Crispy Kale Chips

by feastonthecheap on December 22, 2011

Mary Anne here. This fall, I spent a glorious eight hours up north in horse country with my favorite girl, Mariel. I just love those quiet, mom-daughter days. On this particular adventure, we stopped for coffee on the way and, while sipping from our paper cups, we perused the goodies at a local farm stand. Amidst the pumpkins and squashes was a stack of Kale Crisps, neatly packaged in cellophane containers.

Intrigued by the idea of crunching on something akin to a potato chip – but a whole lot healthier – I grabbed a container for each of us. When I went to pay, I learned the price of this cheap treat was a whopping EIGHT dollars! I shook my head and placed the containers back atop their steep stack and walked away.

I scoured the internet to find out more about creating these vitamin-rich crisps and sussed out several handy facts. First and foremost was that the recipes are all very similar in that the basic combo is olive oil and coarse salt. The variations occur in oven temp and additional toppings – the list of extras is only limited by the chef’s imagination. I opted for some cayenne to add a little kick and then at the last minute, tossed in some finely grated lemon zest to complement the nutty flavor of the crisped kale. I munched on the chips for several days since they kept beautifully in an opened plastic bag – they never lost their crunch!

These are the perfect antidote to heavy holiday indulgences and even if you aren’t a fan of kale, the baking brings out the aforementioned nuttiness, transforming this inherently bitter veggie into a delicious, guilt-free snack. I swear if you put these out among your platters of creamy cheeses and greasy potato chips, the Kale Crisps will be the first thing to go! Bonus – these are a total snap to make and are super inexpensive, plus it’s a terrific use of leftover, uncooked kale destined for a braise or soup dish. So take that fancy farm stand! Oh – and a Merry Christmas to you all!

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Crispy Kale Chips
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 lb. Kale -$0.99
2 Tablespoons olive oil – stock
Coarse salt, i.e. sea salt or Kosher – stock
The zest of 1 lemon, finely grated – $0.50
Cayenne pepper, to taste – stock
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $1.49
Total Per Serving: $0.18

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your largest baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Wash the kale leaves thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

3. Remove the tough stems and using a sharp knife, cut out the thick center vein. Tear or cut the leaves into potato chip size pieces. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

4. Toss the torn leaves with the olive oil, coarse salt, and cayenne, coating thoroughly.

5. Spread evenly on the lined baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy and the edges just beginning to turn golden.

6. Toss with the lemon zest and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Store in an unsealed plastic bag for up to 4 days.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog is the New Black December 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

OK so I’ve made these before and didn’t LOVE them… but your version looks much better. Much try!

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe December 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

This is so perfect as I have a bag of kale in my fridge (already used some in a soup) and wasn’t sure what to do with it before it expires. I am very intrigued and will give this recipe a try!

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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) December 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I’m working on loving kale (it doesn’t come naturally), and definitely welcome a lighter snack during the holidays, so I’m going to give these a try.

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Chowstalker December 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I love every version of kale chips I have tried, but especially the ones we made with sesame oil, a little soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds. But I can’t wait to try your version…may become the new favorite! Merry Christmas!!

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feastonthecheap December 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

mmm, that sounds right up my alley!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen December 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Love kale chips! They disappear fast in my house.

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Katrina December 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I love kale chips and make them all the time, but have never tried them with lemon zest. I will have to try that!
Happy Holidays!

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feastonthecheap December 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Hope your holiday is filled with joy, Katrina!

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Karen Rosell Keith December 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

Adding lemon zest is a great idea! I’ll try it next time I make kale chips. A sprinkling of parmesan is good too. Merry Christmas!

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feastonthecheap December 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Merry Christmas to you, too! Hope to see you in the next few months. xoxo

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Jeanette December 23, 2011 at 9:44 am

I love kale chips! The only problem is that I would probably eat the whole batch by myself. Happy Holidays!

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feastonthecheap December 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Happy Holidays to you too! And even if you ate it all, it wouldn’t be bad for you :-)

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TraceyJoy December 23, 2011 at 11:09 am

these look so good it’s ridiculous, going to the farmers market to get kale today = )

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Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. December 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

love these!

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Lynne December 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Kale chips are so addicting – great prep instructions. Thanks!

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Aggie December 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Kale chips are my favorite! I will be making them a lot in the next month that’s for sure. I like that you added lemon zest!

Hope you are having a great holiday!

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feastonthecheap December 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

You too, Aggie!

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DessertForTwo December 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm

I’ve been saying I’m going to make these for a year now! Better get to it!

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Katie@EpicureanMom December 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

I found your blog from my chocolate truffles that were featured on bloghers ad (on your site), so glad I did! It’s adorable, and these Kale chips sound yummy! Maybe a good way for my girls to actually eat veggies! :)

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feastonthecheap December 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Glad you found us, Katie! Going to check out your website now. Happy New Year!

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Marly December 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Some day I’m going to grow my own kale because it’s kind of pricey in our store. But it’s so healthy that it’s worth the cost in the meantime. Thanks for this great recipe!

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Rhonda December 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been meaning to take the plunge, seems everyone else has and loves it…that and roasted chick peas. I’ll have to add it to my must do in 2012.

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feastonthecheap December 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Hmmm…roasted chick peas sounds good. Tonight I have lentils on my brain! Must be the need for beans to ensure a fabulous new year! Hope yours is healthy and happy.

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Charlotte Lord @ Weekends So Sweet January 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

I made these last night and they were great!! So easy with trader joe’s pre-washed and chopped bag of kale.

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feastonthecheap January 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Oh, I totally have to stop by there and snag a bag! I could eat the entire batch myself! Happy New Year, Charlotte!

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foodtable January 7, 2012 at 3:18 am

Happy New Year! What a yummy recipe. We both love kale and had attempted to make kale chips ourselves but didn’t come out right. Will try yours soon. :)

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