Kale chips take care of those salty crunchy munchie snacking needs while sneaking in Vitamins A, C, K and calcium. (Think kids! That is, if you don’t eat them all first. The chips, not the children.) I like them with straight up salt, but I’ve heard of all kinds of varieties: parmesan garlic, cheesy vegan (nutritional yeast for a cheese-like flavor), spicy cajun…they’re just about as versatile as a potato chip.
And, of course, they’re gluten-free. Salty crunchy snacks that happen to be gluten-free are celebrated in this house.
I’m always looking for the best-tasting and
laziest most efficient way of doing things, so I tried both the oven method and the food dehydrator method of making kale chips.
Both methods start the same way. Wash a gorgeous pile of kale. Cut out the woody stems out and chop the leaves into square-ish pieces.
And here’s where the paths diverge…
The Oven Method
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Toss with olive oil and salt
- Arrange on a baking sheet, overlapping as little as possible
- Bake for 45 minutes, give or take, until you see slight browning. Chips should be crispy at this point.
The Food Dehydrator Method
Prepare the kale the same way, but instead of baking, dehydrate on 200 degrees until dry and crisp. Start checking them at the one hour mark, but note that they could take a few hours to dry out completely. (The kind of kale you have, the thickness of the leaves, etc. accounts for the variability in drying time.)
I wait until they’re done to add flavor, as I worry about strong flavors hanging around in my dehydrator.
And the winner is…
The oven method makes a much better batch of kale chips, hands down. The oven makes a crispy chip in less than an hour (vs. several hours), and IMO you need those caramelized edges to add that roasty toasty flavor to the salty chip. The dehydrated kale chip didn’t crisp up nearly as well.
Do yourself a favor and bake them!
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