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Are Kale Chips a Healthy Snack?

Nutrition Diva explains the effects of oven-roasting on kale and shares her own recipe.

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
March 22, 2012

Q. Are Kale Chips as nutritious as fresh kale? I make my own kale chips at home, but I wonder if roasting them in the oven burns away some of their benefits?

A. Oven-roasting won’t affect the vitamin K in kale—which is good for your bones and heart.  On the other hand, you’ll lose some of the beta-carotene and vitamin C. But kale is so high in these vitamins to start out with that it’s still a good source after it’s been cooked. More importantly, you’re likely to eat more kale when it’s prepared the way you like it best, so roast away!  

Related Content: How Cooking Affects Nutrients

Nutrition Diva Recipe: Roasted Kale Chips

Roasting kale to make crisp, guilt-free “chips” is easy—but there are a couple of tricks. Follow my instructions exactly to ensure success.

  1. Wash raw kale and tear into bite size pieces. Discard any thick stems and ribs.Very Important: Dry kale thoroughly on paper towels before continuing.

  2. Gently toss the torn kale with a tiny bit of olive oil or use a spray bottle.

  3. Spread kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees F. until crisp (5 to 10 minutes).

Very Important: Do not leave the kitchen! It only takes about ten seconds to go from crisp, bright green kale chips to charred cinders, so keep a very close eye on things. (If your oven runs hot, set it for 325 degrees.)

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Kale Chips image courtesy of Shutterstock

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