June 1, 2012

Crispy Kale Chips

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All hail to kale. It seems to be the biggest food trend these days and believe it or not, this is the recipe people request from me most often. Kale Chips are the perfect snack for those of us who crave crunchy and salty but prefer to avoid the calories and fat that come along with things like potato chips. Nutrient packed and satisfying, go ahead and indulge in bowl full or even two. They are good for you and easy to make.

Crispy Kale Chips
 
1 bunch curly kale, green or purple or both
1 tablespoon olive oil, use more if you wish
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
 
Heat oven to 225 F.
Wash and spin dry the kale. If you do not have a salad spinner, dry the leaves thoroughly with a towel. Separate out the veins running through the center of the leaves (they are stringy) and tear the leaves into pieces about 3 inches in size. You can tear the veins out with your hands by grabbing the thickest part of the center vein with one hand and the leaf with the other and pull it out. along the length of the leaf. Put the cleaned and dried kale in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the leaves and use your hand to thoroughly massage them. They are very hearty and forgiving so don’t hesitate to really get your hands into the leaves, rub them with the oil, and squeeze them.
Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and arrange the kale leaves on the paper. You want them to be scattered to help them dry out during baking. Sprinkle the leaves with the sea salt.
Put the pans in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until they are crispy and completely dried out. If you have a convection oven, use it as the increased air circulation is helpful in the dehydrating process. When they are ready, the delicate chips will be half the size. They are like the shrinky dinks you used to make when you were a kid, but can eat them.
You are essentially dehydrating the leaves at this low temperature. Most ovens will not heat below 200 F, but you can try it in yours. The lower the temperature, the more nutrients that will remain intact, but the process might take a little longer. Do not turn the heat up too high or the leaves might burn.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Mine never last more that a couple of days. They are so good and satisfy my salt cravings.
They are great used as a topping crumbled over popcorn. Or over things like polenta, eggs, fish, etc.
*This is a fun recipe to make with your kids since no knives are involved, its hard to mess them up, and they have a good time getting their hands messy.
*If you want to give your chips a little more umph, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over them before putting the tray in the oven.

 

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Categories: Snacks, Nibbles & Finger Food, Vegetables
 

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