Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kale Chips Semi-Disaster {I TRIED IT}

Kale is a veggie I've been fascinated with for a long time - and by fascinated, I mean I read about it and seriously considered buying some, but never did.

That all changed when I saw homegrown kale on sale for .99 cents this weekend.  I figured I wouldn't feel bad for "wasting" a buck if it sucked.

So, Sunday afternoon Mom and I rolled up our sleeves and dug in.

Spoiler alert 1:  Kale does not suck.

Spoiler alert 2: I burned the crap out of it.


  • Olive Oil, about a tbsp
  • Kale, 1 bunch
  • Spices of your choice

The Pin(s)

What Went Wrong

My biggest mistake was only consulting two pins.  Both of these pins suggest turning the oven to 400 degrees or higher.  Over at {Never} Homemaker, she says high temperatures "surely have an impact on the initial shock, and therefore, crunch, the kale gets in the oven."  This made a lot of sense to me, but the advice from both sites of checking the kale every 10 minutes was just too long for me.

What Went Right

{Never} Homemaker had a great tip about rubbing the olive oil onto the kale leaves instead of drizzling the oil and tossing the leaves.  This took a little more time, but ensured an even spread of the oil and a better "stick" for the spices.  I'm also certain I used way less olive oil than I would have had I drizzled and tossed.

The Full Recipe

  1. Preheat your oven to 410.
  2. Gently rinse the kale.
  3. Remove the kale from the stems.  (My mom learned a great trick from Paula Deen - hold the kale stem in one hand.  With the thumb and forefinger of your other hand, gently squeeze down on the bottom of the stem and pull your hand away quickly.  The leaves should just fall away from the stem.)
  4. If you want, chop or tear the leaves into smaller pieces.  
  5. Sandwich the kale between layers of paper towels and press down on them to soak up the water.  
  6. Once the majority of the water is soaked up, let the kale leaves air dry.  This may take some time - the curly edges of the leaves can really hold on to those little drops of water.
  7. When the kale is completely dry, coat the leaves in a light layer of olive oil.  Don't be afraid to use your fingers - get in there and run olive oil into each leaf (be sure to get those pesky curly edges)!
  8. Add your spices.  Use as much or as little as you'd like.
  9. Place in the oven for 5 minutes and then check the leaves. You'll know the leaves are done when the edges brown.  
  10. Remove any leaves that are done and stir the remaining.  Check every 5 minutes until the all of the kale leaves are done.  
    I salvaged about 1/2 of this tray...
  11. ...and NONE of this tray.  :(
  12. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

What I'll Change Next Time

Next time...

  • I'm reducing the time between "checks" on the baking leaves.  As it says in my instructions, I'll be checking every 5 minutes.  
  • I also think I'm going to use clean cloth towels to soak up the water instead of paper towels.  We had to use a lot of paper towels, and it felt like a waste.  Luckily, we'd just bought a lot of lettuce and the damp towels could be tucked in with the clean lettuce in those storage  bags, so not all of it was was thrown out.
  • After further investigating tips and tricks for making kale chips, I think I want to try mixing the spices and flavor into the olive oil. I'll let you know how it goes!

Have you ever made kale chips? What are your tips and tricks?  Let me know in the comments below!

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