Shockingly, I actually have lived up to my personal challenge to cook occasionally. Sure, the first thing I made in my kitchen was a batch of cookies. But after an epic night in with my lady-friends* in which I witnessed Tami and Mala bake fresh-made kale chips, I figured it looked like a process I might be able to repeat on my own. And one I wouldn’t have to call my mom three times during.**
If you’re wondering what a kale chip is, you’re in luck because I’m itching to tell people. Kale is a leafy green experience. It’s also notably tough, so be warned that if you ever order a kale salad, you’re in for a lot of chewing. This makes you feel like a savage humanoid, but it also takes a considerable amount of time to break down in your mouth which means you won’t be doing much chatting while you work on it. That said, kale salad is excellent with feta cheese. But I digress.
Kale chips are simply a play on a salty, crunchy treat. They are leafy green bite-sized nibbles that have been salted and baked. For some reason when you bake kale it gets crispy and loses a bit of its toughness. As long as you don’t get too crazy with how much olive oil you use or how much salt you have a taste for, kale chips are one of the healthiest snacks on the block. And even I can make them without following a recipe. Here’s how:
1. Buy some kale. If you’re not sure what it is, ask your local produce gal. Stores like Whole Foods tend to carry this roughage, and it’s usually a farmer’s market staple.
2. Wash the kale.
3. Dry the kale. No, really. Dry it. I’m not even kidding. I know because the first two times I made kale chips, I didn’t dry the kale and the chips came out kind of limp and weird. Drying the kale helps increase the chippiness. It’s an extra step. It seems ridiculous. Just do it.
4. Break kale into bite size chunks. Because it’s so tough, it’s a bit of a finger workout. Yay exercise!
5. Put kale in a mound on a baking pan.
6. Drizzle olive oil over the kale. How much? Well, I hate to tell you this, but I have no idea. I have yet to get the formula correct. Too much makes it soggy in the end, so I recommend too little if you’re not sure.
7. Toss the kale in the olive oil with your hands and spread the pieces around the pan. This is really fun and feels a bit like finger painting for adults.
8. Drizzle salt over kale. Toss a little more. Once again, too much is TERRIBLE so please aim for too little. A few notes on salt: first, make sure you pour it into your hand prior to pouring it on the kale. This allows you to be in control of the amount of salt. Second, when you toss the oily, salty kale with your hands, you’re going to get a weird coat of crust all over your palms. Be sure a sink with soap is nearby.
9. Bake at 350. How long? Yeah, once again, I have no idea. I think “until crispy” is the only definitive answer. This takes about ten minutes in theory, but it seems to take longer in my world. I would definitely check up on your chips, and smell the air. When you can smell the kale, it’s probably done.
And now you know. Healthy treats for all!
*What night isn’t epic with ladyfriends, really? Let me just say one word: tonsils.
** My poor mom gets questions like, “wait, what temperature do I cook brown butter at?” and “how do I know if the salmon is done?” and “oh my god, why won’t the lumps in this brownie dough go away?”