Kale belongs to the same group of dark leafy greens like broccoli, Savoy cabbage, collard greens, kohlrabi and gai lan (Chinese kale), known collectively as the cruciferous family. With a host of benefits- high in iron and fibre, possessing anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous benefits, packed with calcium and antioxidants- it’s no wonder this bunch has been acclaimed the world over as nutritional powerhouses, with kale taking top-billing.
Whoever decided to turn boring old kale into the most addictive and nutritious snack food on the planet is nothing short of a genius. What better way to eat your greens than in the form of a beloved crisp? Thank you, whoever you are. They are so easy to make too, so they should be your first snack emergency fallback. Kale chips satisfy that umami je ne sais quoi that tantalize our taste buds. Less than 10 minutes of prep and then it’s just cooking time- for those who want the raw variety, you will have to wait up to half a day whilst they crunch up in the dehydrator so plan ahead. If you go the oven route, it’s a 15 to 20 min affair!
There are endless varieties of flavourings and varieties of kale chips, from the 2 ingredient-incredibly simple (extra virgin olive oil and sea salt) to the multi-item very complicated (chipotle cream). Our irresistible version takes a shortcut of sorts. It’s on the simpler side in terms of what you need and how to make it, but taste wise, it satisfies the need for a rich, texture filled mouthful, and offers a little protein and some sweetness. We mixed crunchy almond butter and honey as an nostalgic ode to childhood memories of peanut butter on toast. Enjoy!
How To Make Perfect Kale Chips Every Time – Green Queen’s Kale Secrets
- Make sure your kale leaves are completely dry before adding the topping. Extra moisture results in less than crisp chips.
- Use the freshest kale leaves possible. Wilted, older kale does not retain its texture well during baking.
- Don’t overcrowd the baking tray- cook them in batches if you need to. Otherwise, some bits will be dry and crispy (the goal) whilst others will limp and chewy (not great).
- Everyone’s oven differs so keep a close watch on the oven while they are baking. For some, cooking time will be closer to 10 minutes, others will find 20 minutes is necessary.
- Avoid baking the stems- they taste bitter, are extremely hard and are unpleasant to chew. Use them for juicing or smoothie making.
- Always use your hands to massage the kale leaves- using a spoon won’t work as well. Kale leaves are very tough and the hand massaging helps soften up the fibres.
- Larger leaf chunks come out better than smaller kale pieces for chips as they are very brittle once cooked. This is why we recommend breaking off large pieces off the stems with your hands rather than a knife.
- It’s important not to overpower the kale leaves with too much flavouring/topping/sauce, like many store-bought kale chips do. The kale leaves should still be the stars of the show.
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Serves 2 (or 1 if you are a kale chip addict)
- one bunch of fresh curly kale
- 2 tbsp nut butter of your choice, crunchy or smooth – we used almond but you can use cashew, peanut or even sunflower seed
- 2 tbsp raw honey (for vegans, you can substitute with coconut nectar, date syrup or maple syrup)
- a sprinkle of ground cinnamon (omit if you don’t like)
- a good pinch of Himalayan sea salt (or any other type of good quality salt)
- Pre-heat oven to 120C. Pull kale leaves off the stem and give them a good wash. Pat leaves dry with a tea towel or kitchen paper. Discard stems.
- In a bowl, mix the wet ingredients with the cinnamon and sea salt. For a rougher texture, use a spoon or whisk. For a smoother texture, blend in food processor.
- Gently massage the mixture into the kale leaves with your hands.
- Distribute an even layer of kale on a baking tray and place it in the oven for approx. 15 minutes or until crispy. They should not turn brown.
- Let the leaves cool on the baking tray then transfer to a bowl to serve.
Remember, kale chips are extremely addictive! These will have you- and the kiddies- dipping your hands in the bowl and licking your fingers until they are all gone.