What You Need To Know About Kale

Making kale chips is very easy and can be a great way incorporate kale into your diet – an often daunting vegetable for newbies.

First a few things you need to know.

 

1. Not all kale works great for kale chips.

You’ll find a lot of variation in the different types of kale so experiment until you find one you like. Some will be more tough and some will be more bitter. These types won’t make the best kale chips. I look for a curly kale with softer leaves. It’s harder to find but makes the best chips. (If you are in North America, you’ll have better access to kale than we have in New Zealand or Australia.)

Curly kale

Curly Kale

 

2. Watch for worms (not an issue for supermarket kale!)

This only applies if you buy your kale from a farmer’s market or grown your own. The worms that are on kale are exactly the same green as the leaves so you’ve got to really go through them leaf by leaf to get them all out. Washing them doesn’t remove the worms because they are super clingy. Trust me, nothing spoils your appetite more than finding a worm on your plate so check the kale good. Then check it again.

 

3. Cut the stems out.

To prep the kale you need to get rid of the hard stems in the middle. Just cut or pull the leaves off the stem. You can see from the photo below approximately what size your leaves should be for the chips but don’t worry about the small ones. Watch them closely when cooking, though, as they may finish a few minutes before the other chips.

 

Kale on tray

 

4. A word about raw kale.

Ok so this isn’t directly related to kale chips. But it may be a reason to make chips instead of consuming kale in your morning smoothie. If you drink your kale every morning because you can’t get enough of this superfood, then you might actually be putting your thyroid function at risk. Kale is a goitrogenic food which means that it can inhibit uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland and slow the production of thyroid hormones.

I want to mention this because more often now I’m hearing from clients who started adding raw kale to their morning smoothie. You can probably get away with raw kale a few times a week (unless you know you have a thyroid problem), but if you are concerned steam it the night before as cooked kale is less problematic.

Or just eat chips!

 

 

How To Make Kale Chips

Ingredients

Kale

Olive oil

Sea or himalayan pink salt

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350C/175F.

Cut or tear the leaves from the thick stems. Try to leave them in chip size pieces but smaller ones will be fine as well (just watch as you may need to pull them out of the oven earlier than the bigger pieces).

Spread all the leaves on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil.

Sprinkle generously with sea or himalayan pink salt.

Then using clean hands thoroughly rub the oil into the leaves to ensure that every one is fully coated.

Bake 8-12 minutes, turning them every 3-4 minutes so they cook evenly. You may find some of the leaves are ready before others, try to pull them off just as they go crispy (you don’t want them to go brown).

 

Making Other Veggie Chips

You can follow these directions for beetroot and parsnips too (I haven’t tried any other veggies but I’m sure there are others that will work!). By the way, if you are in North America, beetroot is what you know as “beet”.

Use a mandolin or thinly slice the beetroot/parsnip – the thinner the better.

Be patient and allow about 30 minutes for the chips to bake on a slightly lower heat. You want them to crisp without going too brown. The beetroot will be ready as it turns pink (if you cut them too thick they won’t go pink and crispy). You can eat the parsnips right away but the beetroot gets crispier if you let it sit for a while.

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