BBQ Kale Chips


In one of my other posts, I explain how to make Regular Baked Kale Chips.  With some seasoning and a secret ingredient, we will turn those kale chips into BBQ kale chips!  First, let's see what we are actually eating:
Kale is a great source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, K and C and measures very low on the glycemic index scale (about a 3 out a scale from 0 to 250).  But isn't kale those plants that the lady across the street has planted in her yard during the fall?  For the most part, yes.  There are many varieties of kale:


(the kind in your neighbor's yard during the fall)


(the one on the right)

The kale that I use for chips is of the curly variety. This type of Kale is crisp to begin with and therefore bakes really well on high heat for a short amount of time.  Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of times in which I have burned kale in the oven, because I over cooked it for 1 minutes.  But for the most part, the curly variety can hold up in the oven. 
So what are some health benefits to eating this cabbage from my neighbors yard?  Kale contains tons of vitamin K that is necessary for normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.   Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw (WebMD).  I would NOT recommend eating kale raw. So, if you are tired of eating spinach, collard greens and cheese, eat some kale!
Let's get to it!
Buy two bunches of kale from the curly variety.  I used Foxy Organic red and green kale bunches.
Unravel the kale from the twist ties and wash thoroughly, especially if you buy organic.  There were a few times in which I did not wash the kale completely and ended up eating a few bits of dirt/sand.  NOT VERY YUMMY!  If you have a salad spinner those work great for washing and drying kale!
Place the middle piece of the salad spinner in the sink and dump the kale into it.
Rinse with cool water.  Make sure you mix the kale around and really rinse it well.
As you can see by this picture below, the kale has a stem running throughout the entire leaf. 
Hold the bottom end of the stem with one hand and peel the kale from the top with a downward motion (like you are peeling a banana) towards the bottom.  The kale should then break off into smaller pieces.  Throw the stems away, or put in your Rachel Ray garbage bowl!
Add those back into the middle piece of the salad spinner and give them a whirl so that all the pieces of kale are as dry as they can be.
If you only want to bake half of the recipe, you can store the kale in one of these lettuce storage containers.  Put a little water in the bottom of the storage container, make sure the vent dial is open and store in the fridge.  When I store kale, it will last for a week in the fridge without wilting in this container.  When I have store kale in a zip top bag or the regular produce bag from the store, the kale gets soggy and therefore just ends up in the trash (skips the garbage bowl!).  You don't want to risk any type of foodborne illness by eating bad veggies.  That is the WORST!
Preheat the oven to 400
Take two baking sheets and spread the kale evenly onto the sheets.  Make sure that each piece of kale touches the baking sheet and that pieces are not piled on top of other kale pieces (those pieces tend to get soggy while baking).
Here are the spices that you are going to need.  I say about in front of each measurement, because all I do is shake the spices about 12 inches above each baking sheet and eyeball it.  But for those of you that do better with measurements, here ya go!:
 1) About 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2) About 2 tablespoons of Kosher Salt
3) About 2 tablespoons of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
4) About 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
5) About 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
6) About 1 teaspoon Onion Powder (not pictured)
7) About 1 teaspoon cumin
8) About 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
9) A Sprinkle of Sugar (this is the secret ingredient that gives the kale the BBQ flavor)
Drizzle the EVOO over the kale on both baking sheets.
Massage the oil into the kale leaves, so that each piece is saturated and glistening with oil.
Now, sprinkle the spices over the kale pieces and massage the spices into the leaves just like you did with the oil.
Place baking sheets in oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 
I find that 9 minutes with my oven is PERECT.  Keep an eye on the kale.  If you smell something burning, it's going to be extra crispy!
When you take them out of the oven you will notice that the pieces have shrunk about 50%.  Take your Rachel Ray turner and move the kale around on the baking sheets to gather up some of the oil and spices that are on the baking sheet. Then move them into a pile.

Now, place them into a bowl and ENJOY!

Funny story: Dear Husband was home from work one day watching Baby D.  The night before, I had made these BBQ kale chips for this post.  Well, I was eating them while working on the computer and a few pieces happened to end up on the floor.  The next day, Dear Husband said he heard crunching by the dinning room table.  Turns out, Baby D found the pieces of kale chips that I dropped on the floor and was nomming away! Baby D loves kale chips, too!



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