At this point, kale is perhaps top dog as reigning superfood champion. It’s one of the most nutrient dense vegetables you can eat, filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, what is its truest, best quality? Well, it might be how the thickness of the kale’s leaves allows us to tear it into pieces, drizzle it with oil and spices, pop it in the oven, and turn it into kale chips!
If you have been remotely in the foodie loop in recent years, then you have no doubt heard of, tried, or attempted to make your own kale chips. If you have given kale chips a try, then you may know that a well done batch of the things can actually achieve a chip-like crunch factor, and when seasoned properly, can exude a flavour so tasty it puts regular old potato chips to shame. However, getting the ratios right is a delicate process. And it is all too easy to end up with wilted, soggy, or burnt bits of kale that hardly resemble any sort of delicious snack. To end this vicious cycle of trial and error, use these tips for your next batch!
Fully dry the leaves after washing. If you try cooking kale chips that haven’t been properly dried, the water will steam your chips while baking, resulting in a sad, soggy disaster. Try using a salad spinner to get your leaves dry. For extra efficiency, some gentle pats with a clean cloth to soak up excess moisture is also a good idea.
Tear the leaves into big pieces, removing the stems. Let’s not lie to ourselves–we are making kale chips because we want to eat chips but know that they are bad for us. Or maybe you have your own reasons for eating kale chips, but I know that for me, biting into a bitter stem while trying to enjoy my ‘chip creation’ definitely ruins the illusion. To avoid this whole debacle, make sure that when you’re tearing the leaves into slightly bigger than chip size pieces, and take care to remove the stems.
Spread the chips out onto a single layer on the baking sheet. If you think you can just dump a huge mound of kale onto the baking sheet and hope for the best, then you’ve got another thing coming. This leads to the soggy, uneven baked chips of amateurs. For uniform crispness, spread your chips out into a thin, single layer on the baking sheet–trust me, your patience will be rewarded.
Get the right rations on oil. This part is crucial. A little bit of olive or coconut oil goes a long way. However, you need to make sure that you’re coating all of the leaves, as the oil is also important in making sure that the spices stick to your chips. For optimal oil dispersion ratios, use ½ tablespoon of oil per baking sheet of kale chips. Drizzle it in lines across the sheet, then massage it into the leaves, making sure every chip gets a good coating.
Cook your chips on low heat. Slow and steady makes the best kale chips! Bake your chips at 150 degrees C (300 F), for 10 minutes. Then, take them out to give them a bit of a shake, and pop them back in for another 10-15 minutes.
Let your chips cool for three minutes after taking them out of the oven. You know the way cookies and muffins continue cooking and crisping up after being removed from the oven? The same goes for kale chips. Though it’s hard to be patient, let your chips sit for a full three minutes before removing them from the sheet and into a bowl.
Check out our own Spud approved recipes for Crispy Kale Chips here, and never pull a sub-par batch out of the oven again!