Salt & Vinegar (Kale) Chips
I promise, this is my last post about kale. Truly. Even if my CSA thrusts kale at me for several more weeks. But I was compelled to write about kale one last time because did you know you can turn kale into, basically, POTATO CHIPS? Seriously, if your eyes were closed when eating kale chips, you might swear you were eating Potato Chips.
Might. Especially if you were having a beer. Or 2. But even beer-less, it’s amazing how much like potato chips these taste.
I stumbled on this kale chip idea online – when Gluten-Free Girl (love that blog) had a funny post – and recipe – for Baked Kale Chips. Now I don’t eat gluten-free, but I love Shauna James Ahern’s very popular blog because it’s inspiring, she posts gorgeous food photos, her husband is a chef, and she offers amazing recipes. Here’s what she said about Kale Chips that made me LOL and intrigued me to read more/try a recipe:
“For months, even years, I’ve been reading raves of this healthy snack from bloggers across the country, and the world. Maybe it’s this stubborn quirk I have. If too many people extol the virtues of something, I resist it…”
I entreat you to read her blog post with recipe for Baked Kale Chips – besides being funny, she is especially good at pointing out things that mere mortals (aka non-chefs) wouldn’t know… like you must get the kale chips out of the oven before they turn brown or they’ll be bitter… or instead of calling for ‘6 oz’ of kale (I mean, really) she says to use ‘3 large handfuls.’ Love that.
But I don’t love smoked paprika, the key flavoring in the Gluten-Free Girl recipe, so I kept searching. In the end, I used the techniques in Gluten-Free Girl and married it with a recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen: Roasted Kale Chips with Sea Salt and Vinegar. I loved that the idea of Salt & Vinegar flavoring for the kale as that is the only kind of potato chip that I really enjoy, and the Kalyn’s Kitchen recipe had great step-by-step photos which, kale-novice that I am, I found very helpful.
Plus, a key for any recipe I try, it was clear Kalyn had tested it out extensively. I especially liked how she developed her recipe – made me confident to try it:
“When I finally decided I had to try making kale chips myself, I found there were endless variations on the recipe, with different cooking times and slightly different methods. I can be rather a perfectionist, so I had to test 6 slightly different versions before I came up with the recipe I liked best, where the kale chips are roasted for a longer time at a fairly low temperature.”
Ah, a fellow perfectionist. Perfect.
I made these and everyone loved them – my husband and 3 friends who ate them along with wine and beer at the beach. Even my broccoli-only teenager tried it (shocking, I know!) and proclaimed them ‘not bad.’ Which, in case you don’t speak teen, means ‘fantastic.’
Specifically, my son was surprised that the ‘after taste’ did actually taste like salt & vinegar chips. In the end, he ate just a handful as he could not get past the fact they were green. But hey, a handful of green eaten by my teen is a big success in my book. (Apologies for the lame rhyme).
So if you have a bunch of kale and are jones’ing for a health snack, try kale chips. If smoked paprika sounds good to you, follow the Gluten-Free Girl recipe. Or if you’re a salt & vinegar fan, just click on over to Kalyn’s Kitchen recipe or download that recipe, with my handwritten notes right here: Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips.
Bake ’em and then leave your hot kitchen with a couple of cold ones and enjoy these chips with friends. They’ll be amazed at the taste and that you made ’em!