Look, I’m just gonna say it. Kale chips will rock your socks off. Seriously. I know that you’re staring at your screen thinking to yourself -what – but it’s legit! I was a skeptic too, but one bite won me over. When you take a bite of a crunchy little kale chip you taste nothing but salty, smokey, healthy bliss…. In fact they’re so delicious I’ve got co-workers asking me for the recipe.
Mind you it’s not the first time I’ve had a recipe requested but when you have a meat and potatoes man asking you how you make kale chips, clearly you’ve done something right. Now I can’t take all the credit – the recipe isn’t really mine. It started the way every dish starts at my house. I either eat something and find out how to make it, or I read through a recipe somewhere and file it away in my mind vault for later. And yes. I call it my mind vault. Like a steel trap… that only holds things like how to prune tomatoes, what makes great zucchini bread, and seed starting.
A few months ago I stumbled upon a recipe for kale chips (thank you, Pinterest) and thought “well that sounds interesting, but kale is pretty bitter and gross”. So I filed it away in the mind vault in case I ever needed something super healthy, and not quite delicious. Then I decided to go full vegetarian and went on a super health kick (didn’t last) and found myself stopped in front of the kale at the grocery store thinking “YES! What better way to be full veg than to open my palate up to a new taste experience?!” I felt haughty and superior in the checkout line, and only a little concerned that it might taste like hot, salty garbage.
Well, let me tell you I was wrong. Not only has kale now become a household staple, it’s also gone to the top of my gardening list for this year, trailing closely behind the tomatoes. So onto the good stuff – the recipe. SO EASY!
- Olive Oil (eyeball it – try 3tbsp to start, just make sure it’s enough to coat the kale)
- Sea salt
- Pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash/rinse and break the kale up into manageable pieces. Mid-size is best because they will crisp up nicely without burning. Be sure to remove as much of the main stem as possible, as this is more woody than crispy.
- Put the kale pieces into a large ziploc bag or a bowl – something you can shake later.
!! Note:you have the choice of either adding the salt and pepper to the bag and shaking it with the kale which results in saltier pieces, but the pepper tends to bunch on just a few leaves. Your other choice is to shake just the leaves, then add the salt and pepper to the kale once it’s been removed from the bag and laid onto a baking pan.!!
- Seal your chosen kale container and shake it! (either with or without salt and pepper)
- Lay the kale out on a baking pan in as even a layer as possible. I found that the layer does not have to be very thin, if you have a lot of kale it’s ok to pile it, just make sure it’s an even layer.
- Place the pan in your pre-heated oven on a middle rack and bake for 10 minutes, or until crispy and lightly browned to your liking. Keep a close eye on them! Turn/stir as needed. *Every oven is different, watch closely for any hot spots because they cook faster than the rest of your oven, and you may need to cook on a lower temperature for a longer period of time to get your desired results.
- Once done, remove from the pan and eat immediately. If you have any leftover (not likely) put them in a ziploc bag and store in the fridge. They’ll get just a little moisture but will be completely delicious regardless.
Once you have the basic recipe down you can experiment with other spice mixtures. So far I’ve tried Sicilian herb, and garlic dill, but the sea salt and pepper remain my favorites. Get cooking and let me know what you think!