Tada! Here is another episode about how we encourage our kid to eat vegetables. These crispy kale chips are absolutely superior snacks with loads of vitamins, minerals, and fibers, compared to salty potato chips. They are crispy, crunchy, and super easy to make. Who would say no to these?
If I handed you one of these homemade kale chips, you’d be amazed by its feather-light texture. That’s exactly how I felt when I held my first kale chip. They are almost too delicate to touch. Once you pop one in your mouth, it diminishes and then suddenly it’s gone, leaving only a pleasant taste.
As parents of a 2.5-year-old toddler, we’re continually challenged by his maturing and changing super sensitive taste buds. This is why we continue to look for and experiment with new ways to encourage our little guy to eat more vegetables. He is fond of all my baked goods, but I just wish he would share some of that fondness with those leafy greens.
He also likes to have some snacks after his nap, such as home roasted almond nuts, store bought corn chips, or gluten-free pretzels. Since all of his favorite snacks have crunchy textures, I figured these crispy kale chips should be perfect for him. Turns out I was right.
How to make kale chips crispy and crunchy, instead of limp and rubbery? Here are some tips:
Remove all the hard stems and only use the green leaves.
Use your hand or a pair of scissors to trim off the hard stems. Tare or cut the kale leaves into bite size pieces. Baking will make the leaves shrink significantly. If you cut them too small, they’ll be hard to be picked up.
Once the kale leaves are washed, use a salad spinner to remove excess water.
I have seen people use a hair drier to remove extra moisture on the kale leaves. However, I found this is unnecessary. If you use a salad spinner, it will remove most of the water on the surface of the leaves, which is good enough.
Bake on a lined metal baking sheet.
A lined baking sheet will ensure the kale chips are crunchy and crispy. You can use either parchment paper or a non-stick oven baking mat.
Place a single layer of pre-baked kale leaves on a baking sheet.
To bake evenly, be sure to place only one layer of kale leaves on the baking sheet, with no overlapping of leaves as well.
Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes at 350 °F.
I’ve tried baking them on the bottom rack, but they turned out more overcooked and slightly burned.
Add other spices, such as pepper, cumin, and cinnamon powder after baking.
One time I added chili pepper before baking, and the pepper burned and turned bitter after staying in the oven for 10 minutes. So if you like more flavors and want to spice up your kale chips, you can sprinkle the spices on the chips right after you take the baking sheet out of the oven.
By following all of these tips, I believe you’ll be a master at making these awesome homemade healthy kale chips. They can be stored in an airtight container up to a week. If they start to get soft and limp, just pop them back into the oven on a baking sheet (no lining is needed) at 350 °F for 1-2 minutes. They’ll be all crunchy and crispy again.
- 1 small bunch fresh kale (yield approximately 2.5 oz leaves)
- 1 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a metal baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
- Use your hand or a pair of scissors to trim off the hard stems of kale. Tare or cut the kale leaves into bite size pieces. Thoroughly rinse the leaves and remove any dirt on the leaves. Place the washed kale leaves into a salad spinner to remove excess water.
- Transfer the kale leaves into a large mixing bowl. Add oil and salt. Gently massage the leaves to help evenly coat them with the oil and salt.
- Place the kale leaves onto a lined baking sheet (I used two). Spread the leaves to a single layer without any overlapping. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the kale chips rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a serving dish. These kale chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. If they became soft and slightly limp, return them to 350 °F and bake for 1-2 minutes.