Kale chips rock!!! These are crispy kale chips. I put a good bit of kosher on them to make them kind of salty like fries/chips. They really were like thin potato chips! Part of the reason people get down on salads is greens can get super chewy and/or soggy. Kale chips are as far from soggy as you can get!
I love them as a lunch or dinner side or sometimes as a healthy snack. I can eat a whole lotta kale at once!! My favorite recipe is simply salt, pepper, and smoked paprika dipped in ketchup, but of course there are so many different spice combinations you can use.
Here are some reasons why kale chips are considered a great snack:
- Nutrient Density: Kale is a nutrient-dense leafy green, and when turned into chips, it retains many of its essential vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamins A, K, and C, as well as minerals like calcium and potassium. Nutrient-dense snacks contribute to overall health and well-being.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Kale is known for its high antioxidant content, which helps combat oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants play a role in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals, and incorporating them into snacks like kale chips contributes to a healthful diet.
- Heart-Healthy: The fiber content in kale chips can contribute to heart health. Dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, and it promotes a feeling of fullness, potentially aiding in weight management and reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Gluten-Free and Low Carb: For individuals with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free or low-carb diet, kale chips are a suitable snack option. They provide a crunchy texture without the use of grains or gluten-containing ingredients.
- Easy to Make at Home: Making kale chips at home is a straightforward process, requiring minimal ingredients. This allows you to control the flavorings and seasonings, making it a customizable and healthier alternative to store-bought snacks.
- Versatility: Kale chips can be seasoned with various herbs and spices, allowing for a wide range of flavor options. Whether you prefer a savory, spicy, or slightly sweet snack, you can experiment with different seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
- Crunchy Texture: The baking or dehydrating process used to make kale chips results in a crispy and crunchy texture. This satisfies the craving for a snack with a satisfying crunch, similar to traditional chips, but with added nutritional benefits.
What type of kale should I use for kale chips?
Curly kale is widely available and makes great kale chips! You can also use lacinato or dinosaur kale, which is flatter. It will make a much flatter chip. I tend to prefer the curly style myself.
Basic Kale Chips Recipe:
- Preheat oven to about 375 degrees
- Use about 1 OXO salad spinner’s worth of kale (which was a stuffed grocery store veggie bag or 2 bunches of kale). Tear the kale leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces. Wash thoroughly and dry complete in the salad spinner. Use some paper towels to remove any extra moisture.
- Spread seasoned kale out on a baking sheet in a single layer, being careful not to overlap.
- Drizzle with about 2 tsp of olive oil and salt to taste
- Sprinkle with Parmesan, Asiago or your seasonings of choice.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and kale is crispy when moved in pan. Some ovens may need closer to 20 minutes.
- Cool completely before storing.
The Health Benefits of Kale
Here are some of the key advantages of including kale in your diet:
- Rich in Nutrients: Kale is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. These nutrients play crucial roles in maintaining overall health, supporting bone health, and boosting the immune system.
- High in Antioxidants: Kale is a potent source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and quercetin. These compounds help combat oxidative stress in the body, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases and may contribute to anti-aging effects.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The presence of flavonoids and other compounds in kale has been linked to anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation is associated with various diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. Including kale in your diet may help reduce inflammation.
- Heart Health: Kale contains fiber, which can contribute to heart health by helping to lower cholesterol levels. The high levels of potassium in kale may also assist in maintaining healthy blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that the bioactive compounds found in kale may have anti-cancer properties. The presence of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds, is believed to contribute to the potential protective effects against certain types of cancer.
- Bone Health: Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in bone health by assisting in calcium absorption and bone mineralization. Adequate vitamin K intake is associated with a reduced risk of fractures and improved bone density.
Parmesan Kale Chips
Dust on some parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast plus my favorite: smoked paprika! This gives them so much great flavor. Continue the recipe as directed above.
TIPS TO MAKING KALE CHIPS
A SALAD SPINNER IS A MUST TO GET THE LEAVES SUPER DRY
Water is your enemy with kale chips, so you’ll want to be sure the kale leaves are SUPER dry after washing. A salad spinner (this one is my favorite) will be your best friend. Paper towels or a clean cloth can help too.
HOW DO I STORE KALE CHIPS?
You can definitely store them in a container, but I never think they are as good the next day. Store in the fridge and warm up to room temperature to eat. Or you could reheat them in the air fryer itself to re-crisp! Store bought kale chips are better for on-the-go snacks.
How Long Will Kale Chips Last?
Baked kale chips that are super dry and crunchy when made, they should store fine to store for a few days, but they might not be as crispy. The slightly bit of moisture will likely degrade them fast, so be sure you don’t use any water when putting them away. I like to use an airtight container at room temperature.
More Kale Chip Recipes
- Parmesan cheese
- Nutritional yeast
- Truffle salt
- Everything Bagel seasoning
- Chilli powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic powder
MY FAVORITE SAUCES
Eat your air fried kale chips with ketchup if you have that salty french fry craving! I also like an aioli (like the one I made for the avocado fries with sriracha!) BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, and pesto also make great dips.