Sunday, March 8, 2009

Recipe: Kale Chips

(cross posted from my dianadyer blog on August 3, 2008)

In the Dyer home, kale has long been more than just decoration on a plate. In other words, here's what to do with kale that just keeps on growing!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I ate kale chips for the first time at the Ann Arbor Lady Food Bloggers picnic. They were SO delicious that I just knew they would become a regular way that we would be eating kale in the future. I have already made them 3-4 times in the past month since I first tasted them.

I am still using our garden grown kale that was planted this past spring. It's now early August - I thought the kale might be done or bitter by this point in the summer, but it's all still growing with the young leaves very tasty and tender. Our one short row is a mix of the curly green kale that you see most often in the grocery store or as the ubiquitous decoration on a restaurant plate plus some flat varieties like red Russian kale. Fortunately, our resident garden groundhog does not seem to bother the kale (however, it has devoured most of my beans, including all the heirloom seeds I brought back from my trip to Monticello - can you hear me crying?)

Enough intro and/or rambling! On to the recipe and directions.

Kale Chips

Take a large bunch of kale leaves and trim off any tough stems (save the stems to later make soup stock). Wash the leaves, shake off excess water, tear the leaves into "chip size" pieces. A leaf the size of my palm would make 2-3 pieces.

Put all leaves into a large bowl. Sprinkle ~1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar over the leaves then add ~1 Tbsp. olive oil to the leaves. Next sprinkle with dried herbs or spices of your choice. Twice now I have used a few shakes from a bottle of a salad mix called Rocky Mountain Seasoning from The Spice House in Evanston, IL given to us by good friends. Use your hands to thoroughly mix and coat the leaves with the vinegar, oil, and seasoning.

Spread the kale leaves in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. I have used a sheet of parchment paper to make clean up easy, but just a spray or bit of additional olive oil on the cookie sheet also keeps the leaves from sticking to the cookie sheet.

Heat the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven until the leaves get crisp. They will wilt at first but then start to crisp up. The color of the kale leaves will darken from a bright green to a deeper green. I do carefully turn them with a spatula after about 10 minutes and usually bake them for a total of 20-30 minutes. I check them often at the 15 and 20 minute marks to make sure they do not burn. Serve right away or they are also very very good at room temperature. In each case, a full cookie sheet of kale leaves was eaten in one sitting by two people (either by my husband and me or our younger son and me).

If I ever have any extra kale chips, I will try saving them in an airtight container to eat later as chips or even crumbling them into small pieces to use as an interesting salad addition or topping.

See the empty plate? All gone! Please let me know if you try eating kale this way and if you and your family enjoy it.

Kale is an excellent source of calcium and along with the other plants that belong to the broccoli family is power-packed with phyto-chemicals that promote general good health plus being a terrific cancer "phyter". I actually try to have so many fresh vegetables from this family on hand in my frig that I eat at least 1-2 servings from this power group daily (yep-daily!) as part of my efforts to increase my odds for long-term cancer survivorship. If you plan to always have kale available and you have the oven going for something else, it only takes a few minutes to prepare the kale chips according to this easy recipe to bake at the same time.

To get ready for planting our fall crop of kale, I finally collected the seed pods today that developed on the one plant that wintered over last year. I could see some of them had finally popped, scattering the seeds in the garden and the garden paths, and many more seed pods were also "ready to go".

Did I have anything with me specifically in which to collect the pods so that I could find those itty-bitty seeds again if they popped on the way home? No, of course not. So I simply put them into my garden hat, which worked quite well! By the time I got to the parking lot and the car, many of the pods had popped by themselves with the tiny black seeds now sitting nicely in the bottom of my hat (see photo - thank goodness this was not a straw hat as I am sure these tiny seeds would have fallen through).

When I showed the small seeds to a young woman who was in the parking lot at the community garden, she said it seemed like a miracle that such tiny seeds produced our vegetables. I couldn't help but smile and agree!! and ask if she had read the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, in which the author Barbara Kingsolver so eloquently describes the many miracles that unfold every day from the hard work of those who grow and produce food either for their own table or for us to eat.

The next time you're at a Farmers' Market, please thank the farmers for their hard work and the many miracles they have brought to market!

Where kale is definitely more than just decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

The following 7 comments were imported from the August 3, 2008 posting:
Kateri said...

