Friday, February 14, 2014

Kale Chips {so easy!}

I've always been a salty over sweets sort of person. Not that chocolate doesn't have it's place in my life, because it definitely does.
But when it comes to those cravings, it's always been the salty things that have entrapped me. Popcorn, chips, salsa...- And even if i'm having something sweet, I still feel like there should be something salty to go with it.
When I first heard about Kale chips I thought people were crazy. I loved Kale, so there was no problem there, but I really couldn't believe that as Chips it would be all that it was cracked up to be.

But then I had them and fell hook line and sinker. I was saved from potato chips forever!
Until I learned how much they actually cost.
My favourite Kale chips to buy are 6.99 for a pretty small bag. (About the same size as a snack size bag of potato chips, and much lighter in weight.) And when I'm lucky, they go on sale for 3.99. And if i'm REALLY lucky (which is rare) they're 2.99 and I buy several.
I can buy organic kale for 2.99 that makes 4 times the chips than what comes in a bag. And if I look on the reduced produced rack, .50-99 cents a bunch. And yes, slightly wilty Kale works wonderfully for Kale Chips.
When I first started looking into making these, the process seemed so complicated. There were pureed vegetables as "sauces", nutritional yeast flakes in place of cheese (for vegans) blenders and food dehydrators.
I attempted these recipes a few times and they turned out okay, but were a lot more work than they were worth. I wanted something that I could throw in the oven in with 5 minutes or less of prep time.

Through some trial and error, I realized that less is more with these. Forget the sauces, period.

All you need is a baking sheet, an oven, some olive oil spray and some of your favourite seasonings.

First, preheat your oven to 300.
Spray your pan with olive oil. (I have an olive oil sprayer that I can refill myself and It saves me daily.)

Tear your prewashed kale from the main vein. Bigger pieces are best because they shrink. (I usually wash them in advance and let it dry on my counter. If you don't have time though, you can always dab dry with towel.)
Arrange the Kale in a single layer across the tray. It's no biggie if you have pieces slightly over-lapping.

Spray all over with olive oil, and then sprinkle on your seasonings of choice. I like Parmesan Cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Or sometimes some curry. You can play with it until you like it. (And you CAN use nutritional yeast flakes if you want-they're actually pretty tasty!)

I usually end up putting mine in the oven before it's even totally pre-heated, and they only take about a half hour. (this might vary from oven to oven.) You'll want to test one to see how crisp it is before you pull them out.  It's good to check them frequently for the first few times that you make them because burnt Kale isn't very yummy.
Even though I've lowered myself to eating it, all in the name of not letting my precious greens go to waste!
And they're perfect to take with you on the go, just keep in mind that they're far more fragile than regular chips so it's best to keep them in a hard sided reusable container than a resealable bag. I made this mistake once and ended up what looked like a bag of oregano in my purse....and attempted to eat it anyway. SO very sad. Say it with me folks,  Friends shouldn't let friends eat powdered Kale. 

Happy Snacking! 

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