The Step You're Missing For Ultra-Crispy Baked Kale Chips

There's good reason to find creative ways to add kale to your diet. This hearty green contains vitamins K and C, potassium, iron, and many other nutrients. Kale has a bold earthy flavor that is easily incorporated into your daily repertoire of preferred foods. While there's nothing wrong with your usual kale detox salad, this cruciferous veggie is one leafy green that can withstand a bit of heat. 

Kale chips reign supreme when you're in the mood for a convenient and nutritious snack with a rewarding texture. Kale is the perfect leafy green to transform into a crunchy chip, as it maintains its hearty structure in the oven. To make sure they turn out nice and crisp, when following your favorite kale chip recipe, avoid eating them straight from the oven. As it turns out, allowing kale chips to cool for a few minutes post-baking allows them to develop an extra crunch. Next to baking kale chips at the right temperature, a forced rest prolongs cooking time without the risk of burning this healthy yet crave-worthy snack.

Allowing kale chips to rest post-bake guarantees a texture upgrade

If you're used to making easy-baked kale chips, you may have already perfected your process. Next to removing stems, washing leaves, and adequately seasoning this dark green veggie, you're ready to bake. Yet, you may have overlooked the brief cooling period responsible for elevating kale chips to an ultra-crispy texture.

Once kale chips firm up and retain a slightly darker hue in some parts, remove them from the oven and allow them to sit untouched for three to five minutes. As this nutritious snack cools and dries, your freshly baked kale leaves become more solid. For a comparable example, think about cookies; to avoid overbaking, these delectable treats are removed from the oven when their texture is still soft. Hot cookies continue to bake as they cool. This same explanation can be applied to kale chips.

Kale chips are also easy to overcook, so keeping a close eye on them in the oven is crucial. While you may be inclined to bake kale chips at high heat to speed up the cooking process, 300 degrees Fahrenheit is best.

More ways to ensure crispy baked kale chips

Whether you're making spiced Tuscan kale chips or keeping the seasoning simple, there are a few additional ways to make baked kale chips with a desirable consistency. For starters, when washing kale before baking, take special care to remove all excess moisture. Next to using layers of paper towels for flatter varieties like Lacinato, a salad spinner helps remove hidden water droplets in portions of curly kale.

Before roasting, add oil to your kale, working this ingredient in lightly with your hands. Make sure to start with a small amount and add additional oil if necessary. Too much oil and excessive handling can lead to soggy kale chips. Once you're ready to bake, avoid piling your kale pieces on top of one another. This creates an unevenly baked snack, resulting in raw and potentially burnt pieces. Line baking sheets with a uniform layer of kale and bake as instructed.

When baking, check on kale regularly. If you have larger leaves that range in fullness, flip halfway through the suggested baking time. You can also turn your baking sheet every few minutes for even exposure. To keep your freshly baked kale chips nice and crunchy, beyond giving them a much-needed rest fresh out of the oven, once cooled, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.