Thursday, 14 November 2013

Kale chips ... finally I join the fan club

Yesterday I wished I lived in the USA and was looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving.  It has never happened before.  I blame the weather.  It is mid-November.  Almost Summer.  We had a high of 16 C.  I was freezing.  It should be a warm spring day of ice creams and cool drinks and salads.  Instead I was dreaming of being cozy indoors and having festive dinners on the other side of the world where it is almost winter.  Perhaps it was this odd out-of-season experience that made me finally try kale chips.

Or maybe it was this gorgeous bunch of kale that I bought at the Coburg Farmers Market.  I love the purple stems and tips of leaves.  I used some in a bad adaption of an interesting recipe.  The rest were still awaiting their purpose in life.  I searched and remembered I still hadn't tried kale chips. 

Kale chips are one of those recipes that you can find on any blog.  It seems every other blogger has already tried them.  I was comforted by the post by Gluten Free Girl about kale chips because in 2010 she felt she was finally catching up in making kale chips.  It took me until 2013.  She refused to follow the crowd.  I was just intimidated by baking the chips to the right texture.  In my shonky oven.  And I get confused about which type of kale to use.  (I am not even sure how to label the bunch I used.)

Happily, the kale chips worked.  Mostly.  I didn't quite manage to get them all crisp.  I used two trays and despite turning the trays halfway through, one side cooked better than the other.  I made too much seasoning.  That was ok.  Otherwise it was fairly simple.  The hardest part was cutting the woody stems off the kale and washing and drying the kale. 

Most of my energy was spent on making dodgy tofu bacon with recycled marinade and making a mess of tahini lime rice which I had started chopping vegies and remembered I should have cooked rice not dried rice.  I then cooked the rice using the method from a chickpea pilaf.  I also used edamame instead of kale.  I added purple carrots and the rice was an amazing colour.  But I really tell you because with the sides, the kale chips made a pleasing bowl of dinner.

The kale chips were very good.  Far better than the packaged kale chips I have tried. I didn't feel like I was eating potato crisps as Gluten Free Girls did.  Perhaps I could have a bit of experimenting with baking them in my oven to get the timing right.  And of course there are lots of different flavours to try.  Nutritional yeast flakes will be there, as will be salt and vinegar.  If you have a favourite flavour, please share in the comments.

What really surprised me was how much E and Sylvia loved them.  E is not usually a kale fan.  In fact he has been known to remind me that kale rhymes with epic fail.  Sylvia is wary of new foods.  I gave her a little to taste and she asked for more.  She had her limits but she ate an impressive amount.  Any recipe that convinces a 4 year old to eat kale deserves to be repeated. 


As I bought the kale at our local farmers market, I am sending these kale chips to Elizabeth's Kitchen Diaries for Shop Local #3, a blogging challenge that she has recently started.  It is to showcase food we have sourced locally.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago:
Dragon birthday cake
Two years ago: PPN hurry up pumpkin alfredo with pea and lentil salad
Three years ago: NCR: Quinoa Soup and Archeology
Four years ago: NCR Carrot, Chestnut and Lentil Soup
Five years ago: NCR Pumpkin and Tofu Laksa
Six years ago: A Break in Beechworth

Smoky kale chips
Lightly adapted from Gluten Free Girl

couple of handfuls of kale
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp French lavender salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Trim woody stalks off kale.  Wash kale well and then dry it until it is bone dry.  If you have a salad spinner you could spin and use a tea towel to pat dry.  I don't have a salad spinner so I used two tea towels because the first got too wet and I did a lot of patting and folding up in the tea towel.

Once kale is dry transfer to a bowl and massage olive oil into the leaves using your hands.

Spread out in one layer on one or two lined baking trays (depending on the size of them) and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until leaves are crisp but not brown (which means bitter).

While kale is baking, mix remaining ingredients to make the seasoning.  Sprinkle baked kale with seasoning.

On the Stereo:
Folk Songs of Britain: Vol 10: The Life of Animals: Various Artists

26 comments:

  1. Oh how I wish my Sylvia would eat kale :)

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    1. Kate, I was amazed she ate these - but I do give her spinach leaves sometimes - she will eat them with a little hummus spread on them - and the kale had flavours she is used to in her favourite tofu bacon.

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  2. I'm behind the times too Johanna, I've never tried them or made them. They do look tempting though.

