Baked Kale Chips, I’m Not Sure How I Feel About You

V: A Vegetable in a New Way

I have been hearing about kale all over the place lately, but have never tried it. So, since it fit into the “V” part of this challenge, I headed to the store the other night and experience it for myself.

Kale is a large, ruffly, green leaf that looks kind of like romaine lettuce. It looks so similar, in fact, that I had a very hard time finding it in the produce section. (I did find a tree frog behind some turnips, however. Ew!) Where romaine is thin and crisp, kale is thick and spongy with a bitter aftertaste. I kind of like it raw though I don’t see myself eating a salad with it as the main component. But, who wants to just nibble on some leaves like a rabbit? I hopped online to find some recipes and come up with Baked Kale Chips (who doesn’t love chips?) from AllRecipes.com. With a prep and cooking time of 10 minutes each, this recipe seemed perfect for a hungry, impatient girl like myself.

First I washed a couple of kale leaves and dried them (though not in a salad spinner like I was supposed to). Then, I ripped the leaves off the stems and into pieces with the help of my 3-year old assistant and put them in a baking pan. (I was supposed to use a non-insulated cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, but I just grabbed what I had closest to me: a baking pan and tin foil. Rules are made to be broken, right?) I drizzled on some olive oil (I just eyeballed it, but it was supposed to be 1 Tbsp) and sprinkled on some sea salt (I eyeballed this as well, but if want to follow the recipe use 1 tsp of seasoned salt). The oven had preheated to its designated 350 degrees, so I popped the tray in the oven and waited for the edges to brown without burning (approx. 10 minutes).

Did I like it? I found that just browning the edges left a lot of the bitter taste in the chips and unless the piece was doused in olive oil and salt, I couldn’t enjoy it. The greener the chip, the more bitter the taste. So, I threw them back into the oven until most of the ships were brown, but not burnt. I enjoyed the chips much, much more this way and with the oil and salt they tasted like real potato chips–they even had a satisfying crunch.

It turns out kale chips are relatively easy to make, so I’ll probably try it again. I need to play with the recipe to get rid of all the bitterness, however. After awhile it just got to be too much for me. So, I guess I give baked kale chips 2 stars. I liked them enough at first, but if I can’t find a way to nix the bitter taste, I’ll just have to do without.

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