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Holy Healthy Kale Chips!

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All hail the mighty kale, right?  Maybe the height of kale-mania has passed, but this super-food is here to stay, and we will eat it every-which-way!  Especially this time of year, when leafy, winter veggies are about all we can grow in our gardens and scavenge at the farmer’s markets.  Oh, yes, the late-winter doldrums have set in.

Healthy snacking this time of year is tough.  The apples are brown and mushy from too long in cold storage, we’re clinging on to citrus season by a hair, and it will be at least a month before we see decent organic, local strawberries.  Organic bananas are the only imported fruit I buy, and those are rationed around here these days.  Dried fruits, nuts and raw carrots are our go-tos for packing lunches and afternoon snacks, but sometimes you just want a little something more…

Ever get excited about Kale Chips?  We do!  We cram them in our faces as soon as they come out of the oven, there is no such thing as a left-over kale chip in our house, not ever!  You’ve got to be quick just to get a fair share.  I’ll never forget the time my daughter begged me to make enough to share with her whole preschool.  Those 3 year-olds devoured every last one.  Sure, they’re pretty much all mountain, hippie kids, but still, they’re kids.  And they willingly ate veggies for a snack.  Boom!

Holy Healthy Kale Chips!

Kale chips are insanely easy to make, you just bake them and eat them.   I’ll give you the finer details, but that is pretty much it.  First, get your kale.

kale leaves

I grow several varieties of kale, but we also like to snip a few broccoli leaves too (middle leaves), in fact, they might be our favorite!  Pick the broccoli leaves while they are still tender and soft, they are edible and quite delicious!  Some people prefer the curly-leafed varieties of kale for chips, but I find I get a nasty case of “witch’s mouth” (lots of tiny kale flakes stuck in your teeth).  It’s pretty hard to avoid generally, but worse with the curly leaves.

The most important factor in making crispy “chips” is to make sure the leaves are absolutely dry.  Any liquid will make the leaves steam instead of roast, so wash and dry very thoroughly.  The stem also holds a lot of moisture, and is pretty chewy, so make sure to cut it out.

cut kale leaves

Fold the leaf in half, and cut the stem out.  Compost or feed to the chickens.

Next, you want to lightly oil the leaves on one side.  Use as little oil as possible, I use my Misto sprayer to cover them with a super fine coating.  You can use olive oil, avocado oil or even melted coconut oil.  If you don’t have a Misto, very lightly brush on the oil.  Sprinkle with your favorite sea salt, finely crushed.  I use the back of a spoon on a plate to make sure my salt is uber fine.  Lay the leaves out on a cookie sheet so there is plenty of room between them, if they are too crowded they might steam.

This is how they look before…

make kale chips

… and after…

baked kale chips

Bake them at 300F for 20 minutes.  After the first 10 minutes, turn the pans, then watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn.  It is very important to let them sit for a few minutes before you start scarfing them down, not only do they need time to cool, but they also get just a little crispier.

So there you have it!  Super easy, very healthy kale chips.  When I’m making these, they are gone before I even have a chance to load the oven again, they are that good!

Holy Healthy Kale Chips!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • Olive oil, Avocado oil or coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F
  2. Wash and dry the kale leaves
  3. Remove the stems of the leaves
  4. Arrange on a cookie sheet, spray or brush with a tiny bit of oil and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the trays and bake 10 more minutes.
  6. Cool about 3 minutes before eating.

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