Serves 2 to 4
1 (8-ounce) bunch large curly kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pat the kale with paper towels. It is important that the leaves are very dry, as oil doesn’t mix with water.
Cut away the center spine from each kale leaf and discard the spine. When removing the spine, go ahead and cut through to the top of the leaf so you have 2 pieces. Keep the leaves as halves, or cut each piece in half again.
Use your hands to mix the kale, oil and salt in a large bowl. Coat kale leaves well.
Arrange the kale pieces in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and then bake until they are crisp, about 25 minutes. Check the kale every 10 minutes or so and turn some pieces over if they look too toasty.
The kale chips will stay crisp and fresh for up to 1 week, stored in a sealed container or bag.
Recipe modified slightly from Ann Gentry's cookbook, Vegan Family Meals
Fun variations (from Vegan Family Meals): Wash, cut, coat, and bake the kale according to the directions above. Instead of seasoning the kale with just olive oil and salt, try any of these variations.
Because some of these variations include maple syrup, which makes the kale brown faster, cooking times will range from 15 to 25 minutes, so check the kale often to determine doneness.
Vinegar and Sea Salt: Combine 1 tablespoon vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, or brown rice), 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.
Maple-Coconut: Combine 2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil or a neutral cooking oil, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.
Garlic-Sesame: Combine 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon tamari, and 1 clove garlic, minced.
Hot and Spicy: Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral cooking oil, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, ¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¹⁄8 teaspoon chili powder, and ¹⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt.
Kale Dust for Popcorn: Crush the baked kale chips with your fingers or with a mortar and pestle into a fine powder. Sprinkle the crushed kale over popcorn. It’s colorful and nutritious; my kids love this one.