Originally posted November 19, 2012. Revised May 2015.
Over the past few years, kale has gone from disposable restaurant garnish to featured superfood. Although this thick, green leafy vegetable has always been rich in fiber and cancer-preventing antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K, it is now getting the public respect it has long deserved.
A cup of kale has a mere 36 calories, two grams of dietary fiber and three grams of protein. Kale is also rich in sulphur-containing compounds that have been associated with improving liver health, improving symptoms associated with arthritis and can improve heart health.
Kale can be eaten raw in a chopped salad or added as a topping to pizza, but my favorite way to eat this superfood is baked with just a sprinkle of coarse salt. When baked in the oven, chopped kale leaves shrink into crispy “chips.” If you haven’t tried kale and you’re looking for a fun way to add it into your diet, give this recipe a try. My five year old daughter ate the equivalent of half a bunch of kale in one sitting and a coworker of mine told me she substituted these kale chips for store-bought, greasy potato chips. These are quick to make, easy on the wallet and good for you!
My keys to baking kale juuuuust right:
- Make sure the leaves are as dry as possible before placing them into the oven otherwise they’ll steam and wilt rather than bake and crisp.
- Salt leaves after baking, otherwise they’ll lose their bright green color faster.
Baked Kale "Chips"
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash kale leaves and tear (or slice with a knife) leaves off of thick stems.
Tear leaves into 2×2 to 3×3 inch squares.
Spread torn leaves evenly on to a clean dishcloth. Roll leaves in the cloth and give it a squeeze–this will absorb the majority of the water from the leaves. You may need to repeat this step a few times.
Place dried leaves in bowl. Make sure kale is as dry as possible so they crisp nicely.
Rub the oil into the leaves.
Spread leaves onto a cookie sheet and place into preheated oven. Check kale at 10 min. If leaves have not "crisped," leave in oven for no more than an additional three minutes.
Once kale is baked and crispy, sprinkle with coarse salt.
*Note: Vary the flavor of your chips by experimenting with different herbs and spices like ground pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, and a cajun spice mix. Be creative and enjoy!