Friday, March 4, 2011

Julie's EAT HEALTHY Quick and easy Kale Chips

It's not January first, but our family is planning to start eating healthier. We're not all that bad to begin with. The house is always stocked with in-season fruit and we all love veggies. Getting my kids to eat them was never a problem. Maybe because I vowed not to feed them sugary foods like cookies until they were at least two (didn't go over well with the in-laws, but hey...).

The thing is, we're not bad, but we could be better.

And with that in mind, we're embarking on an "eat healthier" journey together. Will we still enjoy our favorites from time to time? Of course! But experimentation often brings great reward (and occasional disasters).

Starting today - my first EAT HEALTHY experiment --


I read about these online and thought "no way," but I was intrigued enough to give it a go. Touted as a substitute for potato chips (really???), they're supposedly lower in calories and carbs and higher in vitamins and minerals. Easy to make, too.

But how do they taste?

Well, let me assure you, potato chip manufacturers will not be put out of business anytime soon. (Though I have to admit - since they took the trans fats out of foods, things just don't taste the same. Good for me! I don't crave potato chips - or Oreos - nearly as often anymore!)

Still, they weren't bad. They tasted faintly of (wait for it, Dave...) Brussels Sprouts. But they were crunchy and teeny bit addictive after you got used to them. That sure sounds like a rousing endorsement, doesn't it? Seriously, they weren't bad. Far, far better than the "made from veggies" natural chips I bought at the store. Those were just ... odd.

My husband said "eh" after the first bite. Then tried it again. Then ate half the bowl. Two of my daughters weren't thrilled, but the youngest hasn't been home to try them yet.

The big pile of kale I bought at the grocery store cost me 71 cents.
I used Olive Oil flavored PAM (that seems to coat them more evenly than straight olive oil), kosher salt and garlic salt - used sparingly.


Wash and dry curly kale. Cut out the thick stems and rip the leaves into bite size pieces.

Place on parchment on a cookie sheet (I used non-insulated)
Spray both sides of leaves with olive oil.

Sprinkle one side lightly with salt or other seasoning.
I salted some, garlic-salted others. Really lightly.

Bake at 350 for about 6 minutes. Then check. I found that the curly edges began to brown before they were done, so I kept them in a while longer. About 9 minutes total. But you have to watch them. Pick one up to see how it is. When they're crispy and light, they're done. Don't allow them to burn.

Allow to cool and serve.

Do you have any unusual healthy snacks you prepare? I'd love to hear about them!


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  1. I would have never thought of kale chips, although I have eaten (and loved) spinach chips at a restaurant. I believe they were fried, not baked. These look yummy, especially since kale is one of my favorite veggies. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I think it's great that y'all are eating healthier this year! I try to make small substitutions in what we buy, but it's never anything huge. Still, maybe making the small adjustments is the way to really get it rolling. Love the idea of the kale chips and the fact that it's a taste that grows on you as you eat them!

  3. Victoria - I've never heard of spinach chips, but I'll have to try that! We absolutely love cooked spinach here... much, much more than cooked kale, so I bet we'd prefer spinach chips, too. Thanks for the idea!

    Elizabeth - the funny thing is, when I told the kids we would be making small moves toward healthier eating, they all gave me total support and told me they loved the idea. When we watched the Academy Awards Sunday (typically a big pig-out evening with lots of fun foods) I served these chips, chopped fresh veggies, and hummus. Everybody loved it. A good start, for sure.

  4. Julie, thanks for inspiring me to try these again. I made* these once before, years ago, and you are correct with your warning "Don't allow them to burn." (Kale chips aren't supposed to be black.)


  5. Alan - you're absolutely right. The ones at the edge incinerated. There's a fine line between "done" and "charred crumbled mess" - so these have to be watched closely. Good luck!

  6. Julie, how interesting. And I love your honesty. They don't replace potato chips! LOL. But I love Brussel sprouts, so this could be a fun experiment.

    Enjoy the day!

    ~Avery @AveryAames
    Killer Characters

  7. Oh, thank you so much, Julie! Kale is at the top of my "should eat much, much more of" list...and this sounds like a great way to do it. What a tasty snack.

  8. Julie, I love that your whole family is working together on eating healthier. I've never heard of this, but I'm going to try it. I happen to like kale. I make baked sweet potato chips now and again for my dogs, and I find that people love them just as much as the dogs do.

    ~ Krista

  9. Avery - we'll definitely try these again. I may play with seasonings, too, but to be perfectly honest, I didn't notice a huge flavor difference between the salt and the garlic salt. I have a feeling that my results will get better with practice.

    Erika - exactly! Everyone talks about how great kale (and other dark green veggies) are for us. I discovered that we really don't care for cooked kale. It's not terrible, but it's a lot of work for not much product... so this is our best option.

    Krista - I just found a homemade baked French fry recipe that I'm eager to try. I haven't tried baked chips in ages, thanks for the reminder!

  10. I'll be trying this as I know it will be good for me. It's great to find different ways to get veggies into us (instead of Oreos!)

    Thanks for an imaginative post.

  11. We love kale chips at our house. I bake them at 300 for a little longer because once I did burn them and it was a sad day for the kale chips. My daughter's boyfriend was over the other day and questioned them, but proceeded to eat about half the bowl, too. Hmmmm. The men should not question our motives! It's all good.

  12. MJ - what my posts lack in culinary talent they make up for inimagination.

  13. Ooh, Ann! Thanks for the hint. I'll try 300!

  14. We have also been trying to eat healthier this year...(as I sit here waiting for the oven to heat up so I can bake a cake!!) and kale has been on our menu several times. You are right that it takes a lot of work for a little bit of food so chips sound terrific! Our kids will actually ask for my roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower so this may work! I'll try seasoning them with greek seasoning and let you know how it goes!!

  15. Nanc - that's great. We've come to enjoy sprouts and we've always loved cauliflower. I hope these kale chips work for you!

  16. Chiming in late to say you had me cracking up about five times as I read your post, "rousing endorsement" and all. All kidding aside, SOLD AMERICAN! Going to try them this weekend. (Note to self - check batteries in smoke alarm.)

    TGIF and have a happy, healthy weekend!
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  17. And I'm about to go out shopping for fresh spinach to try those spinach chips!