Great Snack Experiment: Kale Chips

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

I serendipitously stumbled on several recipes for kale chips recently in a way that made me feel like the universe was trying to nudge me into making them. Now I feel like I owe the universe an apology for waiting so long. As strange as they sound, these are surprisingly good and so easy.

Kale is one of the greens my kids eat without complaint (along with spinach), but even if you usually have to force feed greens to your kids, you should still give these a try. They're kind of in the same vein as popcorn - vegetable-based so relatively healthy, but also covered in fat and salt so not really healthy, making them a good snack.

Kale Chips

MAKES: about 4 servings (though you could easily eat them all by yourself in one sitting)
COST: $.81 per serving*

1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
  • Preheat your oven. Every recipe I've seen for kale chips lists a different oven temperature - somewhere between 350 and 450. I baked mine at 375 (not so coincidentally, the same temp I bake bread at).
  • Cut curly kale leaves off of the tough stems. Discard the stems.
  • Wash kale and dry thoroughly - either by patting with a towel or spinning in a salad spinner. It's very important to get the kale dry, or you'll end up with steamed kale instead of baked kale chips.
  • Toss kale with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Spread the kale evenly onto a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, stir, bake 5 minutes more, etc. until kale is crispy but not burnt. I baked mine for 20 minutes, and I think they're just slightly overdone.
*Note that all costs are estimates based on prices in my area and that I use organic ingredients whenever possible. Your costs may vary.

This post stems from my experiment in February to stop buying store-bought crackers and make my own snacks from scratch. For other snack ideas, check out the following:

You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!


Jeannie,  March 18, 2010 at 2:18 PM  

I simply love kale chips! Yum!

Lina March 18, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

Yes! So, so good. We discovered them when we got a lot of kale in our CSA share. Now I actually buy kale. Who knew?

Truffula March 18, 2010 at 11:29 PM  

Tasty, tasty, tasty! Our kids turn their noses up at many veggies. But, our little guy has turned out to be a kale-chip eating machine. We leave the dish out on the counter, and he snags a chip (or more) whenever he passes by. Glad you've discovered this culinary gem!

cpcable March 19, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

I too have been noticing kale chip recipies all over the blogosphere. It's a sign! These sound delicious...

82andsunny March 24, 2010 at 8:35 PM  

Erin, I've been wanting to make your bread forever, and then when I saw all the variations at the Green Phone Booth, I set to it. So on Saturday, I made loaf bread, pretzels, and bagels (and also kale chips-- yummy!). They all turned out great.

I think the bagels are a special winner because I love, love, love bagels, but always feel guilty buying them. My roommate from Brooklyn raved on the bagels, saying that those were exactly what she always expects bagels to be, but the store-bought ones just never are. I think they will become an official staple in my house.

Also, my husband and roommate both agree that these make-good-food-at-home things (like the bread and the kale chips) are a huge improvement to our diets. I know you don't really eat meat, but we've taken lately to making a chicken over the weekend, and then having sandwiches or pasta or rice or whatever with real chicken all week, instead of lunch meats or other processed meats.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your bread recipes with us.
Good bread = good life.


Erin aka Conscious Shopper March 24, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

@Kati - What a wonderful comment! I'm glad the bread recipe is working out for you - we sure love it around here.

SimplyForties March 29, 2010 at 5:53 PM  

A new way to make kale? I'm all over that! Thanks for sharing!

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