It’s summer, so there is a ton of fresh produce. Fortunately, I’ve finished up all the ginormous zucchini that my friend kept foisting on me. There are other veggies still in my house, however. Last week, I attended the Chicago Food Swap, and I came home with a ton of great goodies. Although the honey hot fudge and butterscotch and salted caramel sauces weren’t the most healthy, nor was the jam I picked up or the organic butter, I did come home with some awesome healthy treats, too, including dill pickles (two kinds!) and two gorgeous bunches of kale.
I love kale. I know I’m somewhat in the minority on this one, though, so I get creative with how I use it so others in my family will eat it, too. Yesterday, I attended a barbecue at a friend’s house and used up the last of the kale making baked kale chips. My beautiful bowl of crunchy goodness disappeared faster than I’d hoped it would. Even the kids liked it.
Yes. Kids. Liked. Green. Vegetables. Go figure.
Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch kale (any variety works)
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
Remove the stems from your kale. They are tough and don’t cook at the same rate as the leaves. I sometimes keep them and grill them (another recipe), but in this case, I just tossed them. The easiest way to do this is to run a sharp knife along the edge of the stem on either side of where it branches off into leaf to remove it.
Clean your kale. I like to wash it a little then tear the leaves into slightly larger than chip size pieces. This is not at all an exact science. My salad spinner comes in handy at this point where I can spin them pretty dry, as you don’t want to bake them when wet.
Once your kale is dry, place it into a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over it. Use your fingers to “toss” the kale to ensure that all the leaves are equally coated with the olive oil. This is what helps to get them really crispy. Place them on a cookie sheet – I put my sil pat on it – in a single layer. My one bunch of kale usually requires two cookie sheets. Sprinkle the kale with salt, being sure you don’t use too much. The kale will shrink when baking, so it becomes more intense.
Bake in a preheated 275 degree oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes. You can flip them halfway through to help them get crispy on all sides. If you use the curly kale like I did, you often don’t have to do this because they curl up on their own and expose all sides to the heat. When they are just starting to brown, they are done. Remove them from the oven and serve the same day.
Crunch crunch yum!