With more and more people all around the world taking an interest in eating healthier, there are plenty of recipes coming to light of foods that people would normally associate with healthiness being used to create meals and snacks that are traditionally unhealthy.
Doing this can help introduce younger children to the idea of eating their fruits and vegetables in a “better” way, as they will taste like the junk food that your children know and love.
At the same time, it can make eating healthier more enjoyable for adults as well. After all, while junk food is complete junk because it has no sustainable nutrients in it, it is as popular as it is for a good reason, and that is because it can taste extremely good.
By turning healthy foods into something that taste as good as the unhealthy variant, people can make sure that they are getting the nutrients they need in a way that isn’t something that everyone hates.
One of the most common examples of people doing this is by turning various fruits and vegetables into “chips.”
While traditional chips are made with potatoes, which are a relatively healthy vegetable on their own, many people have felt that by turning other fruits and vegetables into chips as well, it can be a better alternative for families that want to be as healthy as possible.
Plus, making chips out of these alternative vegetables tends to be a lot easier for people at home who may not have access to commercial grade equipment.
Out of all the different fruits and vegetables that people use to create alternative chips, one of the most common in the past few years has become kale.
If you have searched for kale and its reputation on the Internet before, then you know for a fact that kale is looked very highly upon in the realm of fruits and vegetables.
If it can be turned into a chip, then more people might express interest in eating it, as it can be salted and seasoned much more easily in this form.
With all of that being said, there are some problems that come with kale chips specifically. Kale chips, unfortunately, have a tendency to become soggy. Nobody wants soggy chips made from any sort of vegetable.
To remedy the soggy kale chip problem, you are first going to have to understand why these chips are prone to becoming soggy in the first place.
Once you have a good understanding of how these chips can become soggy, you may get a better idea of how you can make them a little less susceptible to this and you can also create an environment where your hard-made kale chips can become crispy again, allowing you to indulge in one of your favorite homemade snacks.
Why Do Kale Chips Become Soggy?
By their nature, kale chips are supposed to be a dried variant of kale in a form that tastes and feels similar to the way that chips feel when you eat them. If your kale chips are coming out of the oven wilted and soggy, then there is something going wrong in the baking process.
The way that most kale chips are made, you will typically take the leaves of kale and dry them out as much as you can to be effective.
From here, you add a slight amount of oil to the leaves and season the chips as you wish, massaging the oil and seasoning into the leaves of the kale and putting all of it into the oven for barely more than 10 minutes at a time.
In the best conditions, doing this leaves absolutely no room for the kale chips to develop moisture. In fact, the added oil is really only there to ensure that your kale chips become crispy and delicious in the oven, rather than burn to a crisp that you can no longer enjoy.
If your kale chips are coming out soggy, then a crucial step has been missed along the way: removing the moisture.
Naturally, if the kale leaves have too much moisture on them, then this is going to translate into the leaves being soggy, even when you take them out of the oven.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t an “easy” way to physically remove the moisture from the kale chips, especially now that they have been through the baking process and put into the oven, you can’t remove the water directly because of the oil.
Instead, you are going to have to fix the problem with one solution that is incredibly easy.
If you cannot take the moisture out of the kale leaves on your own, then you will simply want to stick the kale back into the oven so that it can cook a little bit more, drawing whatever residual moisture might be in the leaves out so that you can have your healthy chips as soon as you want them.
You will want to bake the kale chips in five-minute increments until they have reached the crispiness that you want from them.
Keep in mind that if you take too long in doing this, you may end up burning or overcooking the chips, which is a problem that cannot be fixed nearly as easily as putting the chips in the oven again.
Because of this, you are going to want to place a lot of importance on making sure that you remove as much moisture from the kale leaves as you can before you start the cooking process.
This is going to be the easiest way for you to make sure that you won’t struggle with soggy or wilted kale leaves when you finally take them out of the oven.
The easiest way for you to dry off your kale leaves once you have properly cleaned them is to use paper towels to gently wipe them down. You can try your best to wipe the kale leaves down roughly, but if you are too rough in drying off your leaves, you can end up tearing them, leaving you with much smaller kale chips than you could want.
If you have one, you can also make use of a salad spinner to achieve the same effect.
Another way that you can help your kale chips become a little bit crispier is to allow them to cool down before you do anything with them. As with the nature of most fruits and vegetables, even if all the moisture is cooked away in the process, there is still enough moisture in these kale chips that this will happen.
When the chips are cooked, the water content also begins to heat up, and since the water inside of the kale will cool down slower than the air around it, the kale will continue to cook for a few minutes after you have taken it out of the oven.
By not touching the kale for approximately three minutes after you have taken it out of the oven, you can ensure that you are going to get as much crispiness as possible out of them.
While it may feel as if you are waiting forever for your kale chips to finish cooling, the result of the extra crispiness will be well worth it in the end, as you won’t have to think twice about eating as many kale chips as you can.
Keeping the Kale Crisp
Now that you have your crispy kale chips out of the oven, you may be wondering what exactly you are supposed to do with them to ensure that they retain their crispness.
For instance, some people may believe that, since kale chips are originally kale leaves that are stored in the fridge, your kale chips should subsequently be stored in the fridge as well.
This is one of the worst choices that you can make for your kale chips and doing this will result in your kale quickly becoming moist and soggy, even if you put it in the freezer.
Think about it. The fridge, especially the crisper drawer, is meant to help preserve fruits and vegetables and this includes ensuring that those fruits and vegetables do not dry out while they are in the fridge.
If the fridge is supposed to facilitate an environment where fruits and vegetables can thrive, then you are not going to want to store your chips there.
Assuming that you do not plan on eating all of your kale chips at once, you are going to want to make sure that you store them in an airtight container.
Doing this prevents any outside humidity and moisture from reaching the chips, ensuring that they retain the amount of crispness that they had when you first took them out of the oven after you made them.
You can typically keep your kale chips in this type of airtight container for about a week or so, depending on the overall humidity of the house. The more humid your house is, the quicker you will need to eat your kale chips.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.