I’ve never tried making kale chips at home, have you? Typically my go-to for getting some leafy greens in the kids is a smoothie – but that’s getting a little old (and a little cold) for winter.I love how easy this recipe is and Kaley says her littles gobble up these healthy chips. Make sure you read to the end for her suggested flavor variations.
Would you like your kids to eat a little healthier? Do you have issues getting them to eat enough dark leafy greens? Do you wish they would actually ask to eat kale?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this recipe is for you. In less than 20 minutes, you can cook up some irresistibly crispy kale chips that will have your kids begging for more. Seriously.
Start with a bunch of fresh, organic, locally grown kale. I like to use Lacinato kale (also called Dino kale) but curly kale will work just as well. If you have a local farmer’s market, this is your best bet, as the kale will be more tender and less bitter than any you can buy in the supermarket. Kale is best eaten very fresh, as it becomes more bitter with age.
Wash the kale thoroughly. Then cut the tough stems out of the center of the leaf and either compost them or save them to use in another recipe. (They are very nutritious, just a little too tough for crispy kale chips.)
Cut the kale into chip size pieces. When I am making this for kids, I make the pieces considerably smaller than I would for adults. Remember that the kale will shrink as it cooks, so you don’t want the pieces to be too small.
Dry the kale in a salad spinner or by laying it out on towels on the counter. Any water left on the leaves will cause the kale to steam, instead of crisp up. Steam = soggy kale chips.
Once the kale is completely dry, put it in a bowl and add a tiny bit of olive oil. Start with about a half of a teaspoon for a whole bowl of kale. Then rub the oil into each of the pieces, working it into each side of the leaves.
Add more oil if you need it, but your probably won’t. You don’t want oily chips!
Add a bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and toss to season all of the pieces evenly.
Spread the kale pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper helps the kale to not burn and makes clean up a snap. Be careful to spread out the pieces so that they are not overcrowded, which will allow the kale to cook more evenly.
Bake at 300° for about 10 minutes, but watch them very closely. They go from done to burned very quickly, trust me on this one, as I have made this mistake more often that I’d like to admit. You want them crisp but not at all browned.
Serve the kale chips as you would any other chip. I love to serve them as an appetizer while I am finishing dinner. My daughter is happy that she gets to snack before dinner, I am happy that she is getting some extra greens. They are usually gone so fast I have to put another batch in before I can even get a taste.
I couldn’t even get through taking this photo without a little hand sneaking in for a bite!
Once you have the basic recipe down, try a few of the following variations in place of the sea salt and pepper:
- sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds
- red pepper flakes, cumin, sea salt and ground pepper
- sea salt and vinegar
- sea salt and cayenne pepper
- minced garlic and fresh lemon juice