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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe: Kale Chips

Homemade chips can be an affordable, tasty snack -- and often healthier than those you buy in grocery store aisles! Not to mention, they're a good way to increase servings of veggies in your diet. Who said that vegetables can't be fun?

You can bake chips at home using almost any tuber (white and sweet potato chips, anyone?), and even certain firmer veggies and fruits. If you're looking for something different, though, why not try kale chips?

For those yet initiated, kale is a dark leafy green from the cabbage family, characterized by curly leaves and a hard stem. It makes a good salad green -- just make sure not to overdo it on raw kale, since it can be hard for some people to digest in large quantities -- with avocado and shredded carrots, but is equally tasty sautéed or stir fried.

Did we mention that kale is also packed with nutrients? One cup contains 5 grams of fibre and is a good source of iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. (Source: WebMD).

These chips are crisp, light, and crunchy, without being limp and soggy or marred by a burnt cabbage taste -- they're just a little too delicate for dipping into hummus or tahini sauce. Better yet? You don't need a fancy dehydrator to do this; just your standard kitchen oven (or even a toaster oven).

Kale Chips
Adapted from Tastefully Julie.

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1 large bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of coarse sea salt
other seasonings (e.g. dill, nutritional yeast, sesame, garlic powder, parmesan, pepper)

Seasoning Combinations to Try

Dill, nutritional yeast/parmesan, ground black pepper
Black pepper and garlic powder
Sea salt and black pepper
Sesame and pesto (in lieu of olive oil)
Cayenne, paprika, and parmesan
Paprika and parmesan

Pictured: Cheesy dill kale chips with sesame
Credit: Christina Mak


1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Wash the kale thoroughly and remove the hard inner stem. Tear the leaves into large chip-sized pieces. Make them a bit larger than you want because they will shrink as they bake.

3. Dry the kale thoroughly. You can do this by running the leaves through a salad spinner or wrapping them in a towel and shaking them until dry.

4. Put the kale pieces into a large bowl or a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add the oil, and massage the leaves until coated.

5. Toss the leaves with salt and any other seasonings.  Use a bit less than you think you need, as the taste will intensify as the kale shrinks.

6. Arrange the kale in a single layer on a large baking sheet. You can line it with parchment for easier clean-up, but it is not necessary.

7. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through (and gently flipping the chips, as needed).

8. To store (if they last more than a few minutes), cool the chips thoroughly and put in an airtight container.

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