I'm sure some of you have heard about a new healthy food snack...baked kale chips. I like kale. It isn't always available in my small town, but when I find it, I often buy it and throw it into soup, much like fresh spinach. I just couldn't imagine making "chips" out of it.
Last weekend, we went to a food co-op that I had heard of in Champaign-Urbana. Common Ground felt to me like a small Trader Joe's. It had a wonderful produce section, a salad bar, fresh pizza, organic meats and wonderful packaged foods...many of which are being grown locally. I bought 2 kinds of kale, a curly leaf and what I think was Dino kale. I decided I was going to give the "chip" thing a try.
You can find several recipes for this process, several different temperture settings and several people who will claim the kale was bitter or burned. I used a bit of trial and error with both kinds of kale and had no bitterness with either. I also didn't burn a single leaf. We both actually really loved the finished product and at only 56 calories a cup...it makes a great snack. I actually made my second batch last night and wanted to see how it would hold up overnight before posting...it is fine in a ziploc bag, still very crisp.
I had friends ask what this tastes like. Well, it isn't Lay's Potato Chips with good old fashioned onion dip. But, how many of us can afford those calories and fats? The kale chips are very light, slightly salty and crisp. You could easily eat an entire bunch of kale (which makes about 2-3 cups) in one sitting. It doesn't taste at all "green" or grassy, and certainly not bitter.
To make one batch of kale chips you only need three ingredients:
one bunch kale, olive oil and season salt
Tear the kale leaves off the stalks. I found that if I just pulled from one end it stripped most of the leaves off. Discard the stalks. Tear the leaves into pieces. Wash the kale leaves and dry them. Mine were not completely dry when I made the chips. Put the leaves on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 2 T. of olive oil and toss to cover leaves. Sprinkle with a little season salt (or seasoning of your choice). Put the cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. I found that 30 minutes was good with my oven. Remove from the oven and toss the chips. You will notice if they are all dry and crispy or if some are still soggy. Mine were still a bit soggy both times, so I put them back in the oven, turned off the heat and let them remain there until the oven cooled (about 45 minutes). At that time they were all dry and crispy. That's it. Just watch them closely as they will burn if your oven is too hot or you forget them! Enjoy!
I am joining Michael @ Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday