ERIN HARNER: So we're going to start with the zesty kale chips today. My name is Erin Harner. And I'm a wellness nutritionist and registered dietitian Cornell Wellness.
So the first thing we're going to do with our kale chips is we're going to grab our big bunch of kale. Now, really, I prefer to use something called dino kale or black kale. It has a flat leaf. But you get what you can get. And they weren't available at the store that I was shopping at. So I'm using curly kale, or typical green kale.
So what we're going to do the green kale, I'm just going to set it aside. To get the stalks off-- we don't want to eat these stalks because they're very fibrous and very chewy-- so you're just going to take your hand, run it along, and just pop it right off like that. Sometimes the whole thing doesn't come off, and you can just pull it a little bit more. You can also cut the leaves off, but this is a much, much, much faster method. I'm just going to tear them off like that.
So for kale chips-- it's a really fun way to eat kale. It's a salty, savory snack that can replace potato chips or crackers. And it's loaded with nutrition, absolutely loaded. If you look at the nutrition information down on your sheet, you'll see that kale has over 200% of the daily values for vitamin A and also 150% or more than 150% of your daily values for vitamin C. So it's incredibly nutrient-dense. It's also very high in minerals like calcium and iron, so a great source of nutrition.
And you can make them taste pretty good by baking them in the oven. And this is just one way to make kale.
So now what we're going to do is I'm going to take a salad spinner. So you can use a strainer. You can use a large bowl of water to cook your kale chips. But I'm going to use a salad spinner today just to show you how to get the kale really, really dry.
And if you've ever made kale chips before, being really dry is important. Because if they're not completely dry, they'll get soggy. So essentially, your kale will steam in the oven instead of get crispy. So as you can see, I'm just taking the kale and just breaking it into bite-sized pieces. If you would prefer to cut it, that's totally fine, too.
Another fun fact about kale is it's very high in sulforaphane, which is a sulfur compound that's extremely, extremely potent for anti-cancer effects. So if cancer is a concern, eating more leafy greens, especially kale, is a great way to help ward it off, both to prevent and to help halt the progression.
So as you can see, I'm just trying it into little tiny pieces, about bite-sized, doesn't have to be perfect. We'll get it all in our spinner. If you don't have a salad spinner, you can also easily do this with a paper towel. It will just use a little bit more paper towels and take a little bit longer.
All right. So there's our kale in our strainer. So the nice thing about a salad spinner is it has a strainer as part of the contraption. So we're just going to mix it up in here. You can see I'm losing some. And that's OK.
So we'll give it a shake. We'll bring it back over here. We'll put it in our spinner. And we'll spin it dry. And we'll set our stalks over here.
I'm just going to flip my cutting board so it's clean since we put the kale before it was washed on the cutting board. All right. So when I take the kale out, you'll see that all the water is in the bottom. So that's the one nice thing about a salad spinner is that it really does a nice job of getting the water out.
So now what we're going to do is just put the kale in the bowl and set it aside. And we're going to make our toppings. And you'll see in your recipe handout that there is many different ways to make chips, many, many different ways.
One of my favorite ways is to make them zesty and interesting. Some people like kale chips very plain. So you can make kale chips with just a little salt and pepper and some olive oil. So like one tablespoon of olive oil, maybe half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of salt. And you can do the exact same thing and make really delicious kale chips. They're just not going to be as flavorful.
All right. We'll set these things aside. So what we're going to do for our kale chips today is we're going to blend some things in a small bowl. So let me get our bowl here.
And we're going to start with two tablespoons of tahini. So if you're not familiar with tahini, tahini is just sesame seed paste. So it's just ground-up sesame seeds. And it's really rich. Many people know of tahini from hummus. So tahini is one of the key ingredients in hummus. It also has a really nice savory flavor, kind of like a nut butter, like a peanut butter or cashew butter or an almond butter. So we're going to put our tahini in the bowl.
SPEAKER 1: I have a question. So after you open it and put it in the fridge, how long does it stay?
ERIN HARNER: The tahini?
SPEAKER 1: Yeah.
ERIN HARNER: So the question was how long will the tahini keep in the fridge? It'll keep for quite a long time. Pay attention to what's written on the bottle. It needs to be refrigerated after it's open. It's been blended, so it will go rancid. It is a seed pretty high in good quality oils. So just keep it in the fridge. It will last quite a long time.
