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Crispy Kale Chips

For a while there, it seemed to be all the rage to post Crispy Kale photos. It sounded intriguing but I just filed it away in the Recipes To Try folder. My boyfriend doesn't care much for kale, you see. So we got spinach instead for our leafy greens. But then last summer I saw kale chips being sold for $8 for a small box and remembered that I had seen lots of posts online about making them at home. So a few more months later, I finally tried it. Yum! When I finally got around to trying the recipe, just as so many of those other food bloggers had written, my thought was "I'm sorry I waited so long to try this!" Just a very light crispy texture that melts away in your mouth. After the first batch, I learned to serve it up with each of us getting our own bowl so we didn't fight over the last bites.

Made this for my sister's family too when I visited her. Her husband hadn't eaten kale before and found he loved it. Even before we had popped it into the oven, he tried a piece of the oiled kale and liked eating it raw. I don't really like kale until it's been cooked but this seems like a great recipe for winning over people who say they don't like kale. Or maybe good for using the kale that keeps showing up in your CSA box.

For my first batch, I forgot the chipotle powder so I used salt and a few squeezes of lime juice and that enough to get us hooked. I remembered chipotle powder for the second batch and that adds good measure of heat to this snack.

The trickiest part is baking them long enough to get everything uniformly crispy but then not so long that it burns. It's a very fine line between almost-done and irredeemably burnt. Seems to be important to keep them in a single layer. It might also be helped by making the pieces more of a consistent size. Is smaller better than bigger? Not sure on that. Apparently you can make the pieces too small. My sister tried using the ready-washed and cut bags of kale at the grocery store and those burned. Maybe she could've used them if she had pulled them out of the oven sooner.

small photo of spicy crispy kale

Crispy Kale Chips

1/2-1 bunch of clean and dry kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces (remove any tough stems)
1-2 Tb. olive oil
1-2 large pinches of spicy seasoned coarse salt- see above
juice from 1/2 lime (or to taste)- optional

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

  2. Drizzle some oil over the kale and "massage" it into the leaves. I like to rub the leaves with my fingers until they are uniformly shiny green. The kale I used for this post was an unusually large bunch. I’d say I used half the bunch and 1-2 tablespoons of oil.

  3. Next, you’ll want to spread your oiled kale onto a sheet pan…

  4. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Bake until the edges are just crispy, but the kale is still quite bright green. Do not overcook! I've even started checking on the batch in 15 minutes and taking out the pieces that are already done.

  5. Season the kale chips as soon as you take them out of the oven:
    - Sprinkle with a few pinches of spicy salt and then squeeze on the optional lime. (To make spicy salt, mix 1 tsp of coarse sea salt with a pinch of ground chipotle powder.)
    - Or if you don't like spicy, just sprinkle with some salt a few squeezes of lime juice

  6. Enjoy! I have no idea how long you can store these since we usually finish the batch within minutes.

larger photo of spicy crispy kale

Original Recipe:

Cross-posted to vegrecipes: http://vegrecipes.livejournal.com/1726171.html

Other posts about baked crispy kale:

Kale chips are AWESOME!!

When I made them, my mom and I loved them immediately, but my husband and my dad were wary, until they tried them, then it was a free-for-all!! :D

The only problem I have with these is making enough for everyone. ;)

I have the same problem and there are only 2 of us.

Im gonna try these this week

nevermind i tried it tonight
its great!

They are on my list of things to make too, but I wasn't convinced they were actually as good as people say! Now I really have to try them.

I was skeptical too and was just going to buy it when I saw it in the store until I saw the price tag. Since they appeared to be selling, I had to make a batch to see why people would be willing to pay so much for kale chips.

Kale chips in all their glory!

I think bigger pieces are more resistant to burning, ime.

Yes...I think you're right about that. And I have a hard enough time trying not to burn the bigger pieces so I'll leave well enough alone. :)

I've been in love with kale for years now and have roasted and baked kale in various forms. I've made kale chips a few times. One new kale chip recipe I want to try I got from a friend of mine who eats raw. Her recipe is similar to the baked versions, only she dehydrates hers. I imagine this would maintain even more of the kale's good properties and taste similarly good. But I must investigate.

Ooh...I've toyed with the idea of getting a dehydrator. I wanted to take homemade just-add-water meals with me when I went camping.

looks tasty!

I love eating raw kale too!

That sister says they now sometimes include raw kale in their salads. :)

I love these things too, although lately I love the braised kale in vinegar so much I never get around to making chips. :)

heh...and I love the kale chips so much that I haven't yet brought myself to try your braised kale in vinegar recipe.

I JUST tried those for the first time at our sangria party!

They managed to make enough for a whole crowd? I have a hard time making enough for just the two of us!

I have made kale chips successfully and not, it is tricky with the line between raw and burnt oh so fine, but when they're good, they're good!

Yes, this was my problem! Can't get the heat/proximity/time thing just right yet.

For some reason I haven't been able to get these quite right yet. When I tried baking them even as high as 425, they never crisped at all, just sat there. Using the broiler on high got them crisp but also got half of them burnt up. The few that were just perfect though....they were perfect. I will try again with one of these variations--the apple cider vinegar one sounds great.

Have you checked your oven's temperature? I've baked kale chips at 425 by accident, and they were incinerated at that temp. Your oven might be running cool.

Yim! Those sound delicious! I'll definitely have to try them.

I think it's definitely worth a try.

I actually bought kale seeds recently to plant next month so I can try these, since I don't think you can buy kale in the shops in NZ. I find it hard to imagine what they taste like, though; all of my instincts say they should taste like burnt lettuce!

cool! I think it's a very light vegetable kind of taste once it's crisped up. To me, kale tastes somewhere in between spinach and collard greens. It's one of my favorite leafy green vegetables.

I am excited to try this. Maybe later this week depending on whether I make it to the grocery.

Hope you like it! I got myself all excited again about kale chips by making this post so I went to the grocery yesterday to buy some kale.

These sound delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

You're welcome. I hope you like them!