Prep time 45 min; cook time 90 min; makes 6-8 servings
Before my cancer, I experimented with various kale chip recipes because I found the kale chips in stores to be too heavy with an emphasis on the “stuff” and not really letting the kale itself have a presence. My experiments turned out okay, but they cooked unevenly much of the time. During radiation treatments I came up with this recipe for Kale chips and they turned out just right–crisp, flavorful, and light.
As I saw my radiologist on Tuesday’s, I wanted to bring something in for her and her staff to show my appreciation and to make the experience more positive for myself. I have found that finding/creating something positive to focus on in a challenging situation helps our brain to imprint these good emotions and memories to counter act the negative ones which are also being imprinted at the same time.
The kale chips were a hit and right away people wanted to know how to make it for themselves! The next week I brought in more and the receptionist remarked that, “I may or may not share these.” This from a woman who had said she didn’t even like kale. And so, Kale Chip Tuesday’s became a thing at my radiologist’s office!
Approximately 6 baking sheets, parchment paper, salad spinner, small mixing bowl, paper towels
2 bunches of Green Curly Kale
4-5 tbs of coconut oil
1 tbs of each: spicy deli mustard, mild white miso paste, honey
Approximately 3 handfuls of almond meal
Set the oven to 200 degrees. My oven is old so temperature and time cooking may vary a bit especially with convection ovens. Wash and remove the kale stems by grabbing the end of the stem with one hand and then in a downward pulling motion, strip the leaves with the other hand in an upward motion.
Use a spinner to dry the kale chips on a first pass then press the kale between two paper towels to remove the rest of the moisture. Tear the kale into 2-5 inch wide pieces (the chips will shrink). Melt 4-5 Tbs of coconut oil in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Massage the oil into the kale thoroughly with your hands to distribute the oil evenly.
Now for the sauce: mix in a small bowl, the mustard, miso paste, and honey. Pour the mixture on top of the Kale. Use another large mixing bowl to transfer the kale from the first into the second as you massage the mixture into the kale leaves.
I use both hands and rub the kale between both palms to ensure that the sauce is evenly distributed. This will help with even baking as the more goop, the longer it takes to bake and crisp up. Make sure none of the kale has excess goop.
Prep the baking sheets with parchment paper. I used to use wax paper but, parchment is so much better because the kale chips won’t stick and they slide off easily, so you get less breakage when you bag the chips.
Sprinkle one handful of almond meal or cashew meal and mix lightly so it goes about two layers down for your first and second tray. Transfer the kale onto the parchment paper so that the kale leaves don’t overlap each other and also unfurl any kale leaves if needed. The kale will flatten better and cook more evenly. Use another handful of almond meal for the next two trays and so on.
My oven only has two levels so, I stack the flatter trays on top of trays that have a high lip. This way I get all six trays in at once!
Bake for 90 minutes. Again ovens vary so you may need to adjust the time to prevent over cooking as the leaves will start to brown. You want to take them out just before they start to brown. Check on them around 70 minutes and then every 10 minutes thereafter when doing this for the first time.
You will be tempted to eat all of them right out of the oven. That is why I make two bunches of kale at a time, so it lasts a bit longer!