I know I’m at least two years behind the times on this, but I’ve jumped on the make-your-own-kale-chips bandwagon. Over the weekend, I was making a list of travel-friendly snacks that wouldn’t dehydrate me, make me bloated, tack on three extra pounds in a single bite, or empty my wallet (or, gasp, do all of the above!). Many of my friends have raved about kale chips, so I figured, why not give them a whirl? They sounded easy enough, and I like kale (and love snacking on dried seaweed, so the idea of eating a dehydrated vegetable wasn’t off-putting to me).
I’m really glad I tried them! The crunchiness and the slight saltiness are satisfying, and they don’t leave me feeling greasy and huge. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll never reach for kale chips over, say, white cheddar popcorn or salt and vinegar chips (my downfalls!), but they’re a great way to satisfy that “must have chips” craving. I also love the fact that I’m getting some vegetables while I snack. I’ll be making another batch to take on the plane for sure!
Baked Kale Chips
Makes about 2.5 cups
- One head of kale
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One tablespoon olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Any other seasonings you’d like: Asiago cheese, chili powder, lemon juice … the sky’s the limit. I like plain flavors on chips, for the most part, so I just used garlic powder, salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the kale leaves from their woody stems, then tear the leaves into pieces. Be sure to leave the pieces on the large side, as they’ll shrink while baking. Rinse the leaves well, then dry thoroughly in a salad spinner or by patting dry with towels.
Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes (mine took closer to 15), tossing halfway through the baking time. The chips are done when the leaves look dry and are perhaps just starting to turn slightly brown. (If they’re totally brown, they’ll be burnt and bitter!)
Remove the baking sheet and let the chips cool. They’ll crisp up even more as they dry. Important: Leave them in a single layer until they are all the way cool. If you put then in a bowl while still warm, you’ll end up with soggy chips, which makes for a great side dish of kale, but not a good snack. 😉 You can store the chips in an airtight container. Enjoy!
If kale chips aren’t your thing, watch for my post on homemade fruit leather this week. 🙂