Kale Chip Recipe

December 7, 2012 · 5 comments

Start with two bunches of beautiful fresh kale. If you don’t see kale in the vegetable section, ask at the deli counter.

Seriously, this is how we buy kale at our little local market. Apparently there isn’t enough demand to stock it in their wee produce section, but the deli always has it on hand as a display garnish, meaning, something you’re not intended to eat.

This boggles my marbles.

Kale, a member of the cabbage family and one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet, is super high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and a host of other vitamins and minerals that must be very important, although I don’t what they do or how to spell without help. And once you figure out how to tame the chewy factor with correct cooking techniques and flavoring, it is also intensely delicious.

And crispy, flavorful melt-in-your-mouth kale chips are a sure-fire way to successfully introduce the whole kale concept to any household.

Hold your heaviest chef’s knife somewhat loosely in one hand, grip the stem in the other, and run the blade along the stem from bottom to top, neatly slicing off the leaves. If you’ve got a good knife,  you can let the weight of the blade do all the work, steering it along the stem rather than actively chopping away at the leaves. This is not only effective, but it also makes you feel like a real chef without the funky hat.

Discard (or compost) the stems…

…and pull apart the leaves into 1-2″ sections.

Rinse the kale thoroughly, dry it in a salad spinner, and place the kale in a big mixing bowl. You’ll need space not only for the kale, but also for some elbow room to toss it around a bit without half of it going AWOL and landing on the floor.

Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing generously to coat. Sprinkle in turn with the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and sea salt, tossing until evenly coated between each addition.

For those not familiar with nutritional yeast flakes, you’re in for a treat. It has a nutty/creamy/cheese flavor and is often used by vegans as a condiment where others would use, say, Parmesan cheese. Some movie theaters even offer it as a topping for popcorn.

Coupled with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt, it transforms the kale chips from delicious to dangerously addictive.

Arrange the kale in a single layer on a rack nestled into a rimmed cookie sheet. You will probably need at least two sheets or a couple of rounds of baking. The trick is to avoid overcrowding the pan: you want air circulating around each separate piece.

Take a moment to admire the stuff. Whoever thought up kale really put some effort into it.

Bake @ 325° (or 300° with convection, if that’s available to you) and start checking them at around 20 minutes or so. This is a loose timing recommendation as cooking time varies oven by oven, by altitude, etc.

If you have two (or more) pans in at the same time, rotate them in the oven every time you check them. (Upper racks will cook faster than the lower ones.) You want them to be crispy but still green. Limp specimens will not win you any neighborhood culinary awards.

This takes some careful monitoring towards the end, and as soon as you see any signs of browning, call ‘er done.

While there is some minor nutrient loss in the process, kale is so packed full to begin with that you will still get a huge bang for your buck, plus they are a delicious, low-calorie snacking option. In addition to just nibbling from the bowl, we often use it as a condiment, grabbing a handful and crushing it over quinoa (flavored with sesame chili oil) and scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Betcha can’t eat just one!

Ingredients and Measures


 

  • Fresh Kale, 2 bunches
  • Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Balsamic Vinegar, 2 tablespoons
  • Nutritional Yeast, 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic Powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt, 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste)

 

Kitchen equipment that makes the recipe easy to prepare:



Salad Spinner


Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl


Jelly Roll Pan


Non-Stick Cooling Rack

 

Key ingredients you need for the recipe:


 


Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Colavita Italian Balsamic Vinegar


Tone’s Garlic Powder Food Service Shaker


Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast Seasoning

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa December 9, 2012 at 10:20 pm

At what oven temperature do you heat the kale chips?

Reply

Kathy December 10, 2012 at 9:38 am

Ha! That would have been good to include in a RECIPE, right? 🙂
300 degrees.

Reply

Sandi Fentiman December 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

Sarina, Colleen’s daughter and boyfriend does that recipe. Perhaps one of these times i’ll give it a go.

Reply

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