I am a snacky-snack-snackerson-snaaaaaaaackaholic. Potato chips and candy bars oh you are my lovelies. Of course, like everyone else, I want to be healthy but come on! I want some sweet and salty joy in my life!
I’m a big girl now and I have learned to control myself….a bit. I allow myself a weekly candy bar. I still have an occasional ugly week where control is just not possible. But for the most part every single evening I chow down on a few handfuls of sesame sticks and dried cranberries. Yep. Hippy snacks. I am guilty. I am constantly on the hunt for something new and interesting (and at least sort of healthy) to fill the little hole in my life that was once filled by cool ranch doritos. (If you say Sun Chips, I’ll have to kill you)
The first time my nutty health food friends suggested kale chips I think I snorted. Loud. I’m a pretty recent convert to kale. It took way too many choked down bitter kale salads before I tried cooking it, but cooking it changed everything. Now I cook it in just about anything, but making it into chips? Uh, really? I’ve tried a good number of types of vegetable chips and they never quite do it unless they are mostly potato (white potato. sweet potato isn’t the same and doesn’t count). I love these but they’re just potato chips with some other veggies mixed in for color. Yes, potatoes are vegetables but lets face it they are the candy of vegetables.
So I decided I was going to hunt down some kale chips and give them a try. My short term memory is on again off again so the first time I went looking for them I came home with two kinds of kelp chips instead of kale.
Kelp chips smell and taste like fish.
No amount of sugar or spice is going to cover it up.
Second try. I brought home these.
Superfoods? Hmmm. It’s weird, when you first bite into them, they are surprisingly good. But, just as you are about to reach for the second bite of your new favorite snack, you are hit with the most unbelievable chemical after taste. I did not eat a second one. My son spit his out.
I had pretty much written off kale chips as just one more hippy food lunacy. Then my son’s friend told me that he really likes them. Turns out he’s never had the horror in a green bag that I thought was a kale chip. He said his dad makes them and they are awesome. Now, I know I can trust chip advice from a 9 year old, but I was still skeptical.
Next stop: The Google Thing.
Turns out kale chip recipes are all over the internet like top ten funniest cat videos. Of course none of them agree on how to do it…but they do all agree on one thing: It’s really freakin’ easy.
And it is! I read about 10 different recipes, all slightly different, then I just sort of went to it.
My kale was a bit limp but I didn’t think that would matter since I was planning on dehydrating it anyway.
Ain’t it purty
One of the recipes suggested using a salad spinner after washing the kale to get rid of as much water as possible. People really own salad spinners?
Yes, they do! Turns out you can spin your salad to the tune of 160 bucks if you really feel the need. That’s some serious cabbage! (I crack myself up)
I used a couple paper towels, worked just fine. I could probably have used some cloth napkins….ok next time.
I figured first time around I better keep it simple. Olive oil and salt. A tablespoon of oil for all that kale didn’t really seem like enough but when I started mixing it around it went pretty far. A teaspoon of salt seemed like way too much so I only used half.
Some recipes suggested using PAM. There is something freaky wrong about about foodish stuff in a spray can (that doesn’t mean I haven’t been known to down a whole can of whipped cream straight in to my mouth). This web site suggests a DIY solution which sounds a whole lot better than serving up my veggies slathered in propellant. I’m all for quick and easy and if it’s healthy too, bonus! But cooking oil in a can just seems….icky.
Have you heard about the Olive Oil Conspiracy? Ugh. I found this wordy thing that tells you pretty much everything you need to know if you want to only get good olive oil. Here is my truth about olive oil: That shit is expensive! Yes it tastes better. Yes it’s healthier. But the cheap shit isn’t killing me and mostly it tastes fine. So I bought this:
Which looks an unnatural color of green in the spoon
But Tom over at the truth in olive oil blog says don’t pay attention to the color. So I won’t.
I stirred in the oil sprinkled on my 1/2 teaspoon of salt (still seems like alot) and laid it out on some parchment paper. I love parchment paper! Thank you mouthy Martha for bringing this wonderful stuff to my life. Most stuff won’t stick to it. And the stuff that does stick you just peel the paper away from the food like edible stickers.
Popped it in the oven at 300F The temperature is a major point of disagreement in the recipes as is the length of time required to make them the right texture. So I picked a lowish temp and started checking on them after about 5 minutes. At 15 minutes they looked like this
It cooled off really quickly and was nicely crispy. So I pulled them all out, peeled them off the parchment and started eating…..I inhaled 5 or six before the salt really hit me. Too much too much too much I knew it was too much. I’m definitely going to try this again! Before being overwhelmed with the salt they were light and crispy and wonderfully chip like. Don’t get me wrong they are not potato chips and you won’t be dunking them into a bowl of onion dip, they just won’t hold up. But, they are tasty enough and easy enough to make that this might just get to be a staple around our house.
Yay for Kale chips!