Harvest Creations: Kale, Kale, Everywhere – Make Chips!

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Can you find it? Kale in in the braccias patch in my Grow Foods, Not Lawn bed #1.

I’m no longer thinking of myself as an urban farmer, but rather a micro farmer. I mean, it’s a part-time job for me any more, especially during harvest time. I’ll likely post about the difference between an urban farmer and a micro farmer at a later date, but there is Kale to harvest.

Kale, which has seen a renaissance of sorts in many urban areas, is not without its love here in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a great Top Ten list for why people seem to like — rather, love — kale. Why You Should Be Eating Kale. In fact, chefs can’t seem to get enough of it around here and my local pub/grill was looking for some when I happened to be there. Had I had a business license, I could have sold them more than 4 lbs. (Going to have to look into that as my micro farm grows and grows.)

There are many types of Kale, I am growing the Red Russian variety. Yummy.
There are many types of Kale, I am growing the Red Russian variety. Yummy.

So, yes, Kale is good. But, I have three teenagers in the house. Anything green and not wrapped in crinkly plastic or foil is suspect and is immediately dismissed as “gross.” (Amazing to me that teens still use the word gross. At least they aren’t saying that Kale is like being gagged with a spoon.) Funny how when they were younger I would feed them green smoothies and they wouldn’t bitch. Ah, puberty. Changes your taste buds (at least mentally).

Therefore, I wanted to find a way to get them to eat kale and enjoy it. I do sneak it into recipes they have no idea about and sometimes in fresh salad (really glad my kids don’t read my blog here). But, this is the number one way:  Kale Chips. Specifically, kale chips with Siracha Salt. Don’t know about Siracha Salt. Damn, get on it. I found it via one of my favorite cooking blogs: Punk Rock Kitchen. Love her. Love Siracha Salt. So, in order to make this recipe, you’ll have to have some. Like over at the Punk Rock Kitchen, I’m happy to share. And maybe if I get that business license…we’ll see. 😀

Siracha Salt Kale:

Ingredients:  Your favorite kale, enough to cover a cookie sheet, extra virgin olive oil (or whatever, really), siracha salt

Dry the kale like it just hung out in the Mojave Desert, OK?
Dry the kale like it just hung out in the Mojave Desert, OK?

Wash and dry the Kale. I mean, really really dry the kale. I do a vinegar wash (I farm organically, so not to worry about getting rid of pesticides; but, I do this to rid of any possible bacteria) of the kale, and then put it through the salad spinner. Lastly, I dry on paper towels (see photo) while my oven heats up to 300 degrees.

Break the kale leaves up into chip-size pieces. I put the stems in my compost or chop them into one-inch pieces, blanch, and freeze them and put them in stir-fry (another way to hide the nutritious stuff for the kiddos~!).

Spray a cookie pan (with sides so your chips don’t slide around on you) with cooking spray. Lay the leaf-chips flat on cookie tray. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on chips. I have this nifty pump spray bottle that I spray on them, so it’s just a little bit on the leaves. You could even use your cooking spray if you like (hope yours is organic and not filled with GMO canola oil). Then sprinkle the siracha salt on to taste. We like ours spicy. Each batch I’ve made has become a bit more heavy on the Siracha salt. I would suggest doing a light sprinkle to start, you can always add a bit more after they are baked, to the chips in your preferred storage container (I use a Tupperware modular mate)

Cook your kale chips about 20 to 30 minutes depending on how large a batch. They should be crisp, but not burnt. Here’s a photo of some green curly kale chips I exchanged for my Red Russian with a fellow local micro farmer:

Chips should be crispy, but not burnt. Cooking times may vary with your oven.

Let me know if you try this and what your results are. I’m making about one batch a week. You can use any salt or spices you like. I have mojito lime salt I might try next week. You could use Tony Chachere’s. Whatever. Be adventurous. Experiment. Then tell me how your kids love it.

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