Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kale Chips


Crispy and full of fiber, baked kale chips are a great snack or hors d'oeuvre--and a healthy alternative to potato chips.

Making them is actually quite simple; once cleaned and cut, you just have to toss them in a little oil and salt and pop them in the oven for twenty minutes. Of course, you can always add more or other flavorings. I like a little cayenne pepper or paprika and adding garlic cloves to the roasting pan.

One thing to note, though, is about whether you need to eat the chips immediately lest they go soggy, as I've seen recipes warn. I haven't found this to be an issue, but maybe it depends on how you do things. In any case, I've found this recipe to work perfectly. The differences are (1) I tear the kale into bite-sized pieces by hand since it's not too much slower than using a knife and results in more natural looking pieces (this isn't important), and (2) I only use a half bunch of kale (and halve the oil to match) since I want to make sure I'm not overcrowding the kale and only have so much space/pans. Maybe I could fit more kale in each pan without problem, though. And the more kale you have to work through, the more time savings cutting with a knife will yield.

Kale Chips

1/2 bunch kale
1 TBS olive oil
Sea salt
Cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces (discard the ribs). Wash and drain thoroughly in a colander (spin dry in a salad spinner if you have one), then lay out on paper towels or cooling racks to dry completely (up to 1 hour on the safe side).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss kale with olive oil, salt to taste, and cayenne pepper (if desired). To ensure an even coating of oil, toss kale with your hands. Lay out leaves in baking pans, allowing space between the leaves so they bake in dry heat. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes.
  4. Gently use a flat spatula to loosen the leaves from the pan; it doesn't take much pressure. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely before refrigerating in sealable container.
[update: a friend of mine reminded me of a point I neglected to note: with all its folds and wrinkles, you need to toss the kale with your hands to make sure it's all covered with oil. ]

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