Today, friends, I’m showing you my crunchy side: my name is Laura and I love granola and kale chips.
I had a friend ask last week if I had any ideas for kale chip seasonings other than the standard salt/pepper combo <– can I just say it is so flattering when people ask me if I have a recipe for something? It really gives me a boost and makes me feel like maybe I really do have a place in this big, food blogging world. I’d never made kale chips before, so of course this request turned me into the “I have to make kale chips immediately because OH MY GOSH I CANNOT BELIEVE I’VE NEVER MADE KALE CHIPS, LIKE REALLY WHY HAVE I NEVER MADE MY OWN KALE CHIPS, HOW CAN I EVEN CALL MYSELF A FOOOOOOOD BLOGGER???” freak that Andy loves so much.
I don’t even know why I’ve gone this long without making my own. I guess maybe it just seemed daunting, or like something that seems like a good idea but in reality just comes out meh? But, you guys, I was entirely wrong. Kale chips are super duper easy and really delicious made right in your very own home. And the possibilities are endless. I have so many more flavor combos in mind that I can’t wait to try. I’m not sure why my mind initially went to ranch seasoning, but it did and I’m so glad because that tang on that crunch is everything.
I know some of you may be skeptical of this kale chip trend going on, but you know two people that aren’t skeptical at all? Anna Ruth and her cousin twin Jack. These kids literally ate an entire pan just between the two of them and wanted more. Anything that can get my picky vegetable eater to eat straight up greens is a winner for me. I see a lot of kale chips in our future. I couldn’t get to my camera fast enough to get a picture of them devouring the chips, but here’s a feel good picture from just a few hours prior that I just wanted to share because it’s so cute…strolling through the farmer’s market hand in hand.
As with anytime I make something completely new to me I did some research and did several test rounds. Here are the basics I found for flawless kale chips regardless of the seasonings used:
- Low heat works best. Most recipes I saw had the kale cooking at 300, but I actually found that 275 was best to get the ultimate crunch without any browning. Crunch = good. Brown = bad.
- Make sure the kale is as dry as possible before cooking so that it doesn’t steam.
- The bigger the torn pieces, the better. Kale really realllllly shrinks up in the oven, so start with pieces that you think are too large.
- Don’t overdo the oil. I only use 1.5 teaspoons for about four loosely packed cups of kale (one baking sheet worth). Drizzle it over the fresh kale, then massage it into every piece one by one to make sure every piece is covered.
- There really is no need to flip the kale half way through. I rotate the pan half way through just because I want to, but that really might not even be necessary.
- For ranch seasoning specifically, I prefer to sprinkle it on once the chips are out of the oven. I can’t really describe it, but something funky happened when it cooked for 20 minutes, but that could also be partly the dairy powder in the mix. I’ve since found a vegan ranch mix that I am going to try in the coming weeks when I have more time. For now, though, the standard mix that you find in the dressing aisle of the grocery store works fine.
I’m a big fan of the ranch seasoning, but I would love to hear other combos you either have used or think might be good!
4 cups kale leaves – stems removed and torn into large pieces
1.5 tsp olive oil
½ tsp ranch seasoning
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Prepare the kale by washing, removing the stems and tearing into large pieces. Dry as thoroughly as possible.
- Arrange kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with the olive oil and massage into each piece so that all of the kale is evenly coated.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the cooking time.
- Once out of the oven, sprinkle with the ranch seasoning and enjoy!