I'm making this tomorrow! Thanks for sharing. I have so much kale in my garden right now.August 3, 2008 11:53 PM

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm so glad you posted this, Diana - I didn't pay enough attention when Victoria was talking about making them. I'm very excited! August 4, 2008 11:44 AM

kim said...

Hi Diana
I learned about kale chips from Deb at Tantré. They are my most favorite way of eating this incredible vegetable. I might love kale chips even more than potato chips, which, for me, is saying a lot. :) Thank you for posting the recipe - I think everyone should know about kale chips!!!
KimAugust 5, 2008 1:35 PM

TeacherPatti said...

Victoria's kale chips were awesome! (So were Kim's fried sage leaves,come to think of it). Something I'd never think to do on my own, and oh so good!!!, August 5, 2008 6:42 PM

anne said...

I am now sold on kale chips. Thanks for the post and recipe.
Anne, Charlotte, NC, August 20, 2008 1:12 PM

Faye said...

Yum - just made my first batch - thank you, Diana! August 24, 2008 6:36 PM

Dunrie said...

Kale is my new favorite, and Ed pointed me to your blog.
I tried this kale chips recipe from Bon Appetit, but I like your idea to add herbs/spices.
Definitely trying this. March 7, 2009 9:25 AM


Niki said...

I just located your blog, searching for variations on kale chips. I'm working on my "kale" post for my own site, and was very excited to come across yours. Wow, a whole site dedicated to kale everyday! I'm anxious to find new things to add to my kale soup, smoothie and chip repetoire.
Look for my kale post soon...

Jill said...

I am making the chips right now! Thanks I had no idea they could be used like that :)

Melinda said...

I have made these in the past, thank you for "reminding me" of the simplicity and deliciousness of them. Extra Kale on the grocery list! - FYI - I cam across your blog from doing a google search under "eating kale raw".

Diana Dyer said...

We have so much kale in our garden that kale chips are now a "regular" in our house. We always make them for company, too!

Saskia said...

Hi Diana, I've got some leftover bok choy. Have you ever tried making bok choy chips instead of kale chips? Not sure if they will work out the same.

Diana Dyer said...

No I haven't. Please give it try and post a comment to let us know how it turned out! Thanks for asking. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana,

We're huge fans of kale chips. You can also crumble the extras (there are seldom are extras in our house though...) and use as a delicious popcorn topping along with nutritional yeast & tamari & flax seed oil. Delicious.


Diana Dyer said...

We have never had "extra" kale chips in our house yet, but I agree that crumbling them to put on popcorn would be delicious! Thanks for the suggestion. Yum,yum!

Magda said...

These are even better raw, and the cooking actually depletes much of the nutrition.
Try the same recipe but instead of cooking at 350, turn your oven to 105 and leave overnight or even just a few hours.
My old school oven doesn't go that low but has a nice toasty warmness to it all the time so I put mine in there and check them every couple hours. You can also make"cheesy" raw kale chips by adding a blend of sprouted seeds(I use sunflower, or u can use cashew too) with lemon juice, AC vinegar and seasonings-make that in the food processor and toss with the kale before the dehydrating oven trick
MUCH healthier and equally delicious!

Deb Kay said...

Glad to find your blog. I just spotted kale chips at the local grocery for $6.99 or $7.99 a bag. It probably has $1 or less worth of kale in it. I grow kale in the garden and decided I would make my own and teach others how. Thanks for the sharing your experience.

Diana Dyer said...

Dear D Kay,
Thanks for finding your way to my kale blog. I agree with your thoughts. Please teach everyone in your area of the country the joy and ease of growing kale and also making their own kale chips for pennies compared to what is available in plastic. One of my sons even grew his own kale among the landscaping at his apartment's complex ("stealth gardening"). Please stop by again!

Shut Up & Cook said...

I used to dread when I got the bundles and bundles of kale in my CSA box. Now I can't wait!

Polenta Gratin with Kale and Cremini Mushrooms...and wheat free!

Great blog by the way!

Diana Dyer said...

Dear 'Shut up and cook' - thanks for visiting my blog and also sharing the link to your recipe using 8 cups (yes 8 cups!) of kale. You've finally convinced me to try polenta from a tube. And BTW, the next time I'm in Seattle visiting my son and daughter-in-law, I'm going to really look for a beautiful young woman cantering on the downtown sidewalks! :-) Thanks again for stopping by my kale blog!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Oz made me aware of kale chips-thanks for the receipe-just made them and plan to make them my "chips" from now on- any other great ways to make kale?