There’s nothing wrong with eating your greens—just not as often as you probably do. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make kale, a leafy green that is packed with nutrients, taste better. One way is to turn it into kale chips. These snacks are both healthy and delicious. Learn how to make crispy kale chips in this ultimate guide!
Why You Need To Make Kale Chips
I don't know about you, but I love me some chips. Tender and delicious, this type of food allows me to feel free; free from the rules of society, free from the rules of life… well, maybe not yet (I'm working on it). And while chips may seem like a no-brainer to make at home, most things are simpler with our friends in foil packaging. But there are exceptions to every rule — like kale chips! Kale chips are delicious, but they're also really easy to make at home. All that's required is a little bit of time and some patience (and maybe a lot of kale). Kale is a leafy green that’s often used in salads or stir-fries. Health experts recommend eating more leafy greens in your diet, as they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Kale comes in several varieties, including curly, lacinato, Mediterranean, and red Russian. No matter what variety you choose, you can make crispy kale chips.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Kale?
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. One cup of raw kale provides you with 46% of your daily vitamin A needs, 33% of your vitamin C needs, and 36% of your vitamin K needs. It’s also a good source of iron and calcium. Kale is also a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help promote heart health and lower your risk of developing certain types of cancers. Depending on the variety of kale you use, you may also get a decent amount of protein and iron.
Are All Kale Chips Healthy?
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, manganese, and other minerals. Furthermore, kale has more vitamin A than any other leafy green vegetable. But not all kale chips are created equal. If you look at store bought kale chips, some brands resort to chemical processes such as dehydration or roasting to make their kale chips crispy without adding oils or fats. Others use unhealthy fats like palm oil or canola oil to give their chips the same satisfying crunch as conventional potato chips. The best way to ensure the healthiest version of kale chips is to make them yourself.
Tips for Making the Crispiest Kale Chips
- Wash the kale thoroughly. You want to remove any dirt, sand, or grit that’s present in the leaves. You can also use a salad spinner to do this quickly and easily.
- Cut the kale into chip-sized pieces. You can use a knife or kitchen shears to do this. Make sure that each piece is roughly the same size as you want them to bake evenly.
- Make sure to remove any thick stems. The stems can be tough to chew and may not taste as good as the leaves.
- Be careful not to over-toss the kale. You don’t want to break the leaves because they may be harder to chip later.
- Use the right amount of oil, too little and they will burn but too much and they will be too soggy. Using a spray could cause them to burn easier, so if you do go that route, watch them closely.
- Bake on an even layer of parchment paper. This helps the kale chips bake evenly.
- Use low heat. High heat makes the chips burn and low heat makes the chips come out crisp.
How to Select the Right Kale for Crispy Chipping
There are some things you can look for when picking out kale for crispy chipping. Choose kale that has a vibrant green color and that feels firm to the touch. Avoid kale that has wilted or wrinkled leaves or that feels limp. You can store the kale in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. When choosing kale for chips, keep in mind that different varieties of kale may have different cooking times. Mediterranean kale, red Russian kale, and curly kale often cook the quickest, while lacinato kale takes a little longer.
Additions that Help Make Crispy Kale Chips
There are plenty of ways to flavor your kale chips. While this recipe uses specific spices, you are free to experiment and find the flavors you like best! Let’s take a look at some flavors and how they can help make crispy kale chips.
- Salt: As we’ve discussed, salt is a must for flavoring your kale chips. You can use table salt or sea salt.
- Sugar: Some people like to add sugar to their kale chips for a sweet flavor. You can use brown sugar, white sugar, or even honey. Alternative sweeteners like stevia and truvia are great to keep your points low, too!
- Hot pepper: If you like spicy food, try adding some hot pepper flakes to your kale chips.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs help make your kale chips taste delicious.
- Seasonings: You can also choose to flavor your kale chips by adding different seasonings.
- Cheese: Sprinkling a nonfat cheese on your kale chips, while they are baking, makes them taste incredibly delicious.
3 Reasons Why You'll Love Crispy Kale Chips
- Kale chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips and are extremely easy to make.
- Kale chips are the perfect snack for when you are on the go. They make great travel food because they don’t spoil like fruit and they don’t need to be refrigerated. All you need to do is put them in a little bag and off you go!
- They can be seasoned any way you like to suit whatever flavor craving you may have!
What Other Recipes Should I Serve With Kale Chips?
Just because kale chips are a great snack on their own, it doesn't mean you can't serve them with other snack foods at a family gathering or get together with friends. Crispy Jalapeno Cheddar Bites could be the spicy alternative crunch while Garlic Hummus could provide a nice balance between the two! If you're looking to serve this as a side dish, the chips provide a nice crunch alongside soups like Carrot Ginger, Roasted Tomato or Minestrone Soup.
How Many Points Are In This Recipe?
With the new Plan, points can vary for diabetics. Points can also vary with different brands. Please use your recipe maker to determine your exact points.
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- 2 Large Bunches of Kale (remove stemps and tear into chunks
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- Sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Wash kale leaves and dries completely before adding to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss to combine while rubbing each leaf with your fingers to make sure it is evenly coated in oil.
Sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cumin on top of kale and season with sea salt, to taste. Toss until evenly combined.
Arrange seasoned kale leaves on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer, being careful to not overcrowd them. Work in batches, if necessary.
Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 5-6 minutes before rotating the pan. Bake for another 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove chips from the oven when they are still mostly green, with only a tiny bit of brown developing.
Let chips sit for 2-3 minutes to crisp up a bit more before serving. Enjoy!
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 68Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 157mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 1g
*This is an automatic calculation by a third party app*
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