Kale chips are all the rage for the healthy minded of all sorts. And for good reason. They have all the fiber, and most of the vitamins, of raw kale, but in wonderfully crispy form, perfect for snacking. And while there are plenty of brands on the market, there's no need to buy kale in chip form.
You can turn hearty leaves of kale into crispy crunchy "chips" for a delicious and remarkably healthy snack at home with minimal effort. The key to successful kale chips is twofold: first, bake them in a single layer so they can crisp up properly, and second, take them out of the oven after 20 minutes—they will crisp up as they cool. If you leave them in until they are already crisp, they will char and take on a burnt taste as they cool.
- 1 bunch kale (I like to use Lacinato or "dino" kale, but any kind works)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 300°F. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the kale leaves. Cut out and discard any large ribs from the center of the leaves (these won't crisp up the same way as the leaves will). Rinse the leaves clean with cool water and pat them thoroughly dry. You can leave small leaves whole, but you may want to cut larger leaves into more manageable pieces. Alternatively, you can cut the leaves into largish yet more chip-like pieces to be eaten in a bite or two.
- Put the kale in a very large bowl and drizzle it with the oil. Gently toss the kale pieces until they are thoroughly and evenly coated with the oil. Arrange the leaves on baking sheets in a single layer (you may need to cook them in batches; but the key to getting the kale crisp is to bake it in a single layer, so resist any temptation to layer the leaves!). Sprinkle the kale with salt. For extra flavor, sprinkle on a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake the kale for 20 minutes, remove the kale from the oven, and let it cool—you can leave the kale on the baking sheets or transfer it to cooling racks. Note that the kale "chips" will not be crisp yet, they will crisp up as they cool, so don't leave them in the oven longer. Repeat with remaining kale, if necessary.
Enjoy the kale chips as soon as they're cool. They'll keep in a sealed container (a cookie tin is ideal) for a few days, depending on the humidity where you are (the drier it is, the longer they'll stay crispy).