Crispy Salty Kale Chips ♥ Recipe
aka Why Did I Wait So Long to Bake Kale in the Oven?

Crispy Salty Kale Chips
Today's vegetable snack: Fresh kale rubbed with a little oil and mustard (or a vinegar, anything with a little acid) and then baked until crispy and salty. Weight Watchers 1 point. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

A couple of St. Louis restaurants are famous for their flash-fried spinach. People like the spinach so much, I get tempted again and again. But to my taste, it's just a greasy pile of greens, especially because it cools down so fast, becoming a cold greasy pile of greens. Eww.

I figured that the food-blog famous kale chips would be the same. But not! They taste fresh and alive and I just love the crispy-salty texture. I have the idea that they'd make a quick pre-supper snack, a way to stave off hunger with something hot and nutritious while cooking the meal.

There's a Woody Allen line about the difference betweeen Episcopalians and Catholics: "All of the pomp, none of the guilt". The same applies to kale chips and flash-fried spinach: "All of the greens, none of the grease."

RECIPE for CRISPY SALTY KALE CHIPS

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes

Fresh kale - at my grocery, 3 bunches weigh a pound
Olive oil - allow about 1 tablespoon per pound of kale
Apple cider vinegar or mustard - allow about 1 tablespoon per pound
Kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375F, 400F, up to about 450F. The higher the temperature, the faster the roasting. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Under running water, wash each kale leaf carefully, splaying the leaves to get into the crevasses. Arrange in a single layer on a double layer of paper towels. When the paper towels are completely covered, put another paper towel on top and press gently to remove as much water as possible. (See TIPS.)

In a bowl, mix the oil and vinegar or mustard. Add the kale and loosely swirl the leaves around to distribute the oil mixture. With your hands, rub the leaves together, the objective is to cover every bit of leaf with the oil and mustard/vinegar, working the oil into the leaves. Arrange the leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet. "Rain" with salt -- be generous!

Bake for 5 minutes to start, then stir around and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes. We like the kale best when it's still quite green but with some salty crispiness versus completely crispy. Tastes may vary so taste as you go along! Serve hot! Savor!



ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
I have the idea that Kale Chips just might be a great snack preceding supper, something to snack on while cooking. If so, I'd do the primary prep step in advance, so the cleaning and drying, maybe even the cutting, would be done ahead of time.
I tried the kale using just oil and salt but love the dimension that a little bit of acid from either mustard or vinegar (or lemon juice, say) added.

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24 comments:

Very unsual!!! I'm actually very curious about these...I might just have to try them.

These are a regular at our house, at least in the winter when the CSA box often has bunches of different kales. But I've found that kale can be quite salty on its own, so I've stopped adding any in the cooking process. Sometimes we use sesame oil instead of olive oil, for a different flavor. I don't add acid either, though we do make a kale salad with chopped kale and a balsamic or lemon marinade - let it sit an hour or so, add olive or sesame oil and seasonings to taste, plus any other ingredients - yum!

Interesting!
BTW, did you know that kale has the highest lutein content and is recommended by eye specialists for those with macular degeneration or for those whose family has a member that has it (tends to be an inherited disease).
It is higest when cooked, second is when it is raw, then comes cooked spinach, then raw spinach, etc.. The list ends for food highest in lutein for those with macular degeneration is green beans. Not a carrot in sight.
Macular degeneration is a nasty piece of work.
My Dad has it and has finally come to accept the fact that he is legally blind. It wasn't easy for him to get to that decision. I try to eat spinach as often as I can, and I love cooked spinach with lemon juice, salt, pepper and butter. Nothing else. Just pop those on top of cooked spinach and I am in heaven. Kale isn't available in my little town population of 2,000's local grocery store.
Thanks, THIS is something that sounds soooo good.
Huggs, Cait

Can you fix the nutritional value for this? - it's missing some numbers on my end. Thanks, I love this recipe and look forward to making it with rainbow chard!

I love the idea, and enjoy your posts. But why use all that paper towel? Dish towels do the job, can be dried and re-used without washing (it was only water, after all) and no resources have been wasted. In my house, paper towels mop up grease spills and that's about it. Why waste the paper, the packaging, the transport?

Just something to think about.

Right now, as a gardener, I am awash in winter kale so appreciate another yummy way to use it.

