You can buy these delicate, high-priced treats — but by the time you get them home they're often in tiny bits. Since they don't travel well, make your own — it's a snap! You can dry kale in the oven or in a dehydrator. A dehydrator takes longer but may dry the chips more evenly. Large older/thicker leaves work well. Because its leaves are relatively flat and tend to dry evenly, 'Lacinato' can be left whole as pictured, without removing the stem. Still, any variety of kale can successfully be made into chips. If you prefer to go gluten-free, use Bragg Liquid Aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce.
Washed kale leaves, to fit baking pan in a single layer
Olive, avocado, walnut or grapeseed oil
Sea or kosher salt
Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce
Step 1: Rub one or both sides of leaves lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt, adding a dash or spray of Bragg's or soy sauce if desired. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Having said this, you can dry the kale leaves completely plain, especially if you think kids might prefer them unadorned, with maybe just a little salt. Experiment with other seasonings — barbecue spice, Spike, prepared rubs or a smidgen of garlic salt.
Step 2: In the oven: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Lay the leaves out whole, or in smaller pieces, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes and check to ensure they're toasting evenly, then continue baking, checking every 5 minutes or so. The leaves should feel overall dry to the touch but should not shatter. If they do, use the bits for these Kale & Cranberry Crisps.
In the dehydrator: To dry kale in a dehydrator, dry as per the usual directions. My dehydrator is very rudimentary with just a small element and no fan, and the kale takes quite a while to dry. Keep checking every hour or so until the kale is adequately dehydrated (as per above).
See more recipes from Sharon Hanna.
Reprinted with permission from Sharon Hanna's The Book of Kale (2012 Harbour Publishing).