We could practically write an ode to kale chips — the snack that stole our nation's heart — but won't, as you may already be familiar with the crispy-crunchy (yet utterly guilt-free) qualities that make them a snacking staple. That said, we will share five of our favorite ways to cook them up to perfection. Keep reading, and get to it!
Think you've seen (and devoured) kale chips every which way? Think again. Slathered in smoky-savory bacon drippings and tossed with maple sugar, these snappy snacks are far from conventional in a good — nay, great — way. Sure, it may seem a bit counterintuitive to dress the hearty and oh-so-wholesome green with slightly naughty ingredients, but these still remain a glimmer of virtue, while tasting pretty darn close to candied bacon. So, get over any misguided reservations you may have and try out the recipe yourself.
My most-made recipe of all time would have to be VeganYumYum's Hurry Up Alfredo, a vegan cheese sauce made with cashews and nutritional yeast. One day, I had the inspired idea to use this beloved recipe as the base for a cheesy kale chip. But how would the unlikely list of ingredients (including coconut oil and soy sauce) translate into a cheesy topping for a vegetable chip? To my amazement, it was like bread on butter; this cheesy sauce belongs on a kale chip.
Slow cooking the chips in a low-heat oven is like baking them in a dehydrator. They retain their beautiful green hue while crisping up into Cheetos that nature intended. Vegans and nonvegans alike can attest to the absolutely addictive flavor of the cheese sauce, which as it turns out, tastes remarkably umami and salty, like Parmesan cheese or aged gouda.
Enjoy the crisps immediately out of the oven, off of the baking sheet itself . . . maybe while hovering over your stovetop. You'll discover it's near impossible to transfer these kale chips to a proper serving vessel. Many kale chip fanatics unabashedly confess to eating the whole batch before the chips have even cooled! See the recipe for cheesy vegan kale chips.
I know what you're probably thinking: kale chips are so two years ago. And sure, they've been done before (we even have a handful of enticing options in our archives), but I'd argue that their ubiquity is simply a testament to how dang delicious these virtuous snacks can be.
So no, I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here; rather, consider this a tune-up. These salty, tangy, and dangerously snackable crisps are more akin to a fresh set of tires for the kale chips "wheel." Heavy-handed with both salt and vinegar to mimic the addictive flavor of salt and vinegar chips (minus the fryer), these chips are hands-down my favorite kale snack I've tried to date (and I really like kale).
I'm about to out myself in a big way: until relatively recently, I found cooked kale's cruciferous twang a bit off-putting, unpalatable even. Despite the overarching food-world wisdom praising its greatness (what other vegetable has a news-worthy slogan?), somehow, I just couldn't get into the leafy green. That is, until kale met miso.
Both kale and miso bring potent flavors to the table, yet when paired together, something magical happens, and I can't help but snap up these crispy snacks with near maniacal intensity. And while kale and miso on their own are quite the treat, I like to gild the lily with a generous dusting of tingly and fragrant shichimi togarashi. This spice blend is technically optional, and could be replaced with red chili flakes or the like in a pinch, for such a minor investment (I found mine in the Asian section of my local supermarket for less than $2, it's also available online) it provides a big payoff.
For those curious: shichimi means "seven spice," and is generally composed of a blend of ground chili pepper, Sichuan pepper, orange peel, black-and-white sesame seeds, nori, ginger, and hemp seed, all of which meld together into a super-spice far greater than the sum of their parts.
What's not to love about kale? This dark leafy green is in a league of its own in terms of its iron, fiber, and calcium content. Kale also contains the flavonoid called maempferol, which may help prevent ovarian cancer — win! Even better, when baked, kale makes a great chip stand-in for those times when you're craving something savory, salty, and crisp! To help increase your kale intake, here are some some delicious store-bought and homemade kale chip recipes to enjoy.
Inspired by babysugar's series Eat your Greens, I decided to try to make Kale chips for my little niece. She is only a year and half, but I definitely want to try to expose her to a lot of different types of food. The chips themselves are really easy to make and only require a bit of olive oil, kale and a touch of salt.
I used FitSugar's recipe but basically lightly tossed the kale in olive oil and baked. I happened to buy dinosaur kale and next time I will buy a kale with a slightly softer stalk or remove more of it before I bake them. But all in all the chips were tasty, crunchy, and definitely healthier than any chip out of the bag. My niece even enjoyed a few to my amazement.
My first experience with kale chips was at Blue Hill New York — the highly respected farm-to-table restaurant owned by James Beard winner, executive chef Dan Barber. I was in heaven when I tried the first bite: light, crispy, and nutty, with the perfect amount of salt to complement the subtle taste of kale
Last night I was going through Bon Appetit and got super stoked when I saw Dan Barber's recipe for the chips. Try making them for yourself and you'll see what I mean. Besides being a great alternative to potato chips, kale chips make a great party snack or mid-afternoon treat.
Do you have a healthy snack to share? Post it in our Snack Attack community group.
To see the recipe, read more