Kale chips - the green juice drinking, activewear-wearing cousin of the potato chip.
Whenever you have a surplus of kale to get through these are an excellent way to make a sizable dent in your pile. Like potato chips they're addictive - lovely, crispy and salty, they make a delicious savoury snack, in which one is never enough (until the whole bowl is gone).
We have a number of varieties of kale growing in our garden - cavolo nero/italian, red russian and curly kale. The curly kale is one of the most common types you'll see sold at the supermarket, and has a tough fibrous middle stalk with tight ruffled leaves. When making kale chips you simply remove the leaves of the middle stalk, tear up the leaves, season, and then bake in the oven until perfectly crispy. The neat thing is that they don't take too long to make - you can enjoy them from garden to plate in less than 20 minutes.
To avoid average kale chips follow the tips below - each one has sadly been a lesson for me, and so please learn from my failures (better me than you!):
- When pre-washing your kale make sure to completely dry it before baking, otherwise the moisture may make the chips stem rather than crisp up. So heart-wrenching.
- When tearing the leave up try and get them all similar sizes - this will help ensure they cook at an even rate, otherwise you might get some over or under cooked.
- Keeping an eye on them while they're in the oven as they can burn very quickly. You want them crispy and dry when you remove them, while still retaining colour. I tend to stay close to the oven and watch them like a hawk past the 8 minute mark.
Kale is a one seriously impressive vegetable. It’s ridiculously good for us - from a health perspective it’s a plethora of micronutrients, which are tiny, yet super powerful, nutrients needed in smaller amounts for good health. Out of these, it’s particularly high in vitamin K, critical for blood clotting, vitamin A, great for immunity and skin, and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, with a single cup well exceeding the RDA (recommended daily intake) for each. Like many leafy greens, given its very low calorie content this makes is one of the most nutrient-dense raw foods you can eat. It is lovely in salads (make sure to "massage" it first - google this), in smoothies or jut a raw handful straight out of the garden.
Crispy Kale Chips
1 bunch of curly kale (5-6 leaves)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line an oven tray with baking paper.
2. Tear the leafs off the tough middle steam and rip leafs into similar sized pieces – this will help the kale to cook evenly. Discard any tough stems.
3. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle over the olive oil and salt. Make sure to rub the oil over each kale leaf to coat evenly.
4. Arrange leaves on a lined baking tray, avoiding having them overlap. You may need an extra tray if making a big bunch.
5. Cook in oven for around 8-12 minutes (depending on the size of the chips), keeping a close eye from around the 8 minute mark. Remove from oven once crispy and dry. Make sure to remove before they burn - they turn very quickly, so keep an eye on them!
6. Let them sit for a few minutes and then enjoy!