Simple Baked Kale Chips: The Perfect Healthy Snack
My Dad just lost 10 pounds in about a month or two.
That’s a lot for a guy who didn’t really have much weight to lose. I asked him how he did it.
And he said he stopped eating potato chips.
Wow. That was easy.
But, I get how giving up a salty snack can be hard. If I could eat as much as I’d like of one salty snack without any health repercussions, it would be good old fashioned potato chips. They’re straight up addictive once you get a taste.
I guess I get it from my Dad.
That is why I love roasted kale chips in the oven for a much healthier snack. Simple, salty, addictive, and crunchy.
Just like those bagged potato chips. But, without the guilt and regret that comes along with eating handful after handful.
Toss on some seasoning for kale chips like paprika and cumin, and you have yourself an even more flavorful snack.
Sure, you can buy an overpriced bag of baked kale chips at the grocery store, but these DIY kale chips are healthier, cheaper, and have a secret ingredient.
That secret ingredient is gratification. Because you made them yourself. And that will give you satisfaction in every bite.
Are Roasted Kale Chips Healthy?
Heck yeah, homemade kale chips are healthy. This roasted kale chips recipe is just kale, salt, and olive oil.
Kale is a popular “superfood” for its dense nutritional value. According to the Mayo Clinic, kale is packed with vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. In fact, it has more vitamin C than any other green. Studies have even shown that it may decrease some forms of cancer.
Kale Chips Nutrition
One serving (about 1 oz) of these kale chips has the following nutritional values:
- Calories: 44
- Fat: 3.5 grams
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 3 grams
- Fiber: 0.4 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
How to Make Kale Chips
Making kale chips is deceivingly simple. Here is the rundown of the steps for how to make baked kale chips:
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Using a salad spinner is easiest. Here’s how to use one correctly.
- Strip kale leaves from stems and tear or roughly chop into bite sized pieces. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Toss leaves with olive oil and salt, massaging the kale and making sure each leaf is coated.
- Bake 8-12 minutes, checking after 8 minutes. Kale should be crispy, but not yet turning brown.
Keep a close watch on your chips once you start getting near the 8 minutes time. Kale can go from crispy to burnt in no time.
How to Store Roasted Kale Chips
Let roasted kale chips cool completely and store at room temperature in an airtight container like these OXO leakproof ones. They will stay crispy for 2-3 days. But, I doubt they’ll last very long since they’re so easy to eat.
Are DIY Kale Chips Better Than Store bought?
If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that I believe making your own food goes way beyond just the food.
Making your own food is empowering. It gives you confidence, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. And it allows you to provide a basic human need for yourself and loved ones.
There is simply a different taste and emotion in food that you cook yourself. That is why I started cooking in the first place. The joy in a bite of semi overcooked or under-seasoned homemade food is at least as much as in food you’d get from a restaurant.
The best part is, next time you make that same dish and learn from your mistakes, it will taste better than any restaurant on the planet.
Okay, okay, let’s take a less emotional approach.
A bag of kale chips at Whole Foods is $3.15 for 2 oz. Not to mention it has 1 gram of added sugar.
A bunch of curly kale at Whole Foods is $1.99 and gives you about 4 oz. of kale leaves. It will cost you a little over $1 (including olive oil and salt) to make the same amount as the $3.15 bag.
So, making kale chips yourself is great for your wallet and your mind.
What Type of Kale Should I Use?
There are a bunch of different types of kale. If you want to learn more about them, check out this Kale 101 article I wrote to teach you everything you need to know about kale.
For kale chips, stick to the below varieties. Curly kale is the most widely available, cheapest, and works great for roasting. So, it’s probably your best bet.
- Curly Kale – Green to pale green with leaves that frill (or curl) at their ends. You can often find this in a bag or in a bunch. This is the most bitter version of kale. This is your best bet for making kale chips.
- Lacinato Kale (also known as Tuscan, Dinosaur, or Dino) – Dark green kale with straight, slender leaves. This kale is more tender, sweet, and easier to eat compared to the curly type. I see this in most grocery stores, but it’s definitely not in every single one. This is the best type of kale for eating raw. Thinly sliced and dressed, this kale makes a killer salad.
- Redbor (or Red) Kale – Colorful kale variety is one that you may also see at your grocery store. It looks very similar to curly kale except the leaves and stems are a mix of deep red, maroon, and purple. It all just looks purple to me. Its flavor is milder than curly kale, but it is great for adding a blast of color to your dishes.
Want to give your kale chips and extra pop of flavor? Try adding one or more of the toppings below. Add toppings:
- Curry Powder
- Nutritional Yeast (this is a popular one, but I’ve never done it. Leave a comment if you have and let me know how it turns out!)
- Black pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chinese 5-Spice
- Garlic Powder
More Kale Recipes
- Kale 101: Everything You Need to Know to Buy, Store, Cook, and Eat Kale
- Vegan Kale Pesto
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
- Simple Chickpea and Kale Salad With Avocado
- Kale and Quinoa Salad with Avocado
Roasted Kale Chips in the Oven
- 1 bunch curly, lacinato, or red kale, leaves and stems separated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wash kale and dry thoroughly with a salad spinner or towels. Strip kale leaves from stems and tear or roughly chop into bite sized pieces. Add to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Toss leaves with olive oil, salt, and your choice of seasoning if using. Gently massage the kale to make sure each leaf is coated.
- Place baking sheet in oven and roast 8-12 minutes, checking after 8 minutes. Kale should be crispy, but not yet turning brown.
Who Needs Bagged Kale Chips?
Not you. Save those bagged snacks for the people who don’t have your confidence and drive. Because like me, you know that things are just better when you make them yourself. And that includes healthy snacks.
I mean, you’re already here looking up how to make them. That’s at least half of the process. It won’t take much longer to make the chips than it did to read this post. So go get after it.
And if you start substituting these kale chips for potato chips, maybe you’ll lose a few pounds like my Dad too.