Friday, February 24, 2012

Kale Chips

My kids typically don't eat many leafy greens. They don't shun vegetables, but leafy greens aren't high on the list. For Roo the texture is tough. Too much chewing and the distinct threat of gagging on a stringy part is enough to give him pause. Bean nibbles raw spinach leaves, but the amount she actually ingests is pretty tiny. And while Looly enjoys shredded Iceberg lettuce and various slaw mixtures, they're not exactly nutritional powerhouse veggies. 

So imagine my jubilation yesterday as Roo and Bean hurried me quickly past the grocery store Easter candy display toward the enormous pile of fresh kale.

"Kale, Mama! They have it! So much kale! Can we get it all?"

That's my Bean. We have found our leafy green niche with a simple but most satisfying preparation.  Kale chips. They're crunchy, delicious, nutritious and so easy the kids can practically make them

Kale Chips

2 bunches fresh Kale (or more as these reduce a lot and get eaten fast!)
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Kosher salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Tear kale leaves into bite-size pieces, discarding tough stems.  This is a perfect job for kids.
3. Rinse and dry kale with a salad spinner.  Again, perfect kid job.
4. Dump kale onto a couple of baking sheets and pat dry if any water remains.  If your kale heap is too high, it won't crisp up properly so spread it out.
5. Drizzle on olive oil and toss leaves to coat.  Kids love getting their hands oily. 
6. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes until edges are brown and leaves are crisp
7. Salt to taste
8. Grab a few for you before the kids eat them all.

You can jazz these up with a variety of seasonings.  My crew prefers them simply salted but if you're feeling adventurous, try:

A sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt
Salt, cracked black pepper and freshly ground Parmesan cheese
A squeeze of lime juice before they go into the oven, followed by a sprinkle of salt and cayenne pepper when they come out
a little Garam Masala



  1. I tried recreating your chips but I way over-salted them! We'll have to try again. Do they work with other kinds of greens?

  2. I'm glad you made them! Did you use kosher salt? We over-salt them from time to time too when the kids "help" but can usually shake some off as long as the crystals are big. :) I haven't tried other greens yet but we used to get fried spinach at a restaurant years ago. Maybe we'll give it a try. Or perhaps Swiss Chard? A project for another day.