I love kale chips. In that can’t sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of a way….
Ok, just kidding.
I adore kale, and I especially love kale chips. I jumped right on the kale bandwagon when they became the “trendy green”, and never really got off. I love them so much that I actually went a bought an inexpensive dehydrator off of Amazon so I could make them more economically and effectively. (I’m sorry, but $6 for a tiny bag of kale chips is reeediculous.)
It wasn’t until after I bought my dehydrator that I realized that these machines are built for more than just making tasty, crunchy, spicy leaves. (More on that, later.) My boyfriend even says that a dehydrator is the one kitchen gadget he thinks is really worth it. So if you’re on the fence about buying a dehydrator, I think its definitely worth the plunge.
If you do not own a dehydrator, you can make these kale chips in the oven, if you have the patience to watch the kale chips closely enough so they don’t burn. I personally have burned too many batches of kale chips to count. Godspeed, dear friends. Godspeed.
There are so many variations as to how to make kale chips, but I suggest finding the flavor combination that suits you best. When I first started making kale chips, I followed recipes I found via Google, only to be disappointed when they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. After many, many batches of kale chips, I crafted a two-step process to make the kale chips of my dreams. If you would like, you can skip the second seasoning step and just have a simple, lightly salted kale chip. They’re still delicious!
Kale Chips- 7 ways
Makes 1 large bowl of kale chips
For the base:
- 1 large head of kale
- 1 ½ -2 tbsp. light-tasting olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast (I like Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast)
For the seasonings:
Choose one combination from the list
- Spicy Garlic: 1 tbsp. garlic powder + ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (or ½ tsp. hatch chili pepper powder)
- Spicy Italian Garlic: 1 tbsp. garlic powder + ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes + ½ tsp. dried oregano + ½ tsp. dried crushed basil
- Tuscan: 1 tsp. garlic powder + ½ tsp. onion powder + ¼ tsp. rosemary + ½ tsp. tomato powder + ¼ tsp. cumin + ¼ tsp. parsley
- Smoky and Spicy: 2 tsp. smoked paprika + 1 tsp. cayenne + ¼ tsp. onion powder
- Curry Shawarma: 1 tbsp. curry of choice + 1 tsp. turmeric + ¼ tsp. paprika + ¼ tsp. onion powder + ¼ tsp. allspice + a dash of cinnamon + a dash of cayenne (optional)
- Ginger Soy: 1 tsp. sodium-free tamari (or soy sauce substitute) + 1 tsp. ginger powder + dash of cinnamon
- If using an oven to bake your kale chips, preheat to 350 degrees.
- Once the kale is clean, remove all the kale leaves from the stems and large ribs. (Small ribs and veins are ok.) You can tear the leaves into smaller pieces if you would like, but remember that kale shrinks significantly during the dehydrating or baking process.
- Start with 1.5 tbsp. of the olive oil, and combine all the base ingredients, except for the nutritional yeast and kale leaves, in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly.
- In the same bowl as the olive oil base, throw in the kale leaves slowly, and then toss to coat. Make sure to evenly coat all of the leaves, both sides. The kale should not have a heavy coating of olive oil. If there is too much olive oil, this will cause the chips to be greasy, and they will not be as crisp. Add additional olive oil at this point if you think it is necessary- some heads of kale are larger than others so up to an additional ½ tbsp. may be necessary.
- Add the nutritional yeast to the kale. Stir to make sure that it is evenly distributed.
- Slowly add the seasoning combination of your choice, and again stir thoroughly to make sure the spices are evenly distributed on all the kale
- If using a dehydrator, skip to step 8. If using an oven, evenly space your kale chips on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven, and set timer for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, flip the chips carefully, and set back in the oven for another 6 minutes. Make sure to watch the kale when while baking, because kale will burn very quickly and then will taste bitter!
- If using a dehydrator, place kale on your trays and follow the instructions for your particular model.
- Once done, add more salt to taste and enjoy!