You got it…chips!
And, there are so many choices to pick from at the store…with all kinds of crazy flavors! Not surprisingly, many chips come with ingredients that can include a lot of salt, sugar and other flavorings and preservatives. That is why we are big fans of homemade chips…straight from the oven! Sweet potato chips, beet chips, plantain chips...lots of possibilities, but kale chips has to be one of our favorites!
As we wrap up our January Superfood Challenge on kale, we wanted to pass along a few more ideas!
Maybe you are already a kale chip expert (if so, we would love to hear from you) or maybe you have heard about kale chips a few hundred times now but keep wondering what all the fuss is about!
Making kale chips is incredibly easy and, when you taste the melt in your mouth crunch of a perfectly seasoned and baked kale chip, you will be amazed how it was transformed from a leafy green vegetable! Plus, there are so many variations on how you can flavor them...crazy good!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help you make a great kale chip:
- Curly kale works great to hold in the seasonings!
- Remove the stems - the leaves are the essence of a crunchy kale chip.
- Large bite size pieces of leaves - don't chop your kale leaves too small, try to make them as uniform as possible so they will brown evenly.
- Rinse then DRY the leaves! A salad spinner works great to get the water out of the leaves - if they are too wet they will steam and not roast. We want crunchy, not soggy, kale chips!
- Massage the kale! When mixing your oil and seasoning mixture with the kale leaves, use your hands to work the mixture into the kale (yes, massage the kale) -- this is the trick to great kale chips and great kale salads!
- Use oil, but in moderation. Again, no soggy kale chips!
- Preheat your baking sheet - not required, but will speed the roasting process along.
- Parchment paper? It's not required, but if you line your baking sheet it will help prevent the kale from getting too brown.
- Don't crowd the kale - spread the kale in a single layer…a little breathing room around the leaves will produce the best evenly-cooked kale chips. (Keep in mind, the kale will shrink up in the oven, so the leaves don't have to be too spread out).
- Lower the heat! About 300 to 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes will produce great evenly-browned results. If you are in a hurry, go ahead and go for higher heat (such as 400 degrees) but watch your kale…within 10 minutes they may start browning up.
- Flipping or tossing is optional. You don't really have to flip or toss the kale chips during cooking unless you want to. It may help them brown a little more evenly but it's definitely not required!
- Let them rest! Let the kale chips sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes after you pull them out of the oven - it will help them crisp up more! (We have to warn you...warm and crispy straight out of the oven -- this is when the kale chips can magically disappear!)
Of course, a simple combination of a little olive oil, salt and pepper can produce excellent kale chips, but between both Krista and Zonya, we have come up with TWO incredibly delicious options for kale chips...cool ranch and curry-spiced! Try them and kick your kale chips up a notch!
As with anything, reading the ingredients is key. When buying chips at the store, there are some decent options (including veggie chip options) available with a clean list of ingredients, but sometimes it's so worth it to make your own -- then you know EXACTLY what is in them!
Share with us - we would love to hear your kale chip ideas!