There are lots of recipes for kale chips out there. I got my initial recipe from a wonderful twitter follower @paleoeater (who has a great blog full of delicious recipes www.paleoeater.wordpress.com). I have spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with kale chips, and always with good results. I think it reflects the versatility of kale that it can be cooked at so many different temperatures with different oils and still turn into the most delightful little crisp mouthful of wonderful ever. But I did learn a few important things about kale chips:
First, the oil is pretty versatile. I have cooked these with olive oil (only at lower temperature), avocado oil, coconut oil, and even grass-fed tallow and lard (ohmygosh those were yummy!). They all work fairly well. I use coconut oil most frequently because it’s easy and I don’t like cooking with olive oil due to the polyunsaturated fat content, although the end kale chip can seem a bit greasier than with olive oil (I like that!).
Second, the cooking temperature is pretty versatile. Low and slow seems to yield the greenest, tastiest chips. When I can plan it advance, I think cooking these for 45-60 minutes at 275F really is my favorite. But, I’m not always that patient. Especially because one panful of kale chips lasts about 7 minutes in my house. My recipe reflects a happy medium: low enough to stay green but still be fast to make.
Third, the variety of kale does matter. Have you noticed that there are several different varieties of kale readily available at the grocery store? They all work, but the really curly leaves seem to work the best (I think because the air gets underneath them while they cook). The really flat leaves are the most challenging (they stick to the pan and seems to take longer to cook and not be soggy). If you buy your kale already torn up in a bag, you’ll have to sift through it to remove the pieces with stem attached (which don’t crisp up well). It’s also really important to make sure that your kale is completely dry before putting oil on it, otherwise the kale chips will stay soggy. And it’s important not to overcrowd your baking sheet. When in doubt, use two sheets.
- 8 loosely packed cups kale, torn into 1-1½“ pieces, tough stems removed
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted and still warm
- ¼ tsp salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. Wash and dry kale. Place in a plastic container or large bowl.
3. Poor warm oil over kale, close container lid, and shake to coat (alternatively, stir to coat in a bowl or give them a good massage with your hands directly on the baking sheet).
4. Spread out onto a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt (careful, it doesn’t take much).
5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until crispy. Enjoy!