Are Kale Chips a Healthy Snack?

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

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
2-minute read

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

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.