Kale Chips!

Kids in cooking class remove kale leaves from the thicker stems.

If your child has taken a cooking class with me they have probably baked kale chips. This recipe requires only a few easy-to-find ingredients, and every kid — even the ones who “don’t like greens” — finds the end result delicious!

Parents, below are some tips you can use to expose your kids to new vegetables (I use kale in this case but you can substitute other foods). Often small exposures that include all of the senses like touching, looking, and smelling lead to tasting (and then usually a surprise that they like it!). Experiment with making your kitchen a nonjudgemental space (that means for you too, mama!), allow room for mistakes, and find joy in the process! 

  • Look at this big bunch of kale. How many big leaves do you think are in one bunch? Let’s count them.
  • Let’s tear the leaves off of the stem. Does the kale feel smooth or rough?
  • If you want, taste a small piece of kale (then you model eating a small piece of raw kale!). I find it a little bitter and chewy. What do you think?
  • Now spread the leaves out on a baking sheet. Can you make sure the leaves don’t touch?
  • Massage the leaves with olive oil. Really get it into those nooks and crannies. doing this will make the chips crunchy! It’s ok to get your hands oily or messy — we can wash them whenever you want. 
  • Add a pinch of salt and stir it around. It’s cool how your pinch is smaller than my pinch.
  • If you want, try another bite of kale now that it’s covered in yummy olive oil and salt. I think it tastes sweeter and more tender now. What do you think? I think it’s delicious and am excited to try it again after it cooks. 
  • After it bakes: These chips taste so good, they are so crunchy and delicious. Would you like to try some? 

Recipe

Notes: At the grocery store you will likely see 2 varieties of kale – a more flat leaf kale called lacinito (sometimes referred to as dino), and curly kale. Of the curly kale, you may see one version which is green and one version which looks more purple-ish but is called Red Kale. Either the flat or curly will make great chips — lately I’ve been enjoying the lacinto variety.

Ingredients
One bunch of kale (curly or lacinito variety)
1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt (I recommend Diamond Crystal)

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (I like to keep the heat low and slow for kale chips).
  2. Pull the kale leaves off of the thicker stems (some leaves will still have stems attached, that’s ok. The thicker stems are chewy and don’t make easy-to-eat chips)
  3. Tear leaves into large bite-sized pieces (not too small or they will burn when cooked!)
  4. Dry the leaves really well with a clean towel (this is important and will ensure crispy chips!).
  5. Using your fingers, massage olive oil into the leaves making sure all the nooks and crannies get coated (start with less oil adding more as you need, too much oil will make your chips soggy!).
  6. Sprinkle kale with a pinch of kosher salt.
  7. Spread kale into a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet (don’t crowd the kale, leave space between leaves, otherwise they won’t get crispy!).
  8. Cook the kale for about 10 minutes, open the oven, and gently stir the leaves. 
  9. Put back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the leaves are crispy. 

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