I loved this when I made it too. Surprisingly sweet and delicious for a vegetable that some people think is bitter.

i love kale chips too and this post just reminded me that it's been far too long since ive made them. im curious to try it with the mustard coating. when ive made it i just sprinkled with paprika and some parmesan cheese.

Oh thanks for the post, I had forgotten this one. As I recall it reminded me somewhat of really good roasted nori. Have not tried it with the acid added. Cait - thank you for the info on macular degeneration. It runs in DH's family. We already eat a lot of spinach so its good to know that might help but it would also be good to add another dark green to our diet. We tend to get stuck on the same things all the time. Kale is on our next shopping list for sure. Elizabeth I agree with you about the dish towels vs paper towels, one roll lasts me forever because we only use paper for really icky won't come out in the wash sort of stuff.

Bo ~ Do and let me know!

Karen ~ Great tip on the saltiness and I love your idea on the sesame oil, I almost tried that too and will the next time. Thanks for all your tips!

Cait ~ You're always a wealth of information, thank you!


SoulMamma ~ What needs fixing? It looks good on my end.

Elizabeth ~ Good point, thank you. do you have any information that shows how paper towels are better than cloth? I've always wondered if the paper vs cloth washing/drying etc weren't a wash.

Kalyn ~ I'm quite sure you were one of my inspirations!

Iga ~ The mustard is just a way to add a little brightness, I used a stone-ground so there was a little texture too.

Tom & Kari ~ Oh good, I love to be a 'good reminder'.

Here's information about paper towels and napkins ...

Can't wait to try this. Sounds yummy.
On the note of dish towels: I just bought flour sack towels at BBB. You get (4)four large towels for $9.99 less the 20% coupon. I use them to dry vegetables, use them to wipe down counter tops after cleaning. Can use for just about anything. They wash and dry just fine. But I use just one per chore. Also use one next to the sink to put washed dishes on to drain. Takes up less space then those drainers.

Thanks for this recipe gem.
Sunny

I wonder how it taste like. :) Interesting recipe.

I've been doing this for years--but I dry the kale in my salad spinner. I put the washed kale in a plastic bag with the oil mixture and shake it up--even coverage, quick and no mess to clean (I throw away the bag...)

Fast! Easy! Yummy!

Thanks for sharing about this. Looking forward to trying them out!

Kale chips are all over the food blogs this week! Kale is on my shopping list and I plan to experiment this weekend. Thanks!

I have read about kale chips in several places and am always surprised at how much people rave about them. They are definitely on my list to try!

I just want to thank you for mentioning how much 3 bunches of kale weighed. My biggest peeve with recipe writers is the use of bunch, medium, large, etc. It's meaningless unless you live in the same area they bought their ingredients--a medium onion here is equivalent to two onions on the East Coast.

I love that everyone's making kale chips. I discovered them by accident when some kale (and cabbage) stuck to the side of my roasting pan. I was amazed at how sweet, crispy and good it was--the cabbage, too.

Or maybe toss w/1 T. mustard oil and sea salt.

I'm teaching a class on greens this Thursday, and I'm going to try the mustard element to the Kale Chips! Love Kale Chips, and they work great rehydrated on top of a bowl of soup.

Clearly the people you go out with don't snarf the flash fried spinach as quickly as my family does. It's barely given time to cool past the magma stage, let alone make it to any sort of coldness:-) We do like kale chips though, especially with some garlic or Parmesan on top.

I love these but be-careful with the salt, for some reason it doesn't need a lot as suggested. I added garlic powder instead of vinegar.

That's it! I'm having these tonight. I've been reading about how good they are and I'm absolutely excited for them to be good. I've been told to add nutritional yeast for an extra health boost and flavor. I think I will try that as well.

Hard to believe kale could taste this good: thank you! Maybe the mustard that does it? I used lemon juice instead of vinegar, though. (And I'm with Nancy on the salad spinner—if you use that first, your kale won't need much further drying.)

Oh, I've learned to eat Kale from a post some wonderful lady did on her blog about Kale chips. (smile)

In the health food store in our area they have bags of kale chips - like you mentioned but these are small bags, salted kale chips with Parmesan cheese and they are almost $7.00. Me thinks it would be easier to learn how to do that than spend that much money.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna