better late than never – chipotle kale chips

kale chips

Perhaps it’s just me – or maybe it’s a wider spread Canadian issue but apparently we haven’t cashed in to the same extent on the kale chip trend which is already practically passé in the US.

Never mind, better late than never.  I ate kale chips for the first time when I was in Vermont last November. They were organic chipotle kale chips – and they were $4 for a tiny but very cute box – which contained all of about 20 kale chips. The ingredients were organic kale, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and chipotle chilli pepper. I had them with a really nice, very cold Australian white wine. And I couldn’t believe how good they were.  I’ve been making them ever since – based on the ingredient list on the package.

The following is my January 2013 Fresh Perspective column from Kingston This Week.

Add Some Spice to Your Resolution

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, nearly half of all adults in North America make New Year’s resolutions. The consistent number one resolution is to lose weight followed closely by resolutions to get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle. The same Journal also says that only 8% of people report success in achieving their resolutions. And perhaps not surprisingly, most resolutions don’t last out the month of January.

Still, I refuse to be cynical. I think we should bother with resolutions. I love the idea that a new year brings with it a perfect opportunity to turn the page and start a new chapter. Resolutions are about reflecting on the past and making changes for the better moving forward.

My New Year’s resolution came from a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt who amongst a million other wise things, once said, “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” So in 2013, I resolve to do the things I thought I could not do, whatever those things may be. I’ve spent a great portion of my life thinking there were things I could not do and now I’m about to give some of those things a whirl.

But if your resolution includes losing weight, getting fit, and leading a healthier lifestyle – bravo! These are incredibly important resolutions and they are ongoing. So long as you keep trying – and moving forward with intention – there is no such thing as failure.

In order to applaud all the people who made resolutions concerning fitness, this month’s recipe is for kale chips – an incredibly low-calorie, healthy snack choice. Kale is an amazing vegetable. It is easy to grow, freezes well, is frost tolerant, loaded with nutrients and fibre, and full of antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. If you can find it, it’s worth buying organic kale – which along with lettuce, spinach and chard are often listed in the “dirty dozen” lists – those products with high levels of pesticide residues.

The chipotle chilli pepper powder called for in this recipe can be found in major grocery stores, and most health food and bulk stores. It’s slightly expensive but a little goes a long way and the flavour is fantastic.

Even if you didn’t make a resolution – do try these chips. They are easy, healthy, delicious, and have a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth quality

Chipotle Kale Chips

I large bunch of kale, washed, dried thoroughly, and chopped into chip-sized pieces – get rid of thick stalk though the bit at the top will be fine (I like curly leaf kale though I’ve also used flat leaf Tuscan kale)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp of chipotle chilli pepper powder

Preheat over to 350°F and lightly grease two large baking sheets.

Toss the well-dried kale pieces, salt, olive oil, and chipotle powder together in a large bowl.

Spread the kale chips on the baking sheets.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the chips are just starting to brown or feel dry to the touch. Watch them carefully. Mine took the full 12 minutes but it will depend on your oven temperature. They aren’t very good burned – trust me. I like them still green but nice and crispy.

Allow to cool completely before eating.


10 thoughts on “better late than never – chipotle kale chips

  1. I also like the curly kale, do you use just the leaves, do you remove from the stalk, I have never made kale chips nor ever tasted them, but I want to. I just bought 3 big heads of kale and I see these chips in my future for snacking. The stalk seems tough so I am guessing you don’t use it.

    1. that’s a very good point and I’ll adjust my post – thanks! Yes – I cut the stalks off and just use the leaves, although I leave the fine stalk towards the top in tact. I actually love these chips – the first couple I was not sure – but they’re strangely addictive and really nice with a glass of white! Don’t overcook them – I take them out as soon as they seem crispy but not yet brown. They really do melt in your mouth.

  2. Would love to try these as I especially like kale. Yet, the store nearby that used to sell it have stopped stocking it – darn! Really irks me when stores do that. I guess not enough people bought it.

    1. Kale is pretty widely available here – it’s such a great hardy green. Perhaps it will show up again in season for you. It’s scarcer in the wintertime here – and obviously comes in from California or some place much warmer than where I am. Minus 22 C the past couple of days!

  3. Healthy, yes, I’m always trying hard. Running if nothing else justifies cake! However, kale chips are great and essentially without consequence and I wouldn’t have thought to put them with my favourite chilli – chipotle, so I will be giving it a try! Thanks, Tracey

    1. Hi Tracey – It has been in the minus 20s Celsius this week in Kingston – so no running here just at the moment and feeling the effects….
      Can you run right the through winter in the Hebrides – wind, rain, sleet… and all?

      1. Not always, althougn it is milder, the wind can be ferocious (and the horizontal needle-like rain as today) and over 40 mph I elect to go to the gym. Bad forecast this weekend, so may mean the dreaded treadmill for me… 😦

  4. I made a kale salad yesterday and this would have been great! So easy and different. Delicious recipe.., love it and am going to attempt it.

    1. Hi Judy – they are surprisingly good – not quite potato chips but of course – not the calories of potato chips either! Nice with drinks before dinner. And as always – thanks for being along for the blog ride. Making your chocolate and cayenne cupcakes later on today! Lindy

      1. They sound so good for Super Bowl!! And one healthy snack in the middle of not so healthy 🙂

        Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

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