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Saturday, February 9, 2013

ChezCindy: Kale Chips



























Kale Chips
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. 


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