For years, I just assumed kale was relegated to the world of garnish or added to late fall flower beds for some last minute color. But I assumed wrong. Kale can be so much more. How about a crispy snack alternative to potato chips?
Months ago I came across a recipe for kale chips. I was intrigued to say the least and best of all it only takes three ingredients; kale, olive oil, and salt. I first imagined they would just go limp and steam themselves in the heat of the oven. But they came out of the oven, crispy, earthy and nutty. I just cooked the whole leaves, minus the stem, but you can also rip the leaves into bite-size sections before cooking.
You’ll definitely need to watch them as they cook. Some parts of the leaf crisped up faster than others. At which point, I had to break off the crispy parts and continue cooking the limp sections.
Kale is one tough leafy green. It can be used in soups because it holds its texture and color instead of getting mushy. Certain varieties have a distinct and strong smell that can turn some people off. While others are pretty mild in their raw form. Best of all, kale is highly nutritious. It’s high in beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium. And one cup has as little as 36 calories. An insightful breakdown of its nutritional value can be found here.
Whether you’re on a diet, a vegetarian or just want something healthier than potato chips, kale is your answer. Who knew?
12 large kale leaves, rinsed, dried, and center ribs and stems removed
Pure olive oil cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 250°F.
1. Hold bottom of kale leaf and with the other hand, strip the leaves off the stem, from bottom to top. Any stem or ribs that come off with the leaves in this process should be tender enough to eat.
2. Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Spray with cooking spray for an even coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake until crisp, anywhere from 10-30 minutes. All the leaves cook differently so check them often and remove the leaves that have turned crispy. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.