No doubt about it -- kale chips are on trend! That's because in addition to their great taste, they're a nutrient-dense snack you can feel good about eating. Here's what a baked kale chip recipe has to offer:
• Baked kale chips have an irresistible crispy-crunchy appeal -- think potato-chip satisfaction and dark-leafy-green nutrition in one amazing snack.
• Baked kale chips have a roasty-toasty earthy-sweet flavor that's irresistible.
• Baked kale chips are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and a very good source of fiber, potassium, and calcium.
When making a kale chips recipe, be sure to choose the right kale for the job: Unless otherwise specified in your kale chip recipe, look for curly kale (shown at top in the photo at left).
The kale shown in the middle is Lacinato kale (also known as Dinosaur kale and Tuscan kale). The kale in the bottom of the photo is baby kale, which is often used in salads. While both of these kale varieties are great for other purposes, in general, they're not the best choice for most baked kale chips recipes. Learn How to Cook Kale: The Basics
The thick stems of kale are rough and tough and not so tasty, so remove and discard them when making baked kale chips. You can do this with a sharp knife or by tearing the stems away from the leaves. Then, tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces.
Washed and well-dried leaves are essential for making baked kale chips -- if the kale is wet, the oil won't adhere to the leaves, and your chips won't crisp.
To completely dry the leaves for your kale chips recipe, use a salad spinner. If you don't have one, dry the leaves well between paper towels.
Many recipes for baked kale chips call for massaging the kale. In this case, use your hands to massage the oil and spices called for onto the leaves. This helps break down the cellulose structure of the kale leaves and bring out the flavor. The leaves will darken and wilt slightly.
Preheat the oven as directed in the recipe (see our selection of baked kale chips recipes, below). Most recipes will call for lining baking sheets with parchment paper.
Arrange the prepared kale leaves in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake as directed in the recipe until completely dry and crisp, checking frequently to make sure the chips do not burn. Cool before serving.