I have a Kale “Chip” on my Shoulder!

Well, not really. But, since we got a huge amount of fresh kale this week at our local CSA, I decided a batch of kale chips was in order. Kale might just have its own PR agent. I swear, the stuff shows up everywhere; smoothies, salads, the sauté pan, you name it. If there’s a way to enjoy this great super-food then you will most-likely see it somewhere. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this lovely veggie is by slightly drying it in a low oven, tossing it with my favorite seasoning and going to town. My only suggestion, however, when making this lovely snack is to eat it the day you make it. Unfortunately, within 24 hours, the kale chips have gotten a little limp and less crispy that a few moments after they came out of the oven.

According to some research, Kale has been around for quite a long time! Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the U.S.) by Russian traders in the 19th century.

During World War II, the cultivation of kale in the U.K. was encouraged by the Dig for Victory campaign. The vegetable was easy to grow and provided important nutrients to supplement those missing from a normal diet because of rationing. Read more about this amazing green here.

Of course, being a “Super-Food”, we all know it must contain some pretty good nutrients, right? Well, you’d be correct in assuming. Check these stats out!

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:

Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA.
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA.
Manganese: 26% of the RDA.
Calcium: 9% of the RDA.
Copper: 10% of the RDA.
Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 6% of the RDA.
Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.

This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein. 

You can learn more health-benefits of Kale here.

Kale chips are just one thing we use it for here at home. I love to put it in soups, grain salads or even by itself dressed in my favorite vinaigrette. For those so inclined, I like to throw a handful of chopped kale leaves into a fruit smoothie in the morning for a boost of nutrients. I’m telling you, kale must have a PR agent!

Alright, enough out of me, here’s the recipe for baked kale chips, feel free to post any comments if you are so inclined, we’d love to hear from you!

Print Recipe
House-Made Kale Chips
A healthy alternative to potato chips. Great to pack in the kids lunches or in a bowl for movie night. We love enjoying these during the long and plentiful kale season.
Course Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
handfuls
Ingredients
Course Lunch, Main Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
handfuls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. First, fill your sink with water and a couple handfuls of ice. Place all your kale in the ice bath and swish it around a good bit to dislodge any dirt particles that may be present. Pull the leaves off of the stem and tear into palm-size pieces.
  2. Next, spin them in a salad spinner to make absolutely sure there is no water on your leaves. This will cause your chips to dry unevenly and create a soggy product.
  3. Next, drizzle a half-sheet pan (or "cookie sheet" if you prefer) with your favorite oil. I like grape-seed for it's neutrality as well as its high smoke point. I don't, necessarily, want to taste the oil in this recipe, I just want to use it for assisting in even crispness.
  4. Next, massage the oil from the pan into your dry kale leaves. Don't be afraid to be a little rough as kale is pretty indestructible. Make sure to coat all the leaves. The key here is LIGHT amounts of oil. If the leaves are dripping with oil, you will have a soggy mess.
  5. Now, you could just salt and pepper your chips and end up with an awesome product. But, as many of you know, Ranch Dressing is like the S&P of nature on steroids. This stuff will make anything taste amazing. I prefer the brand name only as all the others try to copy it but always fall short.
  6. Pour the seasoning in a small bowl to make it easier to sprinkle on your chips. I added a little kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper in there too to save a step.
  7. Some recipes call for a hotter oven to bake these. I found that a nice even 300F is perfect. Bake at this pre-heated temperature for about 10 minutes. Turn the pan around and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the chips are lightly browned and crisp but not burnt!
  8. They should look like this. Once you let them cool completely on the pan, they are ready to eat. I find that they are just a little soft immediately after baking, so be patient. If, after they cool, you want a little more crispness, just place them back in the oven for a couple more minutes.
  9. Nice pile, ready to go! If you like a little heat, you can put some of your favorite vinegar hot sauce in a spritz bottle and spritz on a tiny bit right before eating.
Recipe Notes

Be sure to only make what you can eat in day or two. No matter how hard I've tried, keeping them from turning soft after 24-36 hours is seemingly impossible.

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