Kale: The Story Behind the Trendiest Green

Five years ago, kale wasn't on anyone's culinary radar. Now, it's ubiquitous.

There’s more to greens than sautéed spinach. This month, we’ve partnered with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and her favorite recipes using greens.

From "massaged" kale salads to kale smoothies and beyond, kale is the cruciferous vegetable of choice these days. The kale rage started over two years ago now, and is only barely calming down. There is always a new “health food” pop star - there was the baby spinach year, the blueberry phase, and now, it’s kale. Sure, there is chatter of people being tired of seeing it, but there are worse things to be over-used.

Kale is easy to grow, which makes it readily available and affordable — so it’s an excellent produce item to have become so popular. It is an incredibly nutrient-dense green, and packs more vitamins per bite than say, romaine. What I have found is that making sure your kale is completely stemmed and chopped well makes it versatile to use just about anywhere.

There are plenty of out-of-the box ideas for kale, including feathery kale slaws with thinly sliced lacinato kale, parmesan, pine nuts and a lemony dressing; sautéed kale in scrambled eggs; kale mixed into turkey meatballs; blended kale in a smoothie, and the list goes on.

But for a simpler approach to kale, dress kale up like a chip with some salt and seasonings. Just bake up the leaves until crisp, like we have here.

This recipe uses Tuscan/lacinato kale but a regular, curly kale would be great as well. These chips are seasoned with garlic, a bit of smoky paprika and chili powder, but there are so many directions you can take them. Try sesame oil, garlic powder and chili flakes or some fresh ground pepper and finely grated parmesan. Or, for a vegan adaptation, there is an ingredient called nutritional yeast, easily found online or a health food store, which actually lends a moderate cheesy flavor to the chips while not containing any dairy. You want to avoid adding other liquids to the chips before baking, like balsamic or soy, as they weigh down the kale and make it steam in the oven as opposed to dry out and crisp. Because bunches of kale will vary in size, keep in mind the oil should coat well, touching every surface, but not overly so.

Why not bake a batch yourself? These crispy chips may change up your snacking habit for the better.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: For consistent, all-over crispy kale chips, set your Electrolux wall oven to Convection Bake.

Kale Chips

"A handful of recipes online will show you varying baking temperatures when it comes to kale chips. I have found that too low and they take forever, and too high and they don’t cook evenly – 300 degrees feels just right." –  Sara

Servings: 2



1/2 bunch Tuscan (lacinato) kale, about 7 leaves

1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional



Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the kale and dry completely. The kale needs to be extra dry to not steam. Cut away the tough stem with a paring knife and rip the kale into large pieces.

On the baking sheet, toss the kale leaves with the olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika and chili powder and massage it into the leaves until evenly coated. Spread the leaves out in an even layer, using a second baking sheet if necessary. Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.

Bake the kale on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, rotate the sheet and bake them for another 15 minutes until dry and crisp. Remove the baking sheet and let the kale sit for 3-5 minutes to cool and crisp up.

The kale chips may be kept for one day in an airtight container.

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