When I’m looking for a satisfying snack, kale chips have become one of my best options.
I remember when kale chips first showed up. I didn’t think they’d be all that great, but I quickly found out I was wrong.
Not only do these snacks have a satisfying crunch, they’re low in calories and high in nutrients to make them a guilt-free pleasure
Are Kale Chips Healthy?
The simple answer to this question is yes. Kale is a nutrient-packed food.
Kale is a rich source of fiber and also contains essential nutrients such as calcium, Vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
You’ll also find some lesser-known nutrients in kale such as thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
However, the caveat to this is that many of the kale chips that you purchase are high in fat and salt.
The reason for this is that the manufacturers of kale chips often add these additional ingredients.
Kale chips in general are just as healthy as eating kale in a salad.
They can also be a good idea for people who may not like kale in its raw farm.
However, it may be best to purchase kale chips that are homemade or don’t have much added fat or sodium.
Kale Chip Nutrition
The good news for anyone who doesn’t like kale raw but wants to enjoy its benefits is that the chips are minimally processed.
You simply dry out the leaves in order to make the chips and add your preferred seasoning.
Kale chips have most of the nutrients of kale in its raw form.
For macronutrient content, kale chips contain about three grams of protein per serving.
This is not a significant amount but does contribute to your protein intake. Each helping of chips is also low in carbohydrates and fat.
The only fat that will make the fat content significant is if you add fat during the process such as oil used to help seasonings stick.
Overall, the content will stay fairly low.
The micronutrient content of kale chips is significant and worth noting.
Each serving contains a moderate amount of iron, potassium, and Vitamin A. These are essential nutrients that will support health and wellness.
Kale chips also contain calcium, magnesium, Vitamins C and K, and phosphorus.
While also essential, these nutrients are not significant in kale chips. However, the normal sodium in kale chips is just 43 milligrams per serving although it will be more if added.
Kale Chips & Seasoning Ideas
If you want to make your own kale chips, seasoning them makes a big difference.
Salt is always an option but kale is fairly bland on its own and works well if you spice up the seasonings.
What exactly can you use to season kale? The sky’s the limit but you may want to try some of these seasoning mixes.
Mix together 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill, dried chives, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Mix with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper each. With the kale, you can lightly spray with oil and sprinkle this seasoning on for a cool ranch flavor.
Mix 1 Tbs of taco seasoning with 1 Tbs nutritional yeast. You’ll get a kick with this option!
Mix 1 Tbs of shredded coconut with 1/2 tsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp salt. You’ll get the salty/sweet and spicy combination that you crave.
Mix 2 Tbs nutritional yeast with 1/4 tsp of each seasoning: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, and salt.
You’ll get a flashback to one of your favorite chip flavors!
Kale Chips in an Oven vs Dehydrator: Which Is Best?
If you look for recipes for dried kale chips, then you probably notice there are two main ways to make them: oven and dehydrator.
The primary difference between both methods is the heat provision.
In an oven, you’re generally going to cook at higher temperatures. In contrast, a dehydrator tends to use a lower temperature.
Dehydrators are designed to dry foods and will cook evenly with good airflow and temperature control.
They don’t require much supervision and are fairly energy efficient.
Although kale chips largely retain their nutrients, dehydrators may help to keep more of the nutrients present than baking.
In the oven, you may have difficulty keeping the temperature at the desired setting.
Most ovens don’t have a circulating fan and may not be as energy efficient. You’ll also need to have more supervision of an oven which isn’t desirable for some.
While ultimately, the method you use depends on what you actually have on hand, you may want to consider your dehydrator as the better option if available.
>>> READ NEXT: Step-by-Step Guide to Dehydrating Kale
Now on to the delicious recipes…
If you’re looking for some of the best kale chip recipes out there, these are some of my favorite.
Giving you a variety of options, you can choose your favorites or experiment with new flavors or cooking methods.
My Favorite Kale Chip Recipes
Not only do all these kale chip ideas have a satisfying crunch, they're low in calories and high in nutrients to make them a guilt-free pleasure!
Garlic Kale Chips in a Dehydrator
If you like garlic flavors, then this one will be one of your favorite. What makes this recipe stand out is that it's simple to make but adds a slight kick.
The cayenne pepper makes the cheese flavor more present in the chips without overpowering this snack food.
This recipe is also fairly simple to make and only takes a few hours to turn fresh kale into fresh-baked chips. Use this recipe as is or increase if you want a larger batch.
Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips (in a Dehydrator)
When you want a snack food that's satisfying and also guilt-free, this is one of my go-to recipes. I love that the recipe is vegan and also contains healthy ingredients like nuts and nutritional yeast.
Since getting adequate amounts of B-vitamins in my diet can be challenging, finding sources of them is hard to find. Nutritional yeast gives you a cheesy flavor while also providing these nutrients.
This recipe is slightly more labor-intensive than other kale chip recipes, but it's well worth the extra work. They're a great snack to have on hand, especially if you have kids.
Parmesan Kale Chips
When I think of good cooking, Ina Garten is one of the first names on my list. That'is probably why I was so excited to try her recipe for parmesan kale chips.
Unlike other recipes which had multiple ingredients and took a long time, this one was one of the simplest. However, that doesn't mean you have to compromise on flavor though.
The chips are great to have for an appetizer or whenever you need a crunchy snack. This simple recipe ensures that you'll have the ingredients needed on hand.
Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
If you love sea salt and vinegar chips, chances are that you'll enjoy this crunchy treat. I used a variety of vinegars in the recipes and each one has a slightly different flavor.
If you want a classic flavor, regular vinegar works best. However, you can also experiment with apple cider or even balsamic vinegar.
Try out a few of your favorites and you'll get some amazing flavor combinations. They're a great alternative to the traditional potato chip version.
30-Minute Kale Chips with Nutritional Yeast
I wanted to make chips that were even more power-packed than the kale on its own. This led me to look at recipes that contained nutritional yeast.
This is a simple ingredient that contains protein in addition to various B-vitamins. The nuts and sunflower seeds in the recipe also make sure that this recipe is as nutrient-dense as possible.
You don't have to sacrifice anything on flavor though. The nutty and cheesy flavors come out and you'll wish you had made more before they're done!
Sun-Dried Kale Chips
Although you can use a dehydrator or an oven to make kale chips, what about the sun? Sun drying is nothing new and many people use it today.
If you're looking for a more eco-friendly method that will require no electricity on your part, then sun drying is the way to go.
I like to use the recipe here to speed up the process as kale can take longer to dry on its own. However, this method is simple and effective. You can even use it for other fruits and vegetables.
I love that it allows you to set up the system and then come back to dried kale chips. Using this method has saved me on both time and energy.
>>> READ NEXT: Try this Salted Spinach Chip Recipe
I’m a foodie that’s slightly obsessed with drying fruits, veggies, beans, and more – especially from my own garden! It started as a hobby but became a “must” when my family fell on hard times, and my dried food stash sustained us. Now I’m always experimenting with different techniques and recipes and sharing them here!