Kale Chips – Veggies Your Kids Will Love

Have you tried Kale Chips? They're super easy to make and super nutritious! My kids LOVE them--it's one chip you can feel good about them eating, and they're a fortune in the health food store. So make 'em yourself and SAVE!

In this world of “fake fruit snacks” and sugar-laden treats, I am always looking for healthy snack recipes to feed my family (and myself).  These no bake cookies, Homemade Protein Bars, and Homemade Gummy Snacks are favorites around here, but sometimes I want something that isn’t a sweet treat.

This recipe for kale chips fits the bill plus it’s a great way to use up extra leafy greens from your garden.

We have even taken to eating these as a side dish when I need a veggie dish on the fly :-)!)

Kale Chips, you say?  Why make Kale Chips?

  • They taste great.  Really.  Just ask my kids and everyone else whom I’ve shared them with
  • They are really healthy.
  • Save tons of money!  They cost $69/lb on one site and $43/lb on another.  Ugh!
  • Kale is super easy to grow.  You can even still grow it now in a lot of areas of the country.

If you remember from my post on Considering a CSA? – Information You Must Know, an over-abundance of greens (especially kale) was one of the hardest things about participating in a CSA.

This year, though we are quite happy with our CSA experience, we still have a bit too much kale and chard, especially considering that our kale is one of the crops that really decided to do well in our garden (we still need to figure our why our zucchini seems to be the only zucchini resistant to growing :-).

In past years, we have made Oven-Baked Kale, which was quite a hit, and I will be sure to share the recipe with you soon.

However, the kale is really coming in fast and furious and I needed another solution (though it’s great, there are only so many nights that my family will eat baked kale :-).)

Well, here it is.  Tasty, crisp, salty and delicious and good for you – and a great way to get veggies into your family’s diet!

Please note there are affiliate links in this post – if you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Notes:

  • You can make chips from kale, swiss chard — really any kind of green.  But our favorite so far is the kale!
  • I dehydrate my kale at about 135 degrees (the temperature of the food is lower than the temperature setting on the dehydrator).  I know this doesn’t leave the kale raw, but I have been doing quite a bit of reading on the dangers of eating raw cruciferous vegetables and how they can really wreak havoc on your thyroid.  The Healthy Home Economist has a great post on the problems with raw veggies – after reading that I no longer felt guilty about all the times that I passed over the raw broccoli and cauliflower at potlucks :-)!
  • You can, of course, make these kale chips in your oven, but a dehydrator, especially the Excalibur Dehydrator, is a much better choice.  One of the main reasons why the Excalibur is great for making kale chips is that the trays are removable.  Kale chips are a lot taller than most foods you can dry, so you have to take out every other tray.  But even in my 9-tray machine I can only dry 4 trays worth of kale at one time.

– My Excalibur Savings Page has information on the great deal I can offer readers on a new dehydrator.
For more posts on why I love my dehydrator, see:

- Saving Money with a Dehydrator
- Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Which Saves the Most – Dehydrating, Canning, or Freezing? 

 Are kale chips the next healthy snack for your family?

Comments

    Speak Your Mind

    *

  1. Your zucchini is in fact not the only one that isn’t growing. Mine bit the big one a couple of months ago much to my disappointment.
    Kale chips sound fantastic! I think we’ll be trying these very soon, but I’ll have to use an oven :)

    • Hi Lindsey,
      Our “zucchini bomb” is now the 2nd in a row. :-(. Ah well. We are going to do raised beds for them next year. Seemed to be bugs this past year, but this year we think it is the soil. At least we have kale :-).

  2. These are a super favorite at our house. I can almost never have any to store because we eat them right off the dehydrator trays. Sometimes I rub in a little tamari soy sauce on them as well before dehydrating, or hot pepper sauce. But they are *great* with just olive oil and salt. I find that massaging the oil thoroughly into the kale is the secret to really great results.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that these little dark green specks of kale all over your teeth, so I would not grab them to eat in the car on your way to a civilized appointment (unless you bring your toothbrush, too!).

  3. Awesome!

  4. LOVE Kale Chips!! Yum! I bake mine in the oven instead. I was so happy to see a HUGE kale bundle in my organic box today! lol!

  5. I made them. I loved them. They hated me. I was so sick for about three days. It was my first experience with kale & unfortunately probably my last. Has anyone else gotten sick from kale chips??

