How to Make Kale Chips
Crispy kale chips are a great alternative to store-bought chips but with a fraction of the fat and calories and none of the preservatives and artificial flavors. Making kale chips in the oven is an easy way to enjoy a healthy plant-based snack that’s full of nutrition.
Kale Health Benefits
Kale is one of my favourite ingredients as far as nutrition goes. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there. It’s a great source of fiber which helps to manage blood sugar, can help lower cholesterol and promotes a healthy digestive system and it’s rich in vitamin A, C, K, folate and B vitamins. It’s also a good source of essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc and phosphorus.
Kale is also great for eye health as it contains two phytonutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin. These two nutrients help keep our eyes healthy by protecting against age-related macular degeneration.
Did you know that dark, leafy greens actually contain more nutrition per calorie than almost any other food and may be one of the most powerful steps we can take to prolong our lives? In a study at Harvard, researchers concluded that among all foods, greens like kale and spinach offer the strongest protection against major chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke. Get plenty of dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach into your diet daily to take advantage of their many health benefits.
How to Eat More Kale
How to eat more greens such as kale without eating kale salad every day? Firstly, you can try one of my many kale recipes below. Secondly, get sneaky with your greens! Some of my favorite ways to get more of them into my diet include adding a handful to smoothies, soups, stews, curries and pasta and even blending them into pancake batter.
We always keep our fridge stocked with fresh spinach and kale so we can easily grab a handful to toss into smoothies and whatever else we’re making. A could handfuls a day does the trick!
Kale chips are very easy to make in the oven. All you need to do is:
- Wash the kale then tear or slice the leaves away from the stems.
- Chop the kale into chip-sized pieces.
- Mist with a bit of olive oil or avocado oil.
- Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Place the kale chips on a baking tray in one layer then bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes until crisp.
Tips for Sucesss
For kale chip success, follow these helpful tips:
Wash and Dry Before Baking
For best results, the kale must be completely dry before baking. I’d suggest washing and then letting air dry on the counter top or in the fridge or using a dishcloth or paper towel to dry them. Using wet kale will result in soggy kale chips and no one wants that! A salad spinner is helpful here too.
Use Large Leaves
As the kale chips bake, the leaves shrink a bit so keep them fairly large as you cut or tear them up. Palm-sized is about right.
Go Easy on the Oil
I wouldn’t recommend skipping the oil but you don’t need much. Something like 2 teaspoons per baking sheet of kale is about right. An oil mister works best and helps reduce the amount of oil needed.
Give it a Good Massage
Use your hands to massage the oil into the kale so all the bits and pieces are well-coated.
Bake in a Single Layer
You may need 2-3 baking trays to achieve a single layer of kale chips but the result will be worth it. A single layer allows them to crisp evenly so you’re not stuck with a pile of half-burnt, half-soggy kale.
Go for a Lower Temperature
Low and slow seems to be the way to go for kale chip success. It may seem like high-temps would be best for crispy results but higher temperatures just lead to burning before they get crispy. I’d suggest using an oven temperate of 300 F and letting the chips bake a little longer. For the perfect crispy kale chips, 20-25 minutes at 300 F is just right. Ovens do vary though, so you may need to adjust the cooking time based on your oven. Check them after 10 minutes then keep checking in every 5 minutes until you’ve achieved a crispy kale chip.
Cool to Crispy
Just like roasted chickpeas and granola, letting the kale cool for a few minutes on the baking tray will help them crisp up even more. Give them 3-5 minutes after they come out of the oven then dig in. You can store leftover kale chips but they won’t stay crispy so I’d recommend only baking them as needed and enjoying them right away.
Once that huge bunch of kale shrinks down into kale chips as it bakes, it might not seem like you’re eating that much of it. Remember to stay hydrated to help all that fiber move along if you know what I mean!
From all-dressed to salt and vinegar, curried and more, there are plenty of fun ways you can dress up your kale to make flavored kale chips. To make these kale chip variations, follow the recipe below then add your choice of extra flavouring and massage well before baking.
- Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips. Add 1-2 tbsp vinegar of choice such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
- Cheesy Kale Chips. Add 2 tbsp nutritional yeast.
- Parmesan Kale Chips. Make vegan parmesan by blending salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and cashews, then using that to coat the kale chips before baking. Vegan parmesan recipe here.
- Curried Kale Chips. Add a generous sprinkling of curry powder and a pinch of garlic powder.
- All-Dressed Kale Chips. Add 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast plus a sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika.
- Chili Lime Kale Chips. Add a spritz of lime juice and a sprinkle of chili powder.
- Ranch Kale Chips. Add a generous sprinkle of garlic powder and onion powder and a pinch of dried parsley and dill.
More Kale Recipes
- Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
- Kale Spinach Smoothie
- Roasted Chickpea Kale Salad
- Roasted Carrot, Kale and Quinoa Bowl
- Red Lentil Tomato Soup
- Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Wash the kale and tear the leaves off the stems and into large pieces.
- Spread them out on a baking pan in one layer. Don’t add too much or the pieces underneath won’t get crispy and the ones on top will burn. Allow some room for each piece so it can crisp evenly.
- Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil, an oil or salad dressing mister would be handy here.
- Sprinkle with sea salt then massage with your hands so each piece is well-coated.
- Bake in the oven for about 15-25 minutes or until they’re starting to brown and they’re nice and crispy, watching them closely so they don’t burn.
- Let them cool on the pan for 3-4 minutes then enjoy!
- Extra kale chips can be stored in an air-tight container however I’d recommend enjoying right away.
Keywords: crispy, healthy, low-carb, low-fat