The first time I made kale chips I remember thinking, “Should they taste burnt like this??” The easy answer is no. I’ve come to find a nice balance between crispiness and chewiness without any burnt edges. Yes, this is very serious business, this kale chip business. When baked properly, they really do make the perfect base for a satisfying chip alternative.
Techniques you’ll be well on your way to kale chip bliss. Or maybe you already are, in which case, feel free to skip ahead to my All-Dressed Baked Kale Chip recipe below and get crunching!
Ok, here are my top tips for baking the perfect kale chips. No dehydrator required.
Remove the stems and tear leaves into large pieces. The first time I’ve a Kale, I didn’t know the steam is hard and woody. I’m sure you won’t be a fan of chewing through woody baked kale stems. You can remove the stems very quickly by grabbing the base of the stem with one hand and pushing outwards along the stem to slide off the leaves. Works like a charm!
Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves before beginning. If the leaves aren’t properly dried, the water can “steam” the kale chips while baking leading to soggy chips! We used cloth and hair drier to dry them but if you have a salad spinner you can use them too.
After drying it’s time you season them. “Massage” the seasoning into the leaves to ensure all the nooks and crannies are coated. Adding oil in the seasoning also helps the spices stick to the leaves.
For the seasoning other then the usual oil we make a spicy nut spread. With the walnut and sunflower seed it just upgrade the flavor of the kale chips.
I used to dump all the kale into a very thick layer on the baking sheet and hope for the best, but doing this tends to lead to soggy, unevenly baked kale chips. I’ve learned to be a bit more patient and spread them out into a thinner layer on each baking sheet. Be sure to rotate the baking sheet half-way through baking. There’s no real need to flip the chips unless you have the patience for it.
The key of crispy kale chips is baking them in low temperature like baking meringue. Basically you would like to dry them making sure it does not scorch it into smithereens! This will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!
Like meringue, we’ve found that waiting just 3 minutes allows the kale chips to crisp up even more once they are out of the oven. Just like baked cookies or roasted chickpeas, kale chips really firm up even more when cooled. Those 3 minutes will feel like hours though. We won’t lie.
- 200g of walnut
- 150g of sunflower seed
- 80g of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of sweet paprika
- approx. 1/2 bunch kale leaves
- salt and pepper to seasoning
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 150C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Compost the stems (or freeze for smoothies). Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.
In a blender, blend the rest of the ingredients till mesh. Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the seasoning until all the nooks and crannies are coated in them.
Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. I bake for 25 mins. total in my oven.
Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes before digging in! This really makes all the difference! Enjoy immediately as they lose their crispiness with time. Repeat this process for the other half of the bunch.
Grab the kale and start baking them now. Share with us do you like it. Take a photo of your version, send us an email, tag us on Instagram, tweet us, anything. We love to see you trying out our recipe!