Kale Chips

Kale_II

If I’d posted about kale chips two years ago I’d have been very cool; a tattooed, Chuck Taylor wearing, longboarding to the vegan deli, kind of cool. A year ago, I’d still have been sort of cool, like seeing Dennis Kucinich on a city bus. Now? Now I’m just a sad forty-year-old, bald, pot-bellied doffer, hanging around the pedestrian mall in Bermudas. Trying to look young. Trying to look fresh. It’s painful just thinking about it.

That being said, almost everyone I know is making kale chips these days and it sounds like they’re all using a different recipe. They share their recipes with me at market. Some call for vinegar. Others have garlic. Some are made in a dehydrator instead of an oven. One lady I met sundrys hers. They’re all different and they all sound great. So many people experimenting with so food is very cool. On the other side, my day job is at a large natural foods store. We just added our third retail brand of kale chips. Each brand has a half-dozen or so flavors. There are almost 20 options in kale chips on our shelves. 20 choices at the grocery? There’s nothing cool about that.

Kale_Chips_Two

So kale chips are played. So what? They’re a great, light, crunchy, healthy-ish snack. I love them with beer. Milo, our spawn, prefers them to cookies. There’s absolutely no better way to make kale tasty to folks not inclined toward it. And there’s also no easier recipe for kale, or anything else for that matter. If you can crank up the toaster oven you can make kale chips.

As easy as kale chips are, there are almost unlimited variations. While they can be made with any kale variety (as well as with chard, beet greens or just about any green you’d like), different kales produces very different chips. Personally, I use Red Russian, it produces a chip with a nice crunch and more body than other kales. Lacinato (Tuscan Kale) for instance produces a chip that is very thin and almost ephemeral in body. If I don’t have or can’t get Red Russian, I use any variety of curly kale. Curly kale also has a good body but be careful with the seasoning. The frills on curly kale hold a lot of dressing and seasoning.

Kale_Chips_Pan

This is our Plain Jane kale chip recipe. It’s a foundation we frequently build off of with the addition of cumin, dry chili, sesame seeds, crushed garlic or anything else either mixed into the dressing or sprinkled on top just before baking. Have fun and eat a lot of summertime kale your taste buds (and your small local kale grower) will thank you.

Kale Chips

A very basic chip. Jazz yours up with herbs or spices

ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh kale
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari

method

Add the oil and tamari to a large bowl and mix with a fork to combine. Stem the kale (remove the heavy middle stem from the leaves). Tear it into large pieces and turn them in the dressing until the leaves are coated. Spread the leaves evenly on sheet pans, allowing some space between leaves. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crispy. Thin leaves dry quicker. Thick leaves (curly or Red Russian) will likely take the full 30 minutes.

2 comments to Kale Chips

  • You’re right I’m seeing recipes all over the web for them now (we’re just about to post our recipe for them). I love that you know so much about the varieties of Kale and I’m looking forward to giving the Tamari a try. I haven’t tried the retail brands yet but they seem on the expensive side (especially when they disappear as fast as they do) and I can’t imagine they’d be as good as the home made kind. Thanks for the tips!

  • [...] find photos (as stunningly styled as those you see in the foodie rags) and simple recipes (see Kale Chips and Pasta with Roast Heirloom [...]

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