We can almost hear the collective eyeroll that just happened when we mentioned kale, but hear us out! (You’ll be rewarded with a yummy recipe at the bottom too.)
At THK we are chefs, home cooks, parents, and educators, so we get our insights about food and cooking from a lot of different people, and that’s a great thing. Our job is to empower you when it comes to choosing food for yourself and your family, so the more we know, the better we are at helping you make your kitchen a happy place!
When you talk to us about those ingredients you place in both the love and hate category, kale seems to come up pretty frequently. As much as you want to eat it, or think you should, as far as dark leafy greens go, it’s not everyone’s favourite.
Being curious people by nature, and eager to rescue kale from becoming a forgotten and obsolete ingredient, we decided to dig a bit deeper and get some facts about kale. We use it all the time in the test kitchen, and our chef is still harvesting bunches of it from her garden, so as an ingredient, we love kale. Still, in researching and writing about kale, we learned a lot of things we didn’t know, and we hope you’ll find this project as interesting as we did.
In the meantime, we’re going to leave you with a very crispy, slightly spicy recipe for our favourite kale chips. We have a hunch you won’t have any trouble scarfing down a whole bowl of these and wondering why you’ve never made this easy snack before. They only take 20 minutes to bake, and our kids love them!
Try them out, and please let us know what you think in the comments section. We love to hear from you!
Have a great Monday everyone! Keep Calm and Kale On.
Our Favourite Kale Chips
To shake things up a bit, we have seasoned our chips with Berbere, a blend of Ethiopian spices, and have included some tips on how to make your own blend at home.
Use any blend of spices you like, or if you prefer, keep it simple with a light salt and peppering. See our Tree House Tips section for more ideas!
2 large bunches of curly kale, washed and completely dried, stems removed, torn into large pieces
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast* (see tip section)
1 tbsp. Berbere spices* (or any spice blend you like, see tip section)
1 tsp. fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place torn kale in a large bowl. Add the oil and using your hands, massage the oil into the leaves, taking time and care to rub the oil into all the curls.
- Add the nutritional yeast, spice blend, and salt, and use your hands to toss well, so that all the leaves are coated with the seasonings. Don’t worry if some of the seasonings wind up at the bottom of the bowl.
- Spread the kale leaves evenly on the baking sheets in a single layer. It’s ok if the edges touch a little, but they should not overlap. If the leaves don’t all fit, do one batch at a time.
- Sprinkle on any seasonings remaining in the bottom of the bowl.
- Place baking sheets in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Switch positions of pans in the oven and bake 10 minutes longer, until kale is crisp.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining kale, if needed.
Total prep time: Approximately 20 minutes (washing and drying kale, tearing kale and making spice blend)
Total cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6-8 as a snack
Equipment: Salad spinner, baking sheets, parchment paper, large bowl.
Tree House Tips
EXPLORE: *Berbere spices are an Ethiopian blend that you can experiment with and tweak according to your taste, or buy at a spice shop. For our blend we used whole spices ground in a spice grinder:
3 tsp. dried crushed chili flakes, ½ tsp. ginger, ½ tsp. black or green cardamom seed, ¼ tsp. each fenugreek seed, nutmeg, black pepper, coriander seed, cinnamon, allspice, adjuvain, clove, and cassia buds. Any combination of these will work, so if you can’t find a specific ingredient, go ahead and make it anyway!
*Nutritional yeast is a Vitamin B12-rich, deactivated yeast that can be found in the bulk section of natural food stores. It has a nutty, cheese-like flavour that works very well here. Try it on popcorn too!
GROW: This is the perfect recipe for trying out different spice blends and seasonings. Try:
- Chili powder
- Any curry blend, such as Madras, Garam Masala or Vindaloo
- Baharat or Za’atar
- Smoked hot or sweet paprika, leon zest, or black pepper
- Also experiment with different varieties of kale
- Eat on their own or crumble and use as a seasoning for salads or popcorn
- For best results, make sure the kale is very dry
- Kale chips are best eaten as soon as possible after making them. Store completely cooled kale chips in an airtight container for 1 day.
© 2016 Tree House Kitchen. Triple tested.
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