Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kale Convert

Kale is something that has never really jumped out at me. Some people don't know what it is, others don't know what to do with it and the rest rave about it. I'm of the second variety but I am very recent convert. So recent that a few months ago, when I moved in to my new place. I pulled out the lovely big kale plant that was growing the vegetable patch in favour of tomato and basil plants. Somewhat worth it, the basil has been a big hit but the late start to summer has rendered my abundant tomato haul useless and very very green. Ah well, on talking with other amateur backyard farmers, this has been a poor year for everyone. Tomato-wise that is.
I have heard and read about kale chips frequently but never had the motivation to make them. They are extremely easy so that highlights the extent to which I was unmotivated to try them. Part of the reason is that when you look at fresh kale, it looks like it will be tasteless, woody and chewy. Not exactly a taste I'm dying to experience. However, I over-rode this completely untrue visual/taste perception and bought some kale, found a recipe (if you can call it that, it's almost as basic as peeling a banana) and committed to making some kale chips.

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale, leaves torn from stems
1-2 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil of your choice)
salt and pepper or seasonings of your choice

Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. This is crucial. If they are wet, they won't crisp up nicely.
Pre-heat oven to 350F.(This is the only temp I have tried so far but will experiment further to determine best outcome temp)
Tear the kale in to whatever size pieces you want. They will shrink up a bit with cooking.
Mix the kale with the oil to lightly coat and then season with salt and pepper if desired. I use coconut oil as I prefer the taste and texture of it to olive oil.
It's glossier and less distinctly fragrant than OO. However, it is a saturated fat so it's solid at room temperature so you will need to melt it down to liquid consistency. This takes about 20 seconds in the microwave.
Spread kale leaves in an even layer on baking sheet or 2 if required.
Place in oven and check at 5 minute intervals until crispy. They should be done within 15 mins at the most.
I discovered the hard way that kale burns very quickly so I advise staying very close to your oven the first time you cook these.

Once crisped, remove from oven, let cool and eat. So far I have made these twice and they have been very moreish and a great low cal, high taste snack. I did find that they did not stay crispy long after cooking though so will continue to experiment with this to improve the outcome. If anyone out there has any tips, please send them to this inexperienced, newly converted kale lover.


  1. I made the kale chips today Sally and I loved them! Followed your recipe exactly :)

  2. I have since made the kale chips a few times and after tasting Maple Maniacs chips, and seeing that they stayed much crispier, it's better to cook at 300F for about 20 mins or until, well..crispy! the slower, lower cooking temp works much better if you are not planning to eat the chips immediately after cooking, as I do because they are so yummy :-)