If you haven’t heard about the benefits of kale, then you’ve probably been living under a rock. The health benefits of kale are so abundant, and in recent years, more and more people have started to incorporate kale into all types of meals, from kale juice to salads and even kale chips. In a few words, this is a superfood you should be eating. That’s why today, we’ll be sharing with you all the incredible benefits of kale chips and how to make them!
If you are a chips person, you need kale chips in your life; it is also a great alternative to enjoy the health benefits of kale, that is, if you don’t already consume it steamed, sautéed, boiled, or baked in salads, soups or smoothies! But let’s say your palate wants something different; this is where kale chips come in, to the rescue.
There are many ways you can enjoy kale, and one of the preferred ones is in the form of tasty kale chips. It is a fantastic snack that can be enjoyed by everyone alike. The younger ones get the nutrients they need, while the rest of us can enjoy a low-calorie and yummy snack. Kale chips can also be a great entrée for your meals.
Suppose you’ve had them before you’ve probably known that it is impossible to have just one. Now that you know how wonderful kale chips are, it is time to learn more about the benefits of kale chips.
Benefits of Kale Chips
The amazing thing about kale chips is that they retain their nutritional value after going from leaves to chips. Kale is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and calcium, and B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. It’s fat- and sodium-free. In other words, these addictive chips have few calories and are a source of several essential nutrients. Check out the fantastic benefits of kale chips and why you should be eating them every day.
Low Energy Density Snack
Energy density means the number of calories in food. When it comes to kale and kale chips, these are considered low energy density food, so you can eat many of them without worrying about adding too many calories to your diet. It is a perfect match for those trying to lose weight as it provides a boost of energy without the gain weight.
Source of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting, cellular reactions, and the maintenance of bone tissue. It has also been associated with decreasing the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
One cup of kale contains 472 micrograms of vitamin K1, which is several times more of what we need daily. As you can see, a serving of kale chips provides more than your entire daily vitamin K needs and could protect your bones and heart.
Source of B Vitamins
Kale is particularly high in vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2. For instance, each cup of kale contains 11% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B6, 7% of your vitamin B2, and 6% of your recommended vitamin B1. Kale chips provide an easy snack option to increase vitamin B intake. B vitamins help our bodies turn nutrients into energy, making them essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Kale is full of beneficial antioxidants, and Kale chips also contain more than 45 types of antioxidant flavonoids. Kale contains the carotenoids lutein and beta-carotene, associated with a lower risk of cataracts, atherosclerosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In other words, kale chips can prevent cellular damage.
Source of Vitamin A
The type of vitamin A in kale is provitamin A, and the most common type of this micronutrient is beta carotene. Beta carotene supplementation has been associated with a decreased risk for vision loss related to aging.
Tips to Make Perfect Kale Chips
- Remove the stems. Because who likes to eat bakes kale stems! Remove the stems quickly and painlessly by grabbing the base of the stem with one hand and pushing outwards along the stem to slide off the leaves.
- Wash and dry. Because you want to avoid a soggy kale chip, getting your leaves thoroughly dry is key. If the leaves aren’t dried, the water can steam the kale chips during the baking process and leave you with a soggy mess. A salad spinner works great to dry your kale properly.
- Careful with the oil. After your kale is nice and dry, the next step is to massage in the oil. Get the oil into the leaves to ensure all the nooks and crannies are coated; don’t overdo it.
- Spread the kale. To avoid unevenly baked kale chips, spread them out into a thinner layer on each baking sheet. The last thing you want to do is dump all the kale into a very thick layer on the baking sheet. Halfway through baking, rotate the baking sheet. Flipping the chips is not really necessary unless you want to do it.
- Be patient because it’s all about the low heat. The perfect kale chip is the one that has been cooked at a shallow temperature of around 300F. Being patient is worth it because they will bake evenly, and you don’t get any burnt pieces. The result should be crisp kale.
- Cool down. For extra crispy kale chips, once they are out of the oven, allow them to cool for just a few minutes on the baking sheet.
How to Make Kale Chips
Making kale chips is super easy. Follow a few steps, and you can enjoy yummy kale chips in less than 30 minutes.
- You start with your normal kale leaves, remove the tough stems and tear each leaf in half or thirds.
- Wash your kale pieces and place them in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Throw in your favorite flavors/seasonings, and make sure the leaves are well coated.
- Lay the leaves on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the leaves in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 10–15 minutes or until they are crispy. After a few minutes, you can stir gently and bake a little longer; what you want is the leaves to become crispy and very slightly golden brown. If they are not getting crispy for some reason, you can return them to the oven at a lower temperature or when the oven is off but still warm. The lower temperature will help draw out moisture and encourage crispiness.
- Enjoy them as a snack or healthy side dish.
Seasoning Ideas to Make Kale Chips
There are many different kale chip brands and flavors that you can choose from in the market. You may have tried before spicy kale chips, sea salt kale chips, jalapeno kale chips, and there’s also a favorite, ranch-flavored kale chip. The chips, however, can also be made at home with your very own flavors. Some seasoning ideas for your homemade chips are:
- Hot sauce
- Garlic powder
- Maple syrup
- Black pepper
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
How to Store Kale Chips
Your homemade kale chips will most likely be eaten fresh, but you can certainly save them for a later time if you have a leftover.
To maintain the crispiness, you want to allow them to cool completely. Then all you have to do is transfer your chips to an airtight container and keep them at room temperature. You’ll have crispy kale chips for 2-3 days.
Kale Chips are a healthy snack, which you can make in a few minutes.
- 1/2 bunch kale leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
- (Seasoning can be of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (107 C). Use convection bake if you have it to speed cooking time and help chips crisp up even more.
- Rinse and thoroughly dry kale, then tear it into small pieces and discard any large stems.
- Add to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil and seasonings of choice. Toss thoroughly to combine, using hands to distribute the oil and seasonings evenly.
- Spread the kale over 2 large baking sheets (use fewer or more if adjusting batch size), ensuring the kale touches as little as possible to help them crisp while baking.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn the pans around and lightly toss/stir kale to ensure even baking. Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until kale is crispy.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Enjoy immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1010mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g
Kale Chips Nutrition Facts
General brands of kale chips provide the following nutrition facts