Homemade {Toddler Approved} Kale Chips

If you’ve ever wanted your toddler {and the rest of your family} to eat kale, but didn’t know how to prepare it, or got the thumbs down on the way you did prepare it, this is for you.  Not only are kale chips fun to make with munchkins, but if your little ones are anything like Gracen, they’ll munch them up by the bowl full.  I’ve always liked kale, but I must admit, the first time I tried kale chips I was not a fan.  I’m not sure what it was, but I’m so glad I tried them again recently.  For me, the key to delicious kale chips is that they are very crisp (who wants to eat soggy chips?!), not overly oily, and slightly salted.  And eating them when they’re fresh out of the oven increases the deliciousness even more. Here’s how Miss G and I whipped up our batch this morning…

{Scroll to the bottom to see our updated method…  But in the meantime – Baby G – GAH!}

IMG 6288


First, start with a couple of bunches of kale. The fresher, the better.

IMG 6297


Fill your sink with cool water and give the leaves a good washing.

IMG 6303


Rinse your leaves under cool running water, shake them out, and place on a clean towel to dry.

IMG 6305


Place another clean towel on top of the leaves and pat gently to remove excess water.

IMG 6307


Next, remove the stems and chop the leafy parts into chip-sized pieces.

IMG 6308


Although the chopping part is obviously not toddler-friendly, while I did the chopping, Gracen’s job was to collect the soon-to-be chips and place them in a large bowl.  In order to keep her little fingers safe, we stuck with the same rule we always use – no touching anything on the chopping board.  This is something I’ve reinforced since I started cooking with her and she’s very good about waiting for me to move things onto the counter before she touches them.

IMG 6314


Next, drizzle a small amount of oil on the leaves (a little goes a long way). We used grapeseed oil because it’s flavourless, but olive oil works too.

IMG 6316


Mix well.

IMG 6319


With the oil evenly distributed, move about half of your leaves onto a large baking pan (Judging by her heaping pile, G got a little excited).

IMG 6322


Arrange them so that they are in as close to a single layer as possible…

IMG 6320


And grind just a very tiny touch of sea salt on top.

IMG 6324


Do the same thing with the other half of your leaves, and pop both pans into the oven.  Be sure to watch them quite closely and flip them every now and then to ensure an even crispness.

IMG 6325


Voila! Done.  They may not look like the prettiest things, but I promise they’re yummy.

IMG 6329


Serve them on their own as a snack, or in this case, as a side with lunch (smashed avocado and chickpea roll ups).

Homemade {Toddler-Approved} Kale Chips

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Wash, rinse, and dry your kale. Remove stems and chop leafy parts into large chip-sized pieces.  Drizzle kale with oil, sprinkle on salt, and mix well until oil is evenly distributed. Using 2 large baking sheets, arrange leaves so that they are in as close to a single layer as possible.  Bake at 400 degrees, flipping them every now and then.  Remove chips as ready to avoid over-browning. Eat immediately or store at room temperature.


UPDATE:  After years and years of making kale chips at home, a) they’re still a favourite and b) our method has changed just slightly.  First off, we’ve discovered lacinato kale – the kind that has fairly flat leaves {we get it at Nature’s Fare here in Vernon}.  WELL.  Game changer.  It cooks much more evenly which means that you always get the perfect, crisp kale chip.  We also add garlic powder {and sometimes nutritional yeast} because… YUM.  As far as prep goes, we now use a salad spinner (so much faster and easier) and we’ve switched to doing just one bunch of kale at a time which I think helps the chips crisp up better.  With two bunches / pans in the oven at once I was finding that it sometimes got steamy in there, which is not really what you want when making crisp chips.

Here’s our updated recipe {though the first one does still work just fine}…

Crispy Homemade Kale Chips (UPDATED VERSION)

  • 1 bunch of lacinato kale (approximately 10 leaves)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • sprinkling of nutritional yeast (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash your lacinato kale leaves and dry them fully using a salad spinner.  Using a knife, remove the stems and cut each leaf into 4-6 big pieces.  Dump the kale onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner and drizzle the oil on top.  Use your hands to toss the leaves and evenly distribute the oil.  Sprinkle on the garlic powder, sea salt, and nutritional yeast if using, and toss them with your hands once again.  Arrange the kale in a single layer and pop them into the oven for 10 minutes.  When the timer goes, remove the pan, flip each individual chip, and bake for an additional 3 minutes.  

Serve fresh out of the oven or let cool completely and then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.



2 thoughts on “Homemade {Toddler Approved} Kale Chips

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.