Thursday, June 23, 2011

Snack - Baked Kale Chips

I heard of these kale chips a month or so ago. The recipe is currently circulating many blogs and food websites, and it is an interesting recipe simply because it claims to take something healthy and make it into something that resembles chips.

This was my first foray into eating kale, and it really was not that bad! These "chips" came out crispy, and sort of reminded me of nori (Japanese seaweed sheets) that you find in sushi. It really had that same crispiness to it, with the slight vegetable flavor.

The chips were fairly easy to put together, but they do require a bit of prep work including washing the kale and making sure it is thoroughly dry. If the kale is not dried properly, it will not crisp up and will steam instead. All the recipes I saw for this recommended giving the kale a whirl in a salad spinner, but since I don't own a salad spinner, I opted to sandwich the kale between two sheets of paper towel and press the water off the leaves. It seemed to work fairly well.

Now, I am not sure quite how healthy these remain, but you use olive oil to crisp the chips up, so I guess the oil is somewhat healthy. The chips are quite fragile, so don't expect to be able to scoop up salsa or anything!

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients:
-1 bunch of kale (I think it was a good 3 cups or so?)
-1-2 tablespoons olive oil (I used nearly 2, but would use less next time. A little goes a long way!)
-Sea salt, kosher salt, or desired seasoning (I used 4S salt seasoning from Penzey's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a baking sheet or two by lining with parchment paper.
Wash and thoroughly dry kale (see notes above in blog). Tear kale into small pieces, removing tough stems.
Place torn kale in a bowl and add tablespoons of olive oil (start with one, if you need more add it), mixing evenly with your hands to coat all the kale. Do not season yet!!
Move kale to the baking sheets, spreading in an even layer. Try not to overlap leaves.
Bake for 12-20 minutes, until crisp. Check after 12 minutes, then add minutes as needed. Mine took about 14 minutes. The leaves will be paper-thin and will crunch when touched. Be sure to remove the kale before it begins to brown!! Once it turns brown it will taste icky.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with your salt and/or seasoning.
*Be sure to make these the same day you plan to use them. Like salad, they do not keep very well.

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