Kale is one of these amazing vegetables that can grow in about any weather, even in the snow. Every year, we let it overwinter, and continues to yield harvest after harvest! It truly s the gift that keeps on giving! The key is to regularly cut leaves so that you keep encouraging new growth. At the end, your plant end up looking like a tall palm tree! A thick stem with a fuzzy top. So when I came back from Europe, and found an overgrown patch of kale, I had to get busy! Most leafy greens tend to shrink a lot when they are cooked but another way to transform a mountain of kale leaves use an abundance of kale is to make kale chips.
1.WASH & DRY
Most store-bought kale has already been washed but if you grow it like we do, you have to soak and shake the leaves because they can hide dirt or tiny insects. So after washing and drying your kale, you need to remove the stems. By the way, don’t throw them because they can be used in soups, making broth. To remove the stem simply hold the bottom of the leaf and run you thumb and index towards the tip until you end up with the soft part. This works great for curly and Siberian kale. For Lacinato kale, I like to use a pairing knife to trim the thick stem.
Drizzle or better spray a little neutral oil and using your hands, massage the kale until all the leaves are lightly tenderized and oiled up.
Then sprinkle your seasonings.
Best kale to make chips
The three best type of kale for chips are curly kale, Lacinato a.k.a. Dinosaur kale, and Siberian kale. Kale with curly leaves tend to produce thicker chips because the grooves can hold more of the spice mix. Lacinato kale on the other hand makes thin and crispy chips.
Important Tips to achieve the best tasting kale chips
- Bake at a lower temperature like 300F even if it takes a little longer because it is so easy to burn a batch (I have done it a few times before I learned my lesson!). Believe me the baking time that you think you are saving ends up costing you more time because the preparation is what takes the most time in making chips!
- I wouldn’t try air frying. It goes from chewy to burnt too quickly to control! See photo below!
- Use a neutral oil like avocado oil. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil can produce a slight bitterness in the chips.
- To avoid chewy chips, make sure not to use too much oil.
How to preserve kale chips
- Make sure to let them completely cool down before storing them into an air tight container.
- Add a few grain of uncooked rice or a small bag of silica to absorb any moisture.
- Never refrigerate or freeze!
Best Crispy Kale Chips
- Lined baking sheets
- 1 bunch of kale (Lacinato, curly or Siberian)
- 1-2 tbsp neutral tasting oil like avocado or refined coconut oil
- 1/4 cup almond meal or ground cashews
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoke or sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- sea salt & black pepper
- 1 tbsp water
Turn the oven to 325F
- Line 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mats.
Prepare the kale
- Wash and dry the kale leaves in a clean kitchen towel.
- Remove the stems by holding the bottom of the leaf and run you thumb and index towards the tip until you end up with the soft part. Gently tear medium pieces. Place the kale leaves in a large bowl.
- Drizzle or spray the oil and using your hands, massage the kale until all the leaves are lightly tenderized and oiled up.
Prepare the seasonings
- In a small bowl, mix the garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, almond meal or ground cashews. Add the water and stir.
- Using your hands, drizzle the spice mix and massage into the kale leaves.
- Place the seasoned leaves on the baking sheet making sure that they don't overlap. Use several trays if needed.
- Bake for 20 mn. Gently flip the leaves and bake another 5-8 minutes until they are all crispy. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not overbaked! Taste and season if needed.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Chips must be completely cooled off before storing.
Mexican: sprinkle some cumin powder, or chipotle spices.
American: ... you get the idea!