Today: Healthy, easy, affordable, and delicious -- might this be the perfect snack?
Okay, I admit it: I buy kale chips. In spite of the price tag, in spite of the fact that I’m perfectly adept at making them at home, even in spite of the fact that I have a fancy food dehydrator that I purchased for the express purpose of things like making kale chips, I buy them. I buy them, and if you’re a kale junkie like me, then you’ve probably been known to buy them, too.
Once upon a time, kale chips were an exotic snack food, popular mostly among health food enthusiasts who had figured out that, with a little seasoning, kale can be transformed into an addictively crunchy treat. Nowadays, you might be able to pick up kale chips at your local grocery store or corner deli -- but it’ll cost you. So, in spite of the fact that I’m certainly not above buying kale chips from time to time, this recipe is my plea for all of us to consider making them at home. It’s cheaper, it’s less plastic to recycle, and most importantly, it is so incredibly easy. With a little olive oil and seasoning, you can enjoy a crunchy, salty snack that’s as healthy as it is appealing. And how often can we say that?
Another bonus of making kale chips at home is that you can adapt the flavor profile to fit your cravings. I’ve made them with herbs like rosemary and thyme and even with a curry-based spice blend. This recipe is for my favorite way to season kale chips -- with a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and red pepper flakes.
The two most important tricks to keep in mind are to layer the chips thinly on your baking sheet -- they may not crisp up properly if they’re piled on top of each other -- and to use the suggested temperature for baking. A temperature that’s too low will fail to crisp the chips up, while an overly high temperature will singe them before you have a chance to enjoy them. And, given how delicious they are, that would be a true shame.
1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves washed, dried thoroughly, and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher or coarse salt
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Gena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.