I seem to be about three years late to the party on kale chips. But better late than never, right?
These are the epitome of healthy junk food - there's nothing bad in them - just kale, olive oil, sea salt, and sesame seeds - but they taste pretty sinful.Crunchy, crispy, salty and with that rich, mineral-y, sweetness that defines kale.
I used dinosaur kale, also known as Tuscan or lacinato kale, but you can use any kind. I went with the dino kale both because it looked good and also because our older son has recently gotten into dinosaurs.
This new interest is a VERY welcome development as my husband and I are both heartily sick of the heavy machinery Will has been obsessed with since right around his first birthday. It began with buses then turned briefly to race cars then really took off when he discovered excavators. From there he's moved through all the usual suspects -- backhoes, front end loaders, bulldozers, impact hammers, augers, skid steer loaders, cranes (with wrecking balls, of course), dump trucks of all varieties and has also expanded to include some of the more arcane machines like gradall telescopic boom excavators, horizontal borers, well-drilling rigs, and asphalt reclaimers -- all of which Will delights in pronouncing with great precision.
And while we've got nothing against machines, we've definitely been encouraging his new interest in prehistoric creatures :) In fact, he and two of his dinosaur pals helped me make the dino kale chips. The dinosaurs preferred the kale raw. But we liked it better in chip form.
Kale chips are good with just oil and salt but you can also dress them up in lots of ways with good results -- you could add a dash of ground cumin or garam masala, or a little chili powder, or some garlic salt, or a sprinkling of smoked paprika, or a little brown sugar or a jot of maple syrup, etc.
They're very simple to make - the only things to make sure you don't cheat on are getting the kale fully dried, otherwise the pieces are more likely to steam than crisp, and not overcrowding the baking sheet for the same reason.
These make a great snack. Oh, yeah, and they're pretty good for you, too. To quote the title of one of Will's favorite DVDs about demolition, Chomp! Crunch! Tear!
Crunchy Kale Chips With Sea Salt & Sesame Seeds
Serves 4 as a snack
* 1 bunch of kale, washed and fully dried
* Olive oil (you'll probably need at least 2 Tbsps)
* Sea salt to taste
* Sesame seeds to taste
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Remove the leaves from the center rib of the kale and tear them into large pieces. Place leaves in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and sesame seeds and toss until completely coated.
2. Divide the kale leaves between two heavy-duty baking sheets and arrange in a single layer. Many recipes call for you to line the sheets with parchment paper but it's not necessary unless you are really skimping on the oil - my chips did not stick at all.
3. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crisp - the cooking time will depend somewhat on the thickness of the leaves and the size of the pieces. You can eat them as soon as they've cooled down enough to grab. Feel free to adjust your seasonings after they're out of the oven, too.
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