Kale chips are becoming more and more popular as people take on new health trends and try to find out new ways to enjoy a greener diet without feeling like they are eating raw vegetables 24/7.
Kale chips are surprisingly easy to make at home, but when it comes to storing them things are not so simple.
This snack is delicious because they have such a wonderful crunch to them, but when making big batches at once – the most efficient way if you snack on them as much as I do – then knowing how to keep the spare ones so that they remain crispy and edible for longer can be a tricky task.
Today I am going to tell you how to store your kale chips so, like me, you can make them in ridiculously large batches and enjoy them for longer than one sitting!
What are Kale Chips?
You might be reading this and wondering what on earth kale chips even are.
Kale chips are pretty much what it says on the package – chips made of kale. Trends have had us making chips out of just about anything lately, but kale chips really do take the lead with not only health benefits and taste, but with efficiency and easiness.
Quick Kale Chips Recipe
Kale chips consist of preheating your oven to around 350F and lining a dish with some parchment paper. Simply cut off the thick stems of your kale and cut the leaves into bite size pieces. Wash the kale thoroughly and then dry it off.
Drizzle the kale with some olive oil and season with some salt and pepper. At this stage you can season with other spices if you want to add a kick of flavor to your chips.
Lay your kale across the baking tray and try and separate them as much as possible so that they all cook evenly. If you are making a big batch this can be tricky. You may need to do a few trays at a time.
Avoid using too much oil. This will stop them from crisping up and the flavor of the oil will overpower the kale.
Bake your chips for around 10 to 15 minutes until they begin to brown at the edges but are not burnt. One this is done, they are ready to enjoy – as easy as that!
You can also leave the chips in the oven whilst it cools down. This helps to prolong the drying period. This means that there is less moisture and they crisp up more – making them more likely to stay crispy whilst you store them.
How to Store Kale Chips
As mentioned, the trickiest part of storing your kale chips is ensuring they stay crispy whilst they are being stored.
Firstly, make sure they are as dried up as possible before packing away. You can follow the steps above and keep them in the oven as it cools down and this will help speed up the drying process.
You can get rid of any excess moisture by dabbing them with some kitchen roll as well. This can also be done before you cook them and any excess water and oil will be absorbed.
You can store the chips in a plastic container. But if this is airtight then it means any small amount of excess moisture will not be able to escape and they will end up soggy.
Alternatively, you can store them in a paper bag at room temperature – much like potato chips. The paper is breathable and will also help absorb moisture, allowing the chips to keep their crunchy texture.
Storing your chips in a paper bag at room temperature should keep them good for about 2 to 3 days.
If you live somewhere humid then the room temperature may cause your chips to last for a less amount of time. This is something to consider depending on where you live.
If you do prefer to use an airtight container, you can do so by adding some rice at the bottom of the container. This will help to absorb any moisture from the air around the kale. You can do the same with kitchen paper. But it may not absorb as much of the moisture. Your chips may go soggy slightly quicker.
How to Store Kale Chips Long Term
If you have made a lot of kale chips and do not plan on using them within 2 to 3 days, your best option is to vacuum pack them.
Vacuum packing removes the oxygen and moisture from the container. Which means any food placed in a vacuum packed parcel will last a lot longer as the chances of bacteria spreading are greatly reduced.
However, vacuum packing kale chips can cause them to get crushed when sucking the air out. So this may not be the best source of storage.
Instead, you can use a vacuum sealant with a compatible storage tub. This will not be as strong and therefore less likely to crush your chips. This will increase the shelf life by up to around 2 weeks though which is great!
You can also purchase an automatic sealing machine or a jar sealant. You simply pop your kale chips in a compatible jar and it vacuums out the air without crushing anything. The lack of oxygen in the jar means that you can keep your kale chips fresh for months.
It is important to remember that once your vacuumed packages are opened you will need to reseal them correctly if you want to continue keeping your kale chips fresh.
Do Kale Chips Need to be Refrigerated?
Considering kale needs to be refrigerated, many people assumed kale chips also need to be. However, unlike most foods, kale chips should not be refrigerated.
Keeping the refrigerator will cause them to go soggy a lot quicker because the cold temperatures of the fridge will impact them. This, combined with the moisture in the air of the refrigerator.
Instead, keep them in a paper bag at room temperature.
If you have seasoned your chips with an ingredient like cheese, however, you should refrigerate these. Any seasonings that need to be refrigerated normally will continue to need this when placed on the chips.
Although this will cause the chips to go soggy, it is much safer than leaving these ingredients out at room temperature. At room temperature, the bacteria on them will grow extremely quickly.
Because of this, it is recommended to season your chips with dry ingredients like herbs and spices. This makes the storage process a lot more simple without risking ruining the chips.
How Long Will Baked Kale Chips Last?
If stored in a paper bag and at room temperature, you are looking at around 2 to 3 days before your chips begin to go bad.
If you decide to take the vacuum packed route, your kale chips will last up to a few months. But this depends on the type of vacuum pack you choose.
Remember you can use an airtight container with some rice to help prolong the kale chips and prevent them from going soggy so quickly.
How Do You Fix Soggy Kale Chips?
If you do find that your kale chips have gone soggy but haven’t yet gone bad, don’t worry too much!
Set your oven to around 300F. Once it has heated up just pop the chips back in, using the same method as when they were first prepared. They should crisp up within about 10 minutes depending on how soggy they are. You may need to pop them in for an extra few minutes.
It is best to only reheat whatever you plan to eat there and then. Reheating them more than once will not have the same effect. It is likely you will need to bin them after the first reheat if you do not end up eating them.
Sealing Your Kale
So, next time you find yourself preparing far too many kale chips, have no fear!
If you plan to eat them within a few days, your best bet is to remove all moisture and pop them in a paper bag. Keep this bag at room temperature. You should be able to snack on them for up to 3 days, much like potato chips!
Alternatively you can vacuum pack them. Depending on your choice of vacuum packer, these can last anywhere between 2 weeks to a few months.
If you do find that your chips become soggy, simply pop them back in the oven to reheat them. They should crisp up if the oven is hot enough. Make sure to only do this once as a second time round will not have the same results.
Kale chips are a wonderful, healthy snack enjoyed by many. They are easy to prepare, and hopefully now they seem easy to store as well!
Kale chips will get soggy if they are stored in the refrigerator or if the moisture has not been removed before they are packed away for storage.
Kale chips are good for you. Although they contain a drizzle of oil, the kale is very nutritious and they are extremely low calorie compared to other types of chip.