Kale chips is a simple nutritious food that can be made into different delicious healthy flavours. Kale chips can be a part of a meal, such as in soup or salads. With raw kale, it can be used in pizza sandwiches or smoothies. Let me introduce you to my world of kale chips.
Kale Chips as a Condiment
Think of kale chips as a condiment. Just like you would use pickles, you would put out a bowl of kale chips. The kids can come sit at the table and start munching on kale chips and veggie sticks before their food arrives.
Kale Chips in a Salad
Think of kale chips like croutons or bacon bits. Just sprinkle some kale chips (smaller pieces) on your salad, such as leafy greens, for extra flavour and to add texture.
Kale chips can be used as a delivery system for herbs, spices and a little extra bit of healthy electrolytes called salt – minerals. You want savoury, add sage, rosemary and thyme. You want spicey, add cayenne and spices with a kick. Paprika! The sky’s the limit! I use turmeric and cinnamon regularly in my recipe and kids don’t even know turmeric is there. I have learned that you need to use very little salt – just a pinch will do.
You can play with the fats that you use to make the kale chips. I have seen many recipes use olive oil, but I have been using coconut oil for a long time. Some are not good with coconut oil so try olive oil. The oil has to warm up in your hands in order to massage it into the leaves or I guess you can slightly warm up other oils such as duck fat to use in making the kale chips. But a little goes a long way. You will have a choice to use different oils based on the heat you use and the oxidation of the oils (not walnut oil). Some make their kale chips using a dehydrator whereas I use my oven but on lower heat than most recipes.
I have seen kale chips made with a variety of other ingredients, such as nutritional yeast.
Kale is one leafy green or vegetable that has a healthy nutrient profile. Kale appears to be high in vitamin A, C and K. There would also be protein, minerals, omega 3 and 6 and fiber.
Kale can be use in salads, smoothies and casseroles. Anytime you want a little green colour to a soup or stew, you can add some chopped kale. I use it in miso soup but I don’t add much when adding it into soups.
Just leave the kale chips on the counter in a bowl or container, and the family will just eat them almost like cookies in a jar. Truth…yes.
Kale and Pizza
My kids like to have pizza every once in a while so I was thinking of ways to take a cheese pizza with a whole grain crust to another level for myself.
Want to make pizza healthier? Wash up any kind of kale and remove the thick stem. Place 2-3 leaves between 2 slices of pizza (can use more). Voila! You have a pizza sandwich. Food made healthier. Slice up some tomatoes and perhaps red onion and you have another kind of pizza sandwich. Put slices of salami or other cheese. You get the jist.
Recipe for Kale Chips
1 head or bunch kale (farmer’s market or certified organic)
2 tsp or 10 ml of oil (coconut oil, olive oil)
1 pinch salt (sea or Himalayan salt)
Add a variety of flavours with herbs and spices.
Cheryl’s usual recipe includes 1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp or 2.5 ml of turmeric. In most cases, I take my shaker and shake the spice all over the kale chips while tossing the kale leaves with my other hand. Yes, my hands are a little yellow from the turmeric but nothing that I cannot lick off or wash off. Now if you are using cayenne pepper, perhaps not a good idea.
Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees…maybe lower or maybe higher (350 degrees for 15 minutes). I like lower better but it does take longer.
Wash the kale either by filling up a large bowl with cold water or your sink. Once washed, shake the water off well, and remove the stem or rib of the kale leaves then set the leaves aside. Leave them to dry for a spell or pat down the leaves with some paper towel. I like to use curly kale versus black kale (for smoothies).
Take out your oil and spices (or flavours) and get them ready with lids off, and spoons ready because once you rub the oil into the kale leaves your hands will be oily. Sometimes I wash my hands after putting on the oil but most times I do not because I have to toss in the spices anyway.
Rip up the kale leaves into pieces (for example, 2 by 2 inches or 6 by 6 cm), and place them into a very large bowl. Do not need to measure the pieces for Pete’s sake. Some will be smaller and others larger. Depending on the number of leaves and the size of the bowl, the bowl may be full. I like the bowl to be 3/4 full so I can easily toss the leaves with the oil and spices.
Time to add the oil. If olive oil, pour over the kale leaves. If coconut oil, place in your hand, warming it up and breaking it up into smaller pieces. Start to massage the leaves with the oil (1-2 minutes) making sure the oil is covering all the leaves with a thin coat. If you need a little more, add more. By massaging you will continue to spread the oil to all of the leaves.
Once the oil is massaged in, take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it over the kale leaves tossing the leaves a few times while sprinkling.
Take the other herbs and spices and do the same thing. Once the flavours have been added you might want to do a couple of tosses but tossing the leaves while sprinkling the flavours is ideal. No more massaging is needed because the spices will stick to your hands.
All You Need to Know About Kale Chips
Toss the coated kale leaves on to a cookie sheet, a pizza pan, etc. You might need two pans. Try to spread them around so they are not piled up on each other.
Place in the oven and watch them dry. At 250 degrees it takes approximately 30-40 minutes. A couple of times, I open the oven to let out the moisture. You want them crispy and remain dark green but at times, I have left them in too long and there is some browning. Oops. My husband likes those ones but I am not a fan of them.
Eat them warm out of the oven or room temperature. I have never put my kale chips in the refrigerator and at times, keeping them in a sealed container would make them go soft.
Oh kale, I would like to eat more yummy kale chips please.
Champion for your better health…