And we're going to do a little over a teaspoon of olive oil. And I am using a refined olive oil versus extra virgin olive oil just because I'm going to be cooking it in the oven. Extra virgin olive oil is much better at low temperatures. Higher temperatures, we like to use a refined oil of some kind just because it won't go rancid at high temperatures. Although we are going to use a 300-degree heat for the oven for this recipe, so it's not too high. It should be fine if you wanted to using extra virgin olive oil.
All right. So now we're just going to give this a stir. So we just got out olive oil and our tahini mixture. And I'm going add our spices. So to this, I'm going to add half a teaspoon of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. And they're all shown here. And a little bit of sea salt as well.
So we're just going to add those and mix it up you. See how there's a bright, bright color? If you like them a little spicier, you can use some sort of hot chili pepper instead of the paprika. Something like cayenne pepper would be really good or a smoked paprika is also delicious.
So now I'm just going to pour the sauce right on top of the kale. And now this is the fun part. You're going to actually get right in there with your hands. And you're going to massage the kale. So if you've ever given someone a massage, you're going to use your muscles and really get in there and give it a massage.
We're going to use this technique as well for the Swiss chard salad to wilt it a little bit. So what this is going to do is it's going to kind of get the sauce over all of the individual pieces of kale. And it's going to wilt it a little bit for us.
All right. You can see how the kale got a lot smaller in the bowl. All right. So that's all we're going to do.
Now we're going to get out our cookie sheets. So our baking sheets have been lined with parchment paper. And that'll keep the kale chips from sticking.
We're going to put about half on each. If you have too much kale-- because the bunch of kale is different. No matter where you get it, what time of year, the size of the bunch of kale is different. So if you find that you have too much kale for one baking sheet or two baking sheets, and the kale's overlapping, just do it again. Or use an extra sheet or use a bigger sheet. You don't want the kale to be overlapping in the pan because it won't cook properly.
All right. So as you can see, I just spread it out on the pan like this. And we're going to put it in the oven. I'm going to take these over to Beth. And Beth will finish spreading those out for me. And if there is any extra so it's overlapping, you can just put them right in that bowl. Thank you so much.
So those kale chips are going to need to bake for about 25 minutes. All right.
SPEAKER 2: Can I ask a question?
ERIN HARNER: Sure.
SPEAKER 2: On the instructions, it talked about rotating the pans. Is that necessary or not?
ERIN HARNER: OK. Yeah, so the question was about rotating the pans in the middle of cooking. It is necessary because the kale chips are very prone to burning. So what you want to do is just turn them 180 degrees and rotate the-- so the top one's going to go on the bottom, the bottom one's going to go on the top. That way, all of the sides get baked evenly if your oven has hot spots. Otherwise, you'll have parts of the tray that are soggy and other parts that are overdone.
So you want to be really-- pay attention to the kale chips when they're cooking, especially for the last five minutes or so. So you don't want them to turn brown because they'll get really bitter. You want them to be sort of perfectly crispy without burning.
And that's also why we're doing a little longer time on a lower temperature. So about 25 minutes at 300 versus some recipes out there will do 15 minutes at 350 or 10 minutes at 400. The lower temperature is going to prevent it from burning and make it nice and crispy.
SPEAKER 3: You have to massage the kale, no matter what you're putting on it, even if you are just putting salt and pepper on it?
ERIN HARNER: Yeah, it helps. You don't have to, but it really helps get the oils in all of the different sort of crevices of the kale. Because it's curly, so there's a lot of little, little spots where it might not get oil on it. And the oil is what makes it really crispy since we got the water off.
And like I said before, if your kale comes out of the oven soggy, either cook it a little bit longer so that it will get a little bit crispier. Or it might have just had too much water on it, in which case the kale has been steaming instead of baking. So that's a common complaint, that my-- why are my kale chips soggy? If they're soggy, just make sure that water is off, just pat them really well with paper towels.
SPEAKER 4: What's the best way to store them so they don't get soft?
ERIN HARNER: Great question. So once they're done baking, you're going to let them sit on the tray for three to five minutes minimum. Like, don't dive in and eat. They look so delicious. Just give them a few minutes because they'll get more crispy as they cool.
And then if you don't eat them right away, store them in a container that's air-tight. And they'll last for a couple weeks. They'll last for quite a while as long as they're completely dry. And if any kale chips come out of the oven and they're a little bit soggy, take off the crispy ones and put the soggy ones back in the oven for a little longer.
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See how easy it is to enjoy crispy kale with a simple twist on this basic recipe. Demo presented by Cornell Wellness staff Erin Harner, RDN.