Kale Chips: A Simple, Healthy & Highly Addictive Snack Solution

When it comes to the world of food, there are few things I enjoy more than helping people out. Ask me a question about food, and I won’t rest until I’ve given you an answer. Or a tour of the grocery store. True story.

So when my mom mentioned the other day that she and my dad had designs on eating better, I was all ears.

Kale_chips_new2 (1 of 1).jpgGiven that they live on Prince Edward Island - the province known for its amazing potatoes - I can’t blame my parents for having a soft spot for chips. But let’s face it - too much of a soft spot and you’ll end up with, well, a soft spot.  

So my first task in Project: Healthy-Eating Ideas for Mom & Dad was to find a healthier, easy to make, and satisfyingly salty and crunchy substitute for potato chips.

The solution?
 
Kale_chips (14 of 17).jpgKale chips! Here’s how I imagine the conversation playing out: 

DAD: But are they healthy?
ME: Yessir! Super-healthy kale - the new spinach, some are saying - is tossed in just a bit of oil and baked to a glorious crisp. And because kale is a bit salty-tasting on its own, you’ll need to add only a bit of salt (if any!) to satisfy your craving. Nice!
 
Paprika.jpgDAD: But are they easy to make?
ME: You bet! Tear, toss, sprinkle and bake. The end. Happy snacking!

Kale_chips_new (1 of 1).jpgDAD: But are they really tasty?
MEAddictively so.  Salty (briny, even), intensely savoury, and with a surprisingly satisfying crunch, you’ll have a hard time not eating the whole batch. And I don’t say that just for effect. The batch in the photos was devoured within minutes of coming out of the oven by salty-plus-crunchy-snack connoisseurs (read: Lauren and Rob). And in this case, devouring the entire batch probably isn’t a bad thing in the least. 

Kale_chips (15 of 17).jpg

ME: Bonus! It’s economical! These days, a small bag of chips can set you back a couple bucks. At the grocery store I frequent, a bunch of kale costs a mere 98¢ and will yield about 10 cups of chips. Plus, with kale chips, there’s no non-recyclable packaging to deal with. Beat that! 

So regardless of whether you’re trying to develop healthier eating habits, make some kale chips! But in the interest of your mental health, I urge you: check your teeth before you leave the house. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kale Chips
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes lots - at least 10 loosely-packed cups - but it’ll disappear quickly!

Ingredients
1 bunch of kale (any kind - I used curly), rinsed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
Seasonings like salt, pepper, paprika, sesame seeds, etc. (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. 

2. Using a knife or your hands, separate the leafy parts of the kale from the ribs. Discard ribs (here’s where a composter comes in handy!). Cut or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces and put in a large bowl.  

Chips_step_1.jpg

3. Pour oil over leaves and toss to evenly coat.* Spread leaves in a single layer on two unlined baking sheets and sprinkle 2-3 large pinches of your seasonings of choice over each sheet.** Bake for 28-35 minutes, or until chips are crispy (try one!). Allow chips to cool before serving.***

Chips_step_2.jpg

*You may need to massage, rather than simply toss, the leaves to make sure they’re evenly coated with oil, especially if you’re using the curly stuff. 
**As kale can be a bit salty-tasting on its own, you may want to go easy on the added salt to start - 2-3 big pinches per baking sheet should do it. Once the chips are out of the oven, if you find that you’d like them to be saltier, add another pinch or two.  
***If you manage to have leftovers and find that they’ve lost their crispness overnight, you can, as reviewers of the original recipe have recommended, re-crisp them by popping them back in a 250°F oven for 5 minutes. I haven’t tested this out yet, as we’ve never had leftovers!

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