It hasn't been easy trying to make the perfect baked kale chip - there have been several burnt offerings along the way and even a couple of soggy versions too. But here are some tips on how to make the perfect chip if you don't have a dehydrator
1. Remove the stems and tear leaves into large pieces
I’m not a fan of chewing through woody baked kale stems. so I remove the stems very quickly by grabbing the base of the stem with one hand and pushing outwards along the stem to slide off the leaves. Simple!
2. Wash and thoroughly dry the leaves before beginning
If the leaves aren’t dried properly, the water will “steam” the kale chips whilst baking and may lead to the dreaded soggy kale chip. Be sure they are nice and dry before you massage in the oil. I recommend a salad spinner; however, make sure that you don't overload it so the leaves are able to dry properly.
3. Don’t skip the oil, but don’t bathe the kale in it in oil either
A little bit of extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer) goes a long way. I recommend using ½ tablespoon of oil per baking sheet of kale chips. “Massage” the oil into the leaves to ensure all the nooks and crannies are coated. Oil will also help the spices stick to the leaves.
4. Spread kale into a single layer on the baking sheet
I used to place all the kale into a thick layer on the baking sheet and hope for the best, but doing this leads to soggy, unevenly baked kale chips. I’ve learned that I need to be a more patient and spread them out into a thinner layer on each baking sheet. Be sure to rotate the baking sheet half-way through baking. There’s no real need to flip the chips unless you can be bothered.
5. It’s all about the low-heat for even baking
I've tried baking kale chips at all temperatures from low to high, but the batches that were the best were baked at a very low temperature: It means that the kale chips will take a little longer to reach perfection, but you will avoid those burnt bitter edges. In my oven, I bake at 150C for 10 minutes, then I rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. So 25 minutes total for your perfect kale chip to be ready.
6. Cool for just a few minutes on the baking sheet
Waiting for a couple of minutes before serving allows the chips to crips up a little more.
Bonus tips: Avoid adding liquids (such as vinegars or hot sauces) pre-baking as liquids can result in soggy chips. It’s best to add a light spritz of liquid seasoning after they’ve been baked, if at all. Also, if your oven has one, feel free to try out the dehydrator or convection setting.
My Perfectly Spiced Kale Chip
Ingredients:feel free to play around with the spices to get your perfect flavour combination
PER BAKING SHEET:
Note: Feel free to make these in a dehydrator if you have one. You can also experiment with the convection or dehydrator setting on your oven (if applicable).
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!