My love for my air fryer comes in waves. I guess it’s like anything. You use it a ton and then you forget about it for a while and then one day you brush the dust off and use it again and you’re like “Why did I ever stop?!” I’m definitely in a period of love for the air fryer and I’ve been using it for things like brussel sprouts and chicken wings! I’ve made air fried kale chips in the past but I thought it was time I get the recipe up on the blog for ya!
For Whole30 purposes, store bought chips are out for the program but making your own chips is acceptable. I most often used air fried kale chips as an addition to meals for something crunchy. Sometimes I used it as a snack but since Whole30 recommends minimizing snacking, I tried to keep that to a minimum. But in my book, air fried kale chips is preferable to shoving some potato chips in my mouth so I made small allowances when I needed to.
The first thing I do is make sure all the hard middle pieces are removed. Those spiny bits never get as crispy and it just works better texture wise to leave them out. Once I do that, then I prep everything for the air fryer. It’s such an easy thing to throw together and you can season with something basic like salt & pepper or you can add some chili powder for spice as I did here. I’ve also added nutritional yeast and it gives it a nice cheesy flavor. Pro Tip: go easy on the salt and pepper! The first time I made these I put the usual amount of salt I would for any other meal and as the kale shriveled up and got crispy, all that salt really took hold. So when I took them out of the air fryer to taste, it was like eating a tablespoon of salt and I had to trash it. Put way less than you think you need and then you can always add more if you want.
One thing to note about air frying kale chips is you have to keep an eye on them once you start. The kale is pretty weightless once it starts to get crispy so with the hot air swirling around the kale gets thrown around near the vent and can get stuck. I just avoid this by pulling out the basket every couple minutes and shaking. When I first made these I didn’t realize that’s what was happening so my smoke alarm was going off like crazy and I was sitting there like “What is going on?!” So word to the wise, just keep an eye on it.
- 1 large bunch kale (I grabbed a couple large handfuls from a pre-chopped bag)
- Avocado oil spray (or oil spray of your choice)
- Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
- Rip kale into small pieces and remove hard spines
- Add kale to air fryer, spray with oil and shake basket to coat
- Add chili powder, salt and pepper. I like to do this while the kale is "wet" from the oil so it sticks.
- "Fry" kale at 375 degrees for about 6-7 minutes or until desired texture is reached. *Remember to shake basket every couple minutes to avoid kale getting stuck in the vent)
- Add to a plate and season with more chili powder if desired.