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!
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- 2 bunches of kale
- 2 -4 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt or sea salt (I recommend Real Salt).
- Wash kale thoroughly
- Remove thick stems from kale (I chop the stems and saute them well to avoid waste).
- Chop or tear kale leaves into large pieces.
- Place kale pieces into a large bowl.
- Add olive oil and mix to coat.
- Add salt and mix to coat.
- Spread kale in a not-too-thick layer on dehydrator trays (or cookie sheets if using an oven).
- Place trays in dehydrator and dehydrate until crispy dry. (I dry these at about 125 degrees F and they take about 2½ hours.)
- Store in airtight containers (I use both plastic containers and bags, though be careful with the bags as these will crush easily).
- Hide from kids because these can really be quite addictive :-)!
- 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:
Are kale chips the next healthy snack for your family?