    • Mary Ann – did you dry them at a high enough temperature? Raw kale, as I mentioned, is not good for you and I have read numerous anecdotes about people getting sick on green smoothies. Hope that helps!

  6. We love Kale Chips here. I do use the oven. So so yummy!!!

  7. I just may have to plant some kale.

    My zucchini didn’t do well this year either. I have no idea why.

  8. Since I don’t have a dehydrator (will get one someday, perhaps) I would have to go with the oven method. What is the temp. or baking time for oven method? Thanks.

    • If you want the chips to be raw, then that will depend on how low your oven temp will go. I haven’t baked them in the oven and I honestly haven’t even timed the kale in my dehydrator, but I am drying them at about 135 degrees and they are typically done in about 6 hours. Obviously the higher your oven temperature, the quicker they will be done. I would just bake them at the lowest temp possible to avoid the possibility of them burning. Let me know if you need more info.

  9. That’s easy enough. I’ll give it a shot and see how it goes. Thanks Adrienne. :)

  10. A vendor at the farmer’s market was going to bring some in one week for sampling, but I didn’t make it back. :(

    I’m intrigued, though, and interested in trying this out. Thanks for linking such creative ideas to Food on Fridays!

  11. I keep hearing a lot about kale chips recently. At first I kind of turned away from the idea but now I’m starting to warm up to the idea. I don’t have a dehydrator so I’d have to do them up in the oven. Thanks for the information and the recipe!

    • You are welcome! I just had a friend stop by to get some of my “extras” (do I really have extras :-)?) because she saw my kids gobbling them down and she wants to eat healthier. These really are great!

  12. Thank you for sharing a new and different way to use kale or chard. This is very interesting and I can see that kids would now love their veggies.

  13. I have tried making kale chips twice without much luck but looking at your pics I think I know the problem. It looks like I’m using the wrong kale! I didn’t even realize there was more than one type of kale.

    Trying again this weekend :)

    Thanks for linking up with Fitness Friday!

  14. I absolutely LOVE kale chips!
    We grow several varieties of kale in our garden and this is our favorite way to prepare it.

    Happy to find your blog via the Friday Fitness Blog hop!
    See you next week,

  15. We love trying new things! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper! Love to see new faces. Please come back again next week :)

  16. Hmmm… I’m going to be a skeptic on these… are you sure? Would you link these to Sunday Supper Stumble? I missed you at Foodie Friday! http://notyourordinaryrecipes.blogspot.com/2011/09/sunday-supper-stumble.html

  17. Hi,
    This post is so informative. I would love for you to come
    share it at FAT TUESDAY. I hope you will
    put FAT TUESDAY on your list of carnivals to visit
    and link to each week!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/09/fat-tuesday-september-13-2011/

  18. Fantastic. Have to try this one.

  19. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY.Great idea! Hope to see you next week!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/09/fat-tuesday-september-13-2011/

  20. Cool! The only way I’ve ever eaten kale is with mashed potatoes and “rook worst” (sausage)…the Dutch way. I may just have to give this a try!

    Thanks for linking up to Growing Home!

  21. Yep, I am Dutch. Dutch Canadian, I guess. We were just visiting in your state last month. :-)

  22. These look yummy! I’m always looking for new ways to get my kids to eat greens, especially the dark ones. I would love it if you would come link this post to my new link party featuring allergy-friendly lunchbox ideas at http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com. The party goes live on Friday morning… hope to see you there! :)

    • Hi Lisa. I’d be glad to join up on Friday. I don’t know if you noticed it or not, but my oldest has life-threatening food allergies so I will be checking out your site as well. I hope you can find lots to try on my site as well. Thanks!

  23. I am West Michigan Dutch. My Mom made the mashed potatoes/Kale and metworst sausage every fall for my Dad to take along to the deer hunting cabin.
    We would often have this as a meal in the winter time. We also called it “mouse”
    I now live in a German community and finding out about their special dishes.
    Would love to try the kale chips.

  24. I really need to try to make these again. I did it once (although it was in the oven, not a dehydrator) and they were burnt on the edges and soggy on the inside–I must have done something wrong!

    • I would think that these would burn easily in the oven, depending on the temp that you baked them at. I always had that problem with granola. No burning in the dehydrator :-).

