At this point, Kale Chips are pretty mainstream but if you haven’t heard about them or better yet, if you don’t regularly make them, then you must read this post and promise me that you will go to the supermarket, pick up a head of Kale and get chompin’ on some Kale Chips sooner than later!
I crave crunchy, salty foods like pretzels, tortilla chips, and potato chips. I may or may not have woken up one morning during the third trimester of my pregnancy and eaten an entire bag of Sea Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips for breakfast. Yeah, I love chips like that. But eating a whole bag of chips is the type of activity that leads you to Weight Watchers in the first place and clearly not OK even when you are hugely pregnant. Well, maybe when you are pregnant, but you see where I am going with this.
If you are like me, then you need to have crunchy, salty foods in your life. I still eat potato chips (Kettle Baked Chips and Pop Chips), pretzels, and tortilla chips, just normal size portions and in moderation. But those normal size portions are still pretty calorie-laden and Points Plus heavy for you Weight Watchers peeps out there; like 3 or 4 Points for a normal serving. And seriously folks, who eats 1 serving of potato chips? Baked or not?
And that is where Kale Chips come in. Yes, we are talking Kale, the green leafy vegetable that is related to cabbage and has a scandalous reputation for being bitter and tough. But when baked into chips, this amazing vegetable loses all bitterness and is crunchy, appropriately salty (up to you how much), and seriously addictive. And, best of all, pretty much calorie free. So for all the Weight Watcher people, that means ZERO points! At least for my recipe…
- I prefer Dinosaur Kale (aka Lacinato or Tuscan Kale) for Kale Chips. I like that the leaves are flat and find the chips more “chip-like” than the curly Kale varieties.
- When I talk about stemming the Kale, I am referring to pulling the leaves off the stems. Here is a quick video showing how to do it. This is the quickest method, don’t waste time using a knife to cut the leaves off or pulling off one by one. You will get so frustrated you will wind up with your head deep into a bag of Kettle chips.
- Making Kale Chips is super easy BUT the first few times are tricky until you get your cooking time right. Every oven is different so you have to play around until you get it just right with your oven. I include a picture below of what an over-cooked or burnt Kale Chip looks like to help guide you.
- To store Kale Chips, place in a glass or plastic container with two Silica-Gel packets. (You can find them in almost everything you buy – just start saving them. I got mine from an empty bottle of Vitamins and a package of Roasted Seaweed. I use 2 packets per head of Kale Chips I am storing)
- 1 head Dinosaur Kale
- non-stick cooking spray (I like Spectrum Canola Oil Spray)
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash Kale leaves. Remove leaves from center rib or stem. (Watch video in Notes section if unsure how to do this). You should be left with a pile of leaves and another pile of stems. If you make smoothies, throw these stems in a freezer bag and save them for smoothies. They are a great addition and very mild in taste!
- Tear the Kale leaves up in pieces. They shrink just a bit so don't go too small.
- Place Kale chip pieces in a bowl and give a few sprays of your non-stick cooking spray. Toss to coat and spray again if needed.
- Lay Kale chips onto a non-stick baking sheet (or baking sheet covered in tin foil) in one layer, very slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. This is the part where you have to get used to your oven. My oven cooks 1 cookie sheet of Kale chips perfectly in 11 minutes. However, if I cook 2 cookie sheets of Kale chips at the same time, it takes 14 minutes and I have to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the cooking time. This is what the cooked Kale chips look like, you can see the shrinkage from the last picture.
- This is what a burnt or over-cooked Kale chip looks like next to correctly cooked Kale chips. Over-cooked Kale chips taste disgusting. If your Kale chips tastes like dirt, they are over-cooked. Try again, it's worth it!!
- One head of Kale yields a nice pile of Kale chips - snack time!