Baked Kale Chips

by Lori on July 1, 2010

If you’ve been following other blogs, you may be thinking that I’m a little late, outdated or perhaps redundant.  I’ll admit that I’m so two months ago, but sometimes it takes me a while to hop on the bandwagon.

Maybe deep down in the recesses of my soul, I believed that the ubiquitous baked kale chips had become over-exposed.  Maybe I needed to let the blogdom settle down before I jumped in.  Maybe it was my apprehension about getting all jiggy with it for another green leafy vegetable.  I should be referring to it as a nutritional powerhouse, because it truly is.

And it’s addicting.

So much so that I packed a small container of these chips to join me on my recent vacation.  I ate them all before I arrived at my destination.

A couple of months ago, I began to see kale chips popping up on some of my favorite blogs.  My first reaction was one of disinterest.  I couldn’t understand why everyone was singing its praises.  I mean really – it’s a green, leafy vegetable.  Essentially flavorless in my unenlightened opinion.  But when you toss kale with a tablespoon of olive oil, a little sea salt, and pop it into the oven, something happens.  What initially appeared to be dull and ordinary transformed into something nutty and interesting.  I wish I didn’t wait so long.

I can’t say that baked kale chips will replace the deep and undying love I have for potato chips, but it’s a good stand in when I want a guiltless snack.  And it comes in pretty handy when I need to satisfy my need for something crunchy and slightly salty.

I’ve been able to get organic kale each week at my local farmers market.  This variety is Lacinato or “dinosaur” kale.  The curly-leaf variety, that I saw in my local grocery store today, is just as good and a bit brighter in green-color which you may like better in the end.  Regardless of the type you select, you will need to remove most of the stem from each leaf.

Cut the kale into a chip-sized portion.  These cuts are a little small.  Go bigger.

Place all of the cut kale into a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

In order to insure that each piece of kale was evenly coated with olive oil, I poured it around the perimeter of the bowl and tossed it well.

It’s amazing how far you can stretch a tablespoon of olive oil.

Lay each piece of kale onto a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and pop it into the oven.

The kale will shrink down a bit by the time you remove it from the oven.

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Rinse and dry the kale, then remove the stems. Cut into large pieces and toss with olive oil in a bowl.  Arrange pieces in a single layer on a large baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp.  Do not over bake or the chips will be bitter.  Place baking sheet on a rack to cool.

I lined my baking sheets with parchment purely for the ease in clean up.  You do not have to do this.

I have also made these kale chips with garlic infused olive oil, and they’re even more delicious.

This particular recipe is from Smitten Kitchen.

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