  25. What a great idea! I have never had kale before, so this will be a nice introduction to the vegetable. Thanks for sharing!

  26. I just love these little green treats, the only problem is I never can stop eating the little chips, they are so good! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  27. My neighbor just got kale in her farm share basket last month and they gave her this recipe. Her kids gobbled it right up! She was shocked!

  28. Sounds great.

  29. Hi Adrienne,

    How long do these need to be in the oven or the dehydrator, more or less?

    The season of greens is over for us, but I’ll try them when my CSA sends them again.

    • Hi Ruth.
      The kale leaves dry really quickly. I have never really timed it, but it seems to me that they are done in about 6 hours when I dry them at about 135 degrees.

      You can do this with other greens as well, by the way, but kale turns out the best in my opinion!

  30. I love, love, love kale chips. Thanks for sharing at Savvy HomeMade Monday!

  31. I haven’t tried kale chips yet, but keep meaning too. As for the zucchini, I learned that it doesn’t grow well in extremely hot weather (even though MomTrends is based in NYC, I live in Dallas, where we had a record hot summer; in 2 years, I’ve grown exactly 1 zucchini from multiple plants).

    Thanks for linking up with Friday Food on MomTrends.com!

    ~Shannon (Food Channel Editor @ MomTrends)

    • Hmmmm…the zucchini. It was a hot summer this time here, but I’m in Michigan, so it’s not exactly “tropical” :-). We’re hoping to build more raised beds this year to see if we can get a really nice crop next! Thanks!

  32. I have made kale chips before, but not dried. I can’t wait to try this method. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  33. I’ve always wanted to try making some of these! We recently went organic, preservative/artificial/dye free this year. It has made a huge change in my son’s health! I’m a new subscriber!

    I featured this recipe on this week’s Terrific Under Ten!

    http://athomewithk.blogspot.com/2011/09/terrific-under-ten-tuesday-30.html

  34. I just found your blog and can’t wait to read the past posts, I am now following you! Please stop by and visit me!
    Michelle at Simple Pleasures

  35. I love kale chips, and I agree that they’re ridiculously expensive in stores. I cannot wait to try your recipe!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  36. I tried kale chips at an event with a raw chef caterer – and I was hooked! this is saying something since I am the picky eater in the family. He used some ground nuts and some seasoning that tasted like cheese on his, but I think sea salt will work just fine.

    For those that asked about drying food in the oven, you can put your oven on low and then prop the door open with a wooden spoon to lower the temp more. (of course keeping an eye on children and pets) On my oven low is 150F and this trick works well for when I am drying my soaked walnuts and almonds. HTH

    • Thanks, Davette! Nice oven tip. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do that in the summer :-). I have heard of kale chips with other seasoning, but haven’t tried them yet. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Coconut Oil, instead of Olive, makes these FABULOUS!!! ;)

  38. It’s so funny seeing all these products for KALE CHIPS these days – they’re so over priced! You can simply make them yourself… and they’re sometimes SO MUCH BETTER! Your recipe look awesome and so simple! :)

    http://gigieatscelebrities.com/2012/01/24/grill-the-video/

  39. Love it! So if you don’t have a dehydrator, what temperature do you set the oven to?

    • Hi Denise! I would set it at the lowest possible temp while making sure that it isn’t going to be raw. Most ovens won’t go low enough to leave the kale raw so you’re probably OK there no matter what. :)

  40. Great! Thank you!

  41. I used to make these YEARS ago and now they’re popping up everywhere! My mom made them again for me over the holidays and got hooked again! It’s the PERFECT WAY to get some kale in your life!!

  42. How do you clean your dehydrator trays? I use parchment paper now, but have oily residue on all my trays and mesh from making kale chips directly on the tray and haven’t been able to get it off (haven’t tried super heavy duty cleaner because of the toxicity). Advice appreciated! I was thinking of trying essential oil, but didn’t know if that was a problem with the plastics.

    • I just use soap and water – I would contact Excalibur before using essential oils b/c some plastics get damaged easily by it. I assume you’ve tried regular dish soap, correct? I use foam soap that I’ve made myself from my Homemade Foaming Soap post. It’s made w castille soap, but I don’t see why that would be any different..???

  43. Love your recipe for kale chips! Looks very tasty! I’m told kale chips are one of those things all food bloggers must make at least once… I’ve yet to make them.

