This crispy kale chip recipe is addictive
Making your own kale chips is easy, they’re also a super expensive snack to buy. Kale chips are healthy and a great way to use up an abundant amount of homegrown kale. Our kids devour these kale chips (yep, even the 2 year old).
When I mention kale chips people either get excited or they say they don’t like them. There are many different recipes for kale chips and thus difference in flavor. This recipe happens to be my fav, it’s simple and cheaper than the recipes that call for things like cashews or red peppers (to make that nacho taste).
Crispy kale chips are better if you choose the right kale
What is the best kale for kale chips?
Whether you’re a gardener or buy kale from the store you might have noticed that there are many varieties of kale out there to choose from.
Do they all make good kale chips?
In my experience, some kale varieties surpass others for flavor absorption and crunch.
Which Variety makes the best Crunchy Kale Chips?
I would say that both the Scotch Kale and the Lacinato (also called dinosaur kale) both make excellent kale chips. I find that even though the Scotch Kale (Vates types) is the hardest to clean (if aphids are present) it absorbs the most flavor because of all the curls. The extra curls also give it more crunch. Learn more about how to grow kale & kale varieties.
The lacinato comes second as it’s still crunchy and has great flavor but I find the lacinato kale chips are often smaller as this variety is slimmer than others. The Red Russian comes last for not absorbing flavor AND for being very difficult to break into pieces. Red Russian kale has tiny little strings inside of it that when you try and break it into pieces the string is very present, and who wants to eat crunchy kale string?
There are two ways to make kale chips:
in the oven or in a dehydrator.
Oven versus dehydrator
Both the dehydrated and the slow oven method are best because they preserve the max nutrition in the kale chips due to being cooked at a lower temperature.
For whatever reason (& I’ve tried 4 times now) I can NEVER seem to not burn oven kale chips via the oven method. I highly recommend you use wax paper on the tray instead of directly on the pan as it helps to reduce burning.
The Excalibur offers far better heat distribution and you can preserve a ton of food throughout the growing season.
You can also make fancy things like raw wraps and healthy crackers.
- 2 or 3 heads of kale
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt or pink himalayan salt
- 1 tsp garlic granules (the powder doesn’t coat as well, it tends to clump)
1. Wash and zip kale. How do you zip kale?! Grab the base of the stem and pull away the leafy part from the stem. Then break the leafy parts into bits. I find that young baby kale leaves to be great for kale chips because the stem is thin and I don’t have to zip the stem away from the leafy part.
2. In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients, it will look like a thick paste. Add the kale bits and toss until well coated. I find this is actually easier with my hands instead of a spoon.
3. There are two ways to make the chips, one is the oven method and the other is using the dehydrator
Spread evenly on sheets and dehydrate for 3-4 hours until crispy.
Slow method: preheat oven to 200 degree & spread kale evenly on a cooking sheet and bake for 2-3 hours.
Quick method: (higher risk of burning!) preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10-15 mins until they are lightly browned.
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.