So, let me talk to you a little about kale, because it’s really one of the most amazing vegetables out there. It’s green. It’s leafy. It has a distinctive earthy flavor. It is packed with nutrients: Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, calcium, copper, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and thiamin. It’s got fiber, it’s got protein, it’s a freaking powerhouse of awesomeness!
But let’s be honest. For some people, that’s just not enough. People like foods because they taste good. We like foods that make our mouths happy, not our brains. And for people whose tastes aren’t accustomed to vegetables, or who grew up with an aversion to the green leafies, kale can seem a lot like “hippie food”.
Well, my friends, if you’ve never had kale chips before, you are in for a real treat. If you’ve ever wondered how to get more veggies into your diet but struggled to adjust to the idea of putting leaves in your mouth, please read on.
I will add, as one further note of preface, that it does happen to be true that I love green leafy vegetables, and will eat most of them in absolutely any preparation you can think of including plain, raw, fresh out of the ground…so it would indeed be reasonable to propose that I may have just a little bit of predilection toward a snack food made of baked leaves covered in all my favorite seasonings. So, I feel I should tell you from the get-go that not only has this recipe been taste-tested and given highest marks by numerous omnivorous and vegetarian friends (including my own mother), but it is also my most frequently requested recipe. So I’m quite excited to have this post to share with you, so that everyone can make this mindbooglingly fantastic snack food.
So here is how I make kale chips.
I preheat the oven to 350F. I lay out a piece of aluminum foil across a baking tray.
I rip my kale up into pieces. I always want the pieces to be about twice as big as “bite sized”, because they will shrink in the oven. I also like to keep the stems in; some people prefer to remove the stems, because they don’t bake evenly with the rest of the kale, but I love that extra juicy crunch that they add to the snack.
Then I add about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil (enough to coat the kale; adjust for how much kale you have!) and stir it up.
I then add about a 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast. If you’re not sure if you like nutritional yeast yet, add it a spoonful at a time. This gives the chips a cheezy flavor.
Then, of course, comes the fun part. You have to shake the bowl a lot! This is another recipe where dancing around the kitchen improves the food significantly.
I then add garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. You can add as much of them as you like! You can substitute whatever spices you like! This is my favorite way. Once I’ve added all these, it’s time to dance around the kitchen again, shaking that bowl to make sure the spices get mixed in really well.
I then add a couple pinches of rubbed sage and do the dance again!
Once I feel satisfied that everything is mixed in thoroughly, I pour the kale out onto the baking tray, arranging it so the kale is evenly distributed across the tray.
I then lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar over the kale, and stick it in the oven immediately after I do that. I have found 27 minutes to be the exact right amount of time for kale chips to come out exactly how I like them; you’ll experiment and find out what works for you and your preferences and your oven’s quirks.
27 minutes later, the tray comes out of the oven.
Since I’ve lined the baking tray with aluminum foil, I don’t even have to wait for it to cool. I can just pull it off the tray and shake it into a bowl. Some pieces will cling to the foil – this is normal! You can just pull or brush them off with your hand.