What's all this about Kale Chips?

Kale Chips, Kale Chips, Kale Chips. I know, you're like me. You're pretty sure that no green leafy veg is going to replace your potato chips. How could Kale, KALE, satisfy your salty crunchy jones? Well my friend, prepare to be surprised. It can happen. I know. It happened to me. To be honest, potato chips will have a place in my heart, always. But truth be told, you simply must try these simple treats. A whole bunch of kale can disappear in a hurry and that's a good thing. I actually made these several times to share with my husband, and it took several batches before a single kale chip survived long enough for him to try. When he did, the batch disappeared exactly twice as fast as the batches I'd made and inhaled before, solo. Here's an easy photo-recipe: I'm going to break it out for you step-by-step. Step One: purchase a good bunch of organic Lacinato or "Dinosaur" Kale. It's dark green, with crinkly leaves. (It's delicious sauteed with garlic and oil and finished agrodolce with some sugar and some balsamic too, but I digress...) Zip the stems and rinse the leaves, spinning them in your salad spinner or simply roll up in a clean, dry kitchen towel and smack it gently against the counter to remove most of the water. zip_spin_kale

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what one leaf looks like, zipped. Simply pinch the soft leaves near the base of the stem and pull your pinch toward the tip. The rib will come off and you'll be left with the tender leaves. zipped

 

Step Two: Get out a big bowl and toss your zipped leaves with 1 TBSP of good olive oil (remembering that in simple recipes, the quality of the ingredients really shines, or fails to) Kim O'Donnel's recipe calls for a half teaspoon of salt and an optional 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I added a 1/8 teaspoon of chipotle powder. This bunch was a smallish bunch, too, so we should've ratcheted back the salt a bit.

toss

Step Three: spread the oiled and seasoned leaves on cookie sheets, ensuring space enough in between, we don't want them to steam. About 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven and Bob's your uncle.   trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They lose a little of the deep green color but the flavor is just a spicy, salty, earthy crisp. They come out really shattering and thin, more wispy than a chip from a potato. [ed note: since this batch I have learned that a lower temp and even leaving the oven door ajar are two tricks that help retain the color.]

kale chips

 

Even if they don't completely bump potato chips from your snack cabinet, replacing a craving for something crispy and salty with kale (with just a bit of healthy oil) is one easy way to improve your snacking. It's really this easy, so you have no excuse. Now get to it!   Any nutritionists out there know how the nutrient profile of these would compare to say, potato chips? Or kale this way as opposed to sauteed?