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    1. Thanks Jac - glad to know I am not the last blogger in the world to try kale chips :-)

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  3. I love kale chips but have never bought them so it's good to know that homemade is better! :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I don't think the kale chips I bought once were as crispy as them which makes a difference

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  4. Johanna, I have been priding myself on restraint around weather discussions, but you have prompted me to give it up! Perth has skipped spring altogether and it has been >30'C every day this week - today is 36'C and Saturday will be 37'C. I may not survive summer itself! Melbourne needs to take some of our heat and Perth needs some of your cool :)

    My weather rant aside, you may have persuaded me to give kale chips another try myself. I've bought them (and not liked them much) but never made them. Yours do sound much better than commercial options!

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    1. Thanks Kari - sorry to hear about your warm weather - I am worried we will go from miserable cold to horrid hot without the lovely balmy spring days in between - sounds like you don't have them!

      I think it is worth trying to make your own kale chips - they were crisper which I think made the difference

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  5. The weather sure is a factor in getting me into the Thanksgiving mood, Johanna. However, it's just too darn cold for this time of year. I would love to be thinking about Spring being right around the corner:)

    I have never tried Kale Chips. I was just reading an articile that said most people like them but agree they are not quite a good substitute for Potato Chips. I'll probably get around to trying them one day, home made of course, but they are not a priority; yet:)

    The fact that Sylvia likes them is a huge plus! I will suggest the notion to my daughter, who btw will not even go near Kale, lol...

    Thanks for sharing, Johanna...I hope it warms up soon:)

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    1. thanks louise - we have a little sunshine this afternoon which is a nice change - I enjoyed the taste of the kale chips but I think I got even more happiness from seeing it convert the kale-phobics

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  6. I've only made them once or twice and do love them but still prefer the store-bought type. They seem to manage to get them more coated and crispier than the ones I've done in my oven.
    Glad you're a new convert though!

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    1. Thanks Emma - interesting you prefer the store brought ones - I have only bought them once and was disappointed - I think there is so much hype about kale chips my expectations have been high

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  7. Still resisting, but these do look tempting...

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    1. Thanks Yummy C - maybe one day :-)

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  8. Yay for kale chips! I also laughed hysterically when you said kale rhymes with epic fail. Your hubbie is too funny! And way to go on getting them to eat more kale. :)

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    1. Thanks Janet - yes E is funny but sometimes at the wrong time :-) at least he liked the kale chips (whoever named them was clever - I am sure E and Sylvia partly liked them for being chips!)

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  9. I love kale chips! There's some great recipes out there with a sort of cashew cheese sauce which are phenomenal, and I heartily recommend.

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    1. Thanks Joey - I must try this - I am sure I have seen such recipes about

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  10. Kale chips are always a hit from my experience! The purple shades in your bunch of kale look gorgeous. Lavender salt sounds interesting!

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    1. Thanks Reanna - I was very in love with the beauty of those purple tipped kale leaves and glad they worked as chips (it would have made me cry to waste them on a bad recipe)

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  11. Hasn't the weather been appalling - like, it's nearly summer and it feels like July! I have never tried kale chips but I am impressed by their health benefits.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I spoke to someone recently who said she doesn't remember putting the heater on in November - we are drinking hot chocolate to warm ourselves in the evenings - crazy weather indeed - I think kale chips are a good healthy side dish that doesn't taste too healthy :-)

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  12. I haven't joined that club yet either. I did try those broccoli chips that are whole florets and they were disgusting. I will try yours though.. because I trust you :P

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    1. Thanks Cass - what a shame the broccoli chips didn't work - I love them roasted - is that what you did? I hope you enjoy the kale chips - I can't say it is the yummiest food in the whole wide world but it was certainly a yummy way to eat healthy greens on the side

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  13. I tried making kale chips once using supermarket kale and they were dreadful. I couldn't understand the appeal, but then I tried a shop bought bag of raw kale chips with wasabi and wheatgrass and they were gorgeous! I have bookmarked your recipe to try making them myself again, but this time with my organic veg box kale. Thanks for sharing with #ShopLocal and so sorry it's taken so long to comment - it's been a hectic month for me!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - hope you have more success with the kale from your veg box - apparently it helps to keep it super dry but even so mine weren't all equal - some were crisper than others so I returned some of the lesser done ones to the oven after removing the crisp ones. Wasabi and wheatgrass sounds like an interesting combination - never thought of wheatgrass as a flavour before.

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