Masala Kale Chips

I’ve always been a snacker.  Luckily I don’t have time to watch a lot of television, but when I do it’s guaranteed that there’s a bowl of something in my lap.  Usually that would be a bowl of something crispy and salty, but I’m also a fan of a bowl of sweet.  Or a bowl of chocolaty.  Maybe a bowl of tangy, pungent or fatty as well.  Oh yes, especially a bowl of something fatty.  Fatty is my FAVORITE.  Perhaps watching television isn’t really the big problem here….

When it comes to snacking I have a pretty laissez faire attitude.  If it’s there, I’ll eat it.  If it’s not, I’ll just think about eating it and then eat something else.  Because I know that the ACT of snacking is inevitable for me, the least that I can do is try to stack the deck in favor of healthy snacks.  If I can make healthier snacks that still have a sweet, salty or deep fried feel to them, all the better.

Enter kale chips.

Baked kale chips have been all over the internet lately, from recipe sites to popular food blogs.  The texture and flavor remind me of the dried seaweed sheets that I used to snack on in high school (yeah, I was that kid), but with an earthier twist.  Of course, I couldn’t just leave well enough alone and post yet another recipe for plain salted kale chips, so I’ll give you the kale chips that I made a few weeks back for a girls’ weekend at my place.  You take everything that’s good about thin, crispy kale chips, and enhance them with sweetly spicy and exotic spices. Oh yes, and a hella lot of salt. Because hey, snack food shouldn’t be too tasty.

Masala Kale Chips

Serves 4-6 snackers

  • 2 bunches fresh kale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder *
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • kosher salt to taste (~ 2 tsp)

* Be sure to use garlic powder and not garlic salt.  The salt will start to draw moisture out of the kale too soon and they’ll end up withering and steaming in the oven.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF with your racks set in the middle.

Cut the ribs and thick stems from each leaf of kale.  If you like, tear the kale up into large bite sized pieces (no smaller than the palm of your hand).

Wash the kale and spin it as dry as possible.  You don’t want any excess moisture on the kale when it goes into the oven.

Whisk together the oil and all of the dried spices.

Drizzle the spiced oil over the greens and toss them well to combine.  Every single piece of kale should be dressed lightly with the seasoned oil.

Line 2 or more baking sheets with parchment paper and spread the kale on top, being sure that the leaves are not overlapping or touching.  My oven can only accommodate 2 sheets at a time (sigh) so we had a number of cycles, but used the same parchment paper straight through.

Bake the kale chips in the center of your oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  When the kale chips are brittle and crispy they are done.  Any bending means back insa oven for ye.

Remove the kale chips as they’re ready and immediately sprinkle them with kosher or flaked sea salt before tossing them in a bowl.

By the time that the last chip comes out of the oven, I guarantee that you won’t have half of what you started with.  For an incredibly munch-worthy snack to also be guilt-free is almost more than one could ask for.

By the way, when we say that they’re crunchy?  They’re crunchy. These don’t bend or fold, the little critters snap and break, just like a good chip should.

They may not be pretty, but hot diggity are they ever addictive.  Perhaps it’s because they’re so thin, or maybe it’s the masala spice mixture coming through with a gentle heat, but these crispy snacks are exactly what I want sitting in my lap if I’m lucky enough to come across a Come Dine With Me marathon on TV.  Which, by the way, has just recently started to air new episodes.  So, if you’ll excuse me and my bowl of crispy not-fried snacks, we have a date with the “W” network….

  • http://www.aperfectversionofmyself.wordpress.com Tara

    My friend was picked to be on ‘Come Dine With Me’ but the night they wanted to do it coincided with her wedding, so she had to turn it down.

    True story.

  • Nanco

    Yum – these were so good! I ate a bunch for breakfast until someone (accidentally?) threw out the leftovers that we totally would have eaten…
    Have I mentioned that When in Rome sucks a$$ but these chips made it bearable?

    • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Mike

      There were four. They were slimy.

      Why were they slimy? Because it’s possible that when certain sorority girls had their crazy girl party, they left the kale chips where cats could hop up and lick the salt off of them.

      But it does say that these are popular with everyone in the household, regardless of their gender, age, or species.

  • http://www.journeykitchen.blogspot.com Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    Looks like I’m soon adding another leaf for snack this weekend. Few days back I made Colocasia leaf rolls. They were delicious. DELICIOUS. But they were deep fried and your post just made me feel guilty again. I had way too much. How can I be guilty of what I eat days ago? Can I blame you 🙂

    and Tina I’m so relieved that your Kale chips looks like they actually do after being baked. Where most recipes, the pictures always look as green as they were before they went in for the bake. And that makes me doubt my capabilities (or that I’m cursed and can never make food look good).

    http://journeykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/colocasia-leaf-rolls.html

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Tara – JEALOUSY! Well, that she was selected. Although, really, does luck get any worse than that? Poor dear.

    Nanco – The power that one of us yields to choose disastrously bad movies is pretty profound. However, when all 3 of us are in a room it’s like a maelstrom of badness crackling through the air and compelling the PVR to find THE WORST movies imaginable.

    Kulsum – I know what you mean, and I have no idea how they do it! I suppose that if you lowered the temp to mimic dehydration instead of baking that it would help, however….this is what mine look like, love it or leave it!