I'd heard rave reviews about kale chips on various websites and cookbooks and, honestly, it never sounded too appealing. I do like kale, but I've always liked it "dressed up" a bit with some other flavors. I finally decided on Thursday, though, to just give it a shot, figuring that if I didn't like it, I'd only be out a couple of bucks.
The recipes said to preheat the oven to 350. Then you wash a bunch of kale (curly kale is best) and you dry it in the salad spinner (or with towels). Cut out the tough stems and discard, and cut the kale into strips/pieces/whatever you want. Then toss them about in a bowl with about 1 Tbs olive oil and salt to taste until the kale is equally coated. Finally you throw them on a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet for about 20 minutes or so until they have a dry and crunchy chip-quality to them. (But don't let them burn!)
I realized I was out of parchment paper so I just went a little liberal with the oil. Just 1 Tbs. didn't seem like it would be enough anyway. Ends up 1 Tbs. would have been perfect. The chips were really really good, though later my tummy felt a little overwhelmed by the oil content, so next time I'll stick with the recommended amount. Plus I think they would have still been fine without the parchment paper.
I threw the chips into a medium-sized bowl and found myself returning to the bowl all evening, in an addict kind of way. Yes -- the rumors are true. These things are really good. Ryan even liked them, and he's none too keen on kale or most dark leafy greens. So it was kind of a "Mikey" moment for us. :)
There's a variation on this I want to try, where you add about 1/4 teaspoon of paprika and a pinch of cayenne (in addition to the salt and oil) when you're tossing the kale in the bowl. This particular recipe I found online says to cook for 12 minutes then flip the kale on the baking sheet, and cook for another 5 minutes. Then put the cooked chips on some paper towels to soak up any excess oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. So I'll have to try that too! It sounds intriguing with the spice and sugar.
I've read that kids go nuts for kale chips, which thrills parents to no end, because kale is ridiculously nutritious. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Kale is considered to be the most nutritious vegetable in the world with extremely powerful antioxidant properties; kale is considered to be anti-inflammatory.
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling decreases the level of the anti-cancer compounds; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying do not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.
So try it and let me know how it goes! I'll be curious to know if you become addicted. :)