    Stopping by your blog from Mangia Mondays (I posted #38 Pizza Sauce).

    Pinned and Tweeted!

    Amber @ The Cook’s Sister

  44. kale chips are always a good idea. i just see kale or kale chips and i think of them as the epitome of good, real, whole, natural, organic, local, seasonal food. is that too much for them to live up to? hahaha…

    today is the Wednesday Fresh Foods Blog Hop – I was hoping, if you feel up for it, that you’d link up this fabulous post (and any future fabulous, seasonal and/or real food posts) with us Everyone is welcome so feel free to stop by. take care! xo, kristy

  45. Gosh – I’ve never heard of kale chips before -but I can imagine they would be tasty! I shall have to try sometime! And I had to smile at your zucchinis not growing (sorry) as someone else who linked up this week who I just visited posted about their zucchinis flowering but not producing any actual zucchinis! I tried growing them once and ended up with 1 tiny zucchini over the whole season! Hmmmm!! I wonder what we’re all doing wrong?

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  46. Kale chips rock!! Thanks for sharing! :)

  47. What a deliciously healthy snack, and a fantastic way to use up an over-abundance of greens!

  48. Looking forward to trying this, did not know what kale is. Apparently a wild cabbage. Can this type of chips be made with silver beet? Anyone tried it?

    • This can be made w/ pretty much any green, but the firmer ones work better. Other vegetables can work but it depends on the veggies. I just shared on Facebook that you can do it w/ green beans. :)

  49. goobygirl says:

    I tweaked a few recipes to come up with this kale recipe:

    2 heads Kale, washed and torn, ribs removed, in 2 inch pieces
    3/4 cup tahini
    1/4 cup nama shoyu (or soy sauce or bragg’s liquid aminos)
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    2 scallions
    1 clove garlic
    1 lemon (juice of)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 c fresh parsley

    Cut the pieces of kale into palm sized segments. Place them in a large container and fill with water (I use kitchen sink). Toss in sea salt. Bruise the kale with your hands for about a minute. Allow to sit in salted water for about 30 minutes. Drain well.

    Place kale in large mixing bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. You may have to add more water. Pour over the kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want the mixture to be really “glued” on to the kale. Dehydrate or cook in oven.

  50. I have tried them in the oven with really uneven results, but most recipes call for 300+ degrees and a short time like 15 minutes. I am going to try the lowest setting on my gas stove and then turn it off after a bit and just let them alone. 170 is the lowest setting…how long would anyone guess? Maybe 3 hours or so? Put in at bedtime and leave all night? Any thoughts?

  51. I was a little hesitant about trying these. I’ve seen the recipe for them often and wanted to try it. I think that they are wonderful! I feel as though I’ve dove into a bag of Lay’s! It took a little longer to bake them (maybe about 5 mins.) because I like crispy and crunchy foods a lot! I’ve read before to NOT store in plastic containers, but I don’t know what to keep them in if I can’t use Baggies or Tupperware.
    Any suggestions?

  52. Keesha Doss says:

    Greens and salt… they sound good but I have had a kidney stone before and the said avoid foods w/ high oxalate (sp?) aand salt… :-/ Wonder if I could maybe hack them without the salt?

    • Hmmm…I haven’t done enough research into oxalates. I have friends who are really concerned abt them and other places say they aren’t a big deal. Are you sure natural salt is a problem?

      • Keesha Doss says:

        I am not sure if it changes between commercial salt and Real Salt. I know the calcium oxalate kidney stones that I might possibly tend to form are made from calcium, salt and oxalates. A lot of advice I have read suggest to cut the oxalates and the salt. And to increase your magnesium and calcium together. I have also read that kale has less oxalates than spinach. I think I will make some both ways and maybe nibble on one or two with salt and mostly without. ;-)

        • I just got this info from others who are really “into” the oxalate issue and kidney stones. I hope this is helpful:

          Salt doesn’t cause kidney stones or contribute to them.

          If she wants to avoid kidney stones she needs more minerals not less and to avoid foods high in oxalate. She also needs to work on her leaky gut.

          Elizabeth Eckert Calcium out of ratio with magnesium is a major contributor to kidney stones, along with heavy metal accumulation and other kidney stress factors (one of which is low sodium).