Healthy Recipe Thursday! Kale “Chips”

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A gorgeous kale plant

Kale is one of those vegetables that most people either love or despise…except when prepared in this manner, one of Green Mountain at Fox Run’s most popular side dishes. 

When raw, kale is as beautiful to look at as it is good for you to eat.  It grows extremely well in cold climates like our Green Mountains, even after the snow flies, and is chock full of good stuff, like Vitamin A, potassium, and Vitamin C.  Typically it is used to add body and a beautiful color to soups, or sauteed simply in a little olive oil and garlic.  But some folks just can’t get past the hearty texture of kale when blanched or sauteed, and/or its astringent flavor.

This very things that turn people off to kale are what allows its transformation into a potato chip-like treat.  No, I’m not kidding.  (I would never, ever joke about potato chips.)  Try out this week’s healthy recipe on a kale hater in your life and see if you can make a convert out of them! 

Kale Chips

First you need to clean and dry a head of kale.  Grasp one leaf of kale by the softer leafy part and pull off the woody stem.  (Yes, you can cut it off, but it’s quicker to just do it by hand.)  Immerse each de-stemmed leaf in a large vessel of cold water.  Use your hands to really dunk the kale and move it around to ensure you get all of the un-delicious sand out of it’s beautiful, ribbony leaves.  If your kale is a little wilty, leave it in the cold water for several minutes to refresh it a bit.

Dry the kale very well, preferably by using a salad spinner.  Put the dried kale in a bowl and mix in a little bit of olive oil and some salt to taste.  How much?  I dunno.  It depends on how big or small your head of kale is.  The oil should barely coat the leaves, and the salt should not be the star; a pinch should do it.

Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the kale in a single layer on it.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes, then, using tongs (or asbestos hands if you’ve got them ;) ), rearrange the kale a bit to ensure even cooking.  Return to the oven until the leaves are mostly dry and crispy.  Be careful and monitor often, as the kale can go from not quite cooked to burned to a crisp pretty quickly.  For the best textural experience, eat these within a couple of hours.

Need another plan for that kale in your fridge?  Try throwing some in a gorgeous soup towards the end of its cooking time.

Thanks to Chef Jon Gatewood for permission to use this groovy recipe.

Inspired by Robyn’s post from yesterday to try some delicious, nutritious, yet unfamiliar ingredients?  What are some foreign (at least to you) elements with which you would like to experiment, but have no idea how to approach?

7 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Robyn says:

    Ah the irony of it all…. I made “kale-tatochips” this weekend. I mixed vinegar with the oil before coating the kale and got a salt & vinegar kind of chip.

  • Lisa in Jersey says:

    Lis, this sounds awesome. I bet these would be a hit with my toddler, too. :) I have a yummy bunch of kale in the fridge which I’m going to use for soup but I think I’ll reserve some for chips!

  • Louise says:

    Gotta admit, there were only three things I didn’t like during my 4 wks at GMFR… Kale was one of them! But after reading this rather inspirational recipe, I think I’ll give it another try!

  • Patsy Catsos says:

    Sounds delicious. How essential is the use of the parchment paper to the success of the recipe, would you say?
    .-= Patsy Catsos’s last blog post..FODMAPS in Coffee? =-.

  • Chef Lisa says:

    From my perspective, the parchment is essential because I don’t want to wash the sheet pan. :P But if you don’t have any on hand, you could absolutely spray a little oil on the pan instead.

  • cindy says:

    i can testify that this recipe transforms kale. it’s fabulous! i couldn’t think of anything really unusual i’ve eaten lately (in response to robyn’s question yesterday), but i will admit i rarely ate kale before i tried it prepared in this fashion.

    note to self: buy parchment paper…;)

  • [...] chips – curly leafy and dinosaur kale work best for these.  Here is a link to our kale chips [...]

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