses I made two mistakes. The first was not lining my baking sheet with parchment. When the kale baked, some of the leaves baked flat onto the pan and became impossible to get out. Parchment paper eliminates this problem. The second mistake was to pile all the leaves onto one sheet pan because I was too lazy to use two. This would require rotating pans, washing another pan, and so on. Well, by piling them all onto one baking sheet, some of the kale steamed and turned soggy rather than than bake and turn crispy. Don’t make the same mistakes.
Drizzle olive oil all over the kale. I use about 2 to 3 tablespoons per sheet pan, but there’s really no recipe here. It’s a judgement call.
Next, sprinkle your seasoning of choice over the kale. You can use my tgc Spice Rub, Taco Seasoning, Adobo Seasoning, or simply use kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat then scatter so every piece has their space.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake another 15 to 20 minutes. The kale will be dark and shriveled.
Remove and cool. In my house they never get to cool down because the moment I take them out they are attacked by everyone. All you hear is crunching.
Kale Chips are a great alternative to a packaged processed snack. These also make a great side dish and they are HEALTHY. I hope you give these Kale Chips a try and let me know how they come out.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove stems from kale and wash leaves in a large pot of water. Drain, shake, and transfer leaves onto a dish towel or paper towels. Place another dish towel or paper towels over leaves and press down to dry and remove excess water.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Transfer kale evenly onto the 2 baking sheets.
- Drizzle with olive oil. I use 2 - 3 tablespoons per sheet.
- Sprinkle with your seasoning of choice. I tend to use 1 teaspoon or so per sheet pan of my tgc Spice Rub, Taco Seasoning, Adobo Seasoning, OR kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the pans.
- Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.