Kale Whale

Posted on | Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | 2 Comments

As I said in my previous blog entry, I am making a bigger effort to eat better (although I have decided to simply eat the remainder of my emergency chocolate, I can't bear to throw it away). Which means the great opportunity to try new recipes that are healthier. I've found several great gluten-free blogs that are full of recipes that not only look delectable but are chock full of healthy ingredients.

As I perused all of the blogs I discovered recipe that each blog had a version of -- it seemed amazingly popular and everyone was raving about how delicious it was.

Baked kale chips.

Now I'd never actually eaten kale before this recipe, but I had heard people say that it is a superfood filled to the brim with healthy nutrients and fiber. You know, one of those foods we should eat all the time because it's so good for us -- like pomegranates and blueberries. Except a vegetable.

I've tried all kinds of recipes this past year so I thought, why not? The very worst that could happen is that I didn't like it. No real harm done. And all of the recipes were very similar (aside from a few ingredients) so I was able to try all three.

It starts by washing your kale. Like all fruits and veggies you should give them a good scrubbing to get off any residual gunk that they may have picked up between the farm and the grocery store.

All the recipes also said that after washing your kale you need to make sure it's bone dry. Not a drop of liquid on those leaves. Your chips will be soggy if you skip this crucial step. DRY YOUR KALE, PEOPLE.

The next step is done in all three recipes, too, -- how convenient! -- rip the kale into bite-sized pieces (although they will shink during cooking, so don't make your pieces too tiny) and pour a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil over them. Massage it into the kale with your hands (it's more fun that way), you want a good even coat.

Now here's were things change a bit according to each recipe.

In recipe #1 (pictured above) it says to add 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic. I didn't have any paprika so I improvised with Old Bay Seasoning and nixed the salt. Make sure and rub the seasoning in well so that all the bits of kale have a kick of flavor.

For recipe #2 it says to add a good glug of apple cider vinegar and about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Again, massage the seasonings into the kale. Having that even coat is important!

Recipe #3 only calls for a large pinch of salt and the olive oil. Massage, massage, massage. Culinary simplicity at its finest.

Regardless of the recipe you want your oven set to 350* and to lay out your bits of kale evenly onto a baking sheet. I covered mine in parchment paper to help with clean up (and because I'm a tad bit lazy), let them bake for 8-12 minutes. I found ten minutes to be perfect for me, but that will vary from oven to oven.

You want the kale to be a darker shade green, but not brown. If it's brown it's burned and it will taste bitter and gross. I had a few pieces that burned around the edges, but I am assuming that can't be avoided.

The verdict for this recipe? DELICIOUS. I particularly loved the Old Bay/paprika version, but all of them tasted great. A bit like cooked spinach or broccoli, a little bitter and earthy but with a very pleasant taste. The oil and seasonings add a great dimension to the chips, although I would be careful about the amount of salt added. They can get salty very easily.

But... out of the two bunches I used to make these chips I have maybe a large handful left, and that will likely be gone before this evening. And I will for sure be making more over the weekend. Too bad Kael isn't showing as great of an interest in kale.

Haha, see what I did there?


2 Responses to “Kale Whale”

  1. --Sharon
    March 30, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I'm trying to avoid fats, so I've also avoided the kale chips. Wanting to consume kale, however, has led me to green smoothies.

    Do you have a blender? If you don't, never mind, because I have two and you can have one of them when you move down. You just make whatever smoothie you want (minus the end of the bamboo spoon) and then pack the blender with kale and blend it up. I put a LOT of kale in mine (they are BRIGHT green when I'm done blending) and cannot taste even a hint of the stuff. It's funny because I was thinking of having Kael help me make green smoothies after you move down. I am sure we can come up with a recipe that he'll love.


  2. --Sharon
    March 30, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    (I meant that I was just thinking about Kael and green smoothies tonight as I was driving down and you had posted this about kale. That's what was funny.) :p


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.