If you wondered whether or not I was finished with the Kids Cooking Camp posts, the answer is ‘absolutely not.’ I admit that we weren’t able to complete a full week of cooking due to a sudden family emergency, but I know that some of you have expressed an interest in learning more about how I am teaching my kids to cook. And now that the one room challenge is over, I can get back to sharing all the recipes, resources, and tips that helped make our kids cooking camp a success.
So far, I’ve shared the first two recipes that my then 5-year-old mostly cooked by herself: Slow Cooker Applesauce and Basic Banana Bread. On our third day of Cooking Camp, we ventured out and went to a local farm and farmstand. There we got to see some of the crops growing and T got to browse through all sorts of produce.
This was one of my favorite parts of our week, and one we both want to do again this summer. There’s something special about showing children where food comes from. We’re lucky to live in a very agriculturally rich part of the state. There are several farms within easy driving distance. Seeing crops and livestock grown on a farm provides a different perspective than even the little vegetable and herb garden we keep in our backyard. It’s also a wonderful way to encourage children to try something different. On this day, after plenty of browsing, T decided that she wanted to bring home a head of kale, and after much discussion, we decided to turn it into a delicious batch of crispy kale chips.
Crispy Kale Chips
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 head of Kale
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
- Thoroughly wash and dry the kale. (Kids love to use salad spinners, but I prefer sandwiching the individual leaves between paper towels)
- Remove the tough ribs from the kale leaves and tear the leaves into pieces, approximately the size of the palm of your child’s hand. Place torn leaves in a large bowl.
- When all the leaves are in the bowl, add olive oil 1/2 tablespoon at a time, gently tossing to ensure that the leaves are fully covered, but not too damp.
- Sprinkle generously with sea salt and gently toss again.
- Spread kale leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning leaves over after 10 minutes.
- When chips are crispy, remove from oven and let cool before eating.
Tips for Making Kale Chips:
- Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Kids love to use salad spinners, though I prefer gently pressing the leaves between sheets of paper towels.
- This is one of the few recipes where I don’t recommend lining your baking sheet with parchment or foil. Using a liner will trap any excess moisture between the leaves, resulting in a hot pile of mush instead of crispy kale chips.
- A single head of kale will probably take 3 or 4 baking sheets/rotations in the oven. Don’t be tempted to pile the leaves high in order to save time. Crowding the leaves will just cause them to steam, and they won’t get crispy.
- Make sure you use a good quality salt on your kale chips. We used pink Himalayan sea salt, but ground Kosher salt would work well too.
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