Culinary Chronicles – Kale Chips
Have you ever had kale? Do you know what it is? No, it’s not collard greens (blech!) but a delicious, sturdy, leafy plant in the broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts family.
I was introduced to it through a salad my grandmother made. It was covered in olive oil and sunflower seeds; I loved it! But unfortunately, some of my family didn’t care for how priggly it was so it wasn’t used as much in our salads.
Then, a few months ago, I was reading a tweet by Bethany Hamilton about kale chips, and previously my Mum had said she found a recipe. So I was like, “Well, if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.” So we put “fresh kale” on our grocery list. Since then, kale chips are fixed at least twice a week in our home. They’re so delicious! When baked, they become crispy like a potato chip, only slightly more fragile, but so good. Needless to say, a fresh batch of these don’t last long around here. To emphasize that, it took me 3-4 tries before I could get a good picture of them baked, it went so fast. Whoo!
The nutritional benefits alone are worthy of them becoming a part of your diet. Very high in beta carotene, and vitamin C, they also provide that important vitamin K that is sometimes more difficult to get. Plus it is rich in calcium and contains anti-cancer properties. During World War II, people were encouraged to grow and eat lots of kale because it provided important nutrients missing from their diet due to rationing. Isn’t that interesting?
Also I read, at some point in Scotland’s history, they considered it a staple to their diet, even going so far as to have created an idiom. When someone felt ill and didn’t want to eat they’d say that person was “off his kail”. Different spelling, of course, but that’s to be expected.
So now that you know how good it is for you, would like to know the recipe? Here it is:
Kale Chips recipe
- 1-2 bunches of kale (depending on the size of the bunch and how many you’re fixing this for)
- olive oil
- seasonings of your choice
First, wash the kale and lay out to dry. This is the most important step. If the kale is not mostly-to-completely dry it won’t hold the oil. Lately its been warmer and the kale has been drying a lot faster, which is good when I end up washing it late and needing to bake it not long after. *wry smile*
Here I have the kale spaced apart a good deal but only because it was a small head. I end up packing them in close most of the time and they still dry. It all depends upon the temperature and humidity level.
After the kale is dry, shred into bite-sized pieces, being sure to leave out the hard, thick stems. They don’t ever bake well.
Using a gallon-sized, resealable bag, load about 2-3 handfuls of kale shreds into the bag and pour the olive oil on top. How much is hard to say. Just keep in mind that you don’t want it dripping in olive oil but you do want each leaf to have some evenly distributed on it. Shake the bag until you get that even distribution.
Then dump onto a parchment covered pan. Season with salt and any other desirable seasoning. Personally, my favourite is salt and smoked paprika. Too delicious!
Bake at 275 degrees for 10 minutes, stir the kale around a little, then bake for another 10 minutes. If the kale is still a bit soft, leave it in for as long as it needs, just remember to keep an eye on it.
Now you have a wonderful snack! Make sure you get some before they’re all gone; you are the cook, you deserve some reward.
And that does it. One kale recipe as promised. I hope you enjoyed the post, and if you have any questions (or if you see I have left anything out) leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you promptly.