I love potato chips. To think that kale chips could replace potato chips is not what I was hoping for, but I could try. I had been hearing about kale chips for quite a while now, but had not taken the time to actually make them. I eat kale wilted like spinach, or adding it to a frittata or raw in a salad; so kale has become a regular vegetable in my world. On a recent visit with my niece, she had kale chips set out with the lunch she was serving. My first taste. They were really good. So I did some research.
Kale chips can be baked at a variety of temperatures, from 225 degrees for an hour to 425 for minutes. I chose to try the middle range of temps at 375. They were delicious and easy! But then I thought, have I taken something so healthy and lessened it's nutritional value. Not at all. Cooked kale maintains the healthy vitamins A and C, calcium and potassium. Bonus.
Once baked, the kale chips are a bit fragile and delicate. I found that they last several days stored in an air-tight container, but are best on the first day. Try eating them as you would any salty snack. Or add them to a sandwich in place of lettuce for an interesting contrast of textures. Here's how you make them.
Baked Kale Chips
1 large bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse the kale leaves and dry thoroughly with kitchen toweling or using a salad spinner. Remove the tough stems and tear the kale leaves into pieces, about 3-4 inches. This does not have to be precise, but don't tear too small as the leaves shrink while baking. Place the leaves into a large bowl; drizzle the olive oil over the leaves, sprinkle on the salt. (I found that the salt goes a long way. For my taste, I used slightly more than 1/4 teaspoon for roughly 6 -7 cups of torn kale leaves.) Using your hands, massage the leaves so that they are coated with the oil.
Using 2 large baking sheets, spread the kale leaves out onto the sheets into a single layer. Avoid overcrowding the sheets, spreading out the leaves so that they don't overlap.
Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes. Pull the sheets from the oven. Using a spatula, stir the leaves for even cooking. Return the sheets back to the oven for an additional 2 minutes; total baking time is about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Slide the kale chips from the trays onto a paper towel. The chips will continue to crisp as they cool. Serve when cool. Store in an air-tight container.