Kale Chips to Protect Your Thyroid

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 22, 2010

Several friends have been raving to me lately about kale chips, a delicious new way to enjoy your leafy greens.   Now, I really don’t know if this is new or not in the grand scheme of things;  in fact, I suspect it is not new at all.  There are probably folks reading this post who have been making this recipe for some time!

But, it is new to my friends and it is most certainly new to me, so here I am blogging about the experience!

Making kale chips basically involves breaking up an entire bunch of kale into 2 inch pieces, mixing them with olive oil, vinegar, and salt and then drying them out to a crisp in a warm oven for about 30 minutes.

Why are we even taking the time to make kale chips, you may ask?  Isn’t kale great to eat raw in green smoothies and the like?

Actually, the answer is no, kale is not a good choice for eating raw.  Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, and as such, contains goitgrogens that actively suppress the thyroid gland.  The good news is that a gentle cooking above 212 F /100 C will significantly reduce the goitrogens (source), so you can enjoy your kale with reduced downside risk.   If you already suffer from thyroid disorders, you may choose to avoid cruciferous veggies altogether, and that is, of course, your choice based on your personal situation.

However, in the context of a traditional, iodine rich diet, cooked crucifers like kale are a healthy choice.

I realize that there are folks reading this who will scoff at the recommendation to cook kale. I would suggest to those who are really into the green smoothie fad that blowing out your thyroid is not a great idea. Whatever small amounts of nutrition are lost by the gentle cooking of kale is more than made up for in the additional protection to this delicate, butterfly shaped gland in your neck.

You don’t want to do ANYTHING that messes with your thyroid!   This little guy is very hard to fix once it goes on the blink.   Protect it at all costs!

Kale Chips

I should mention that I was skeptical of this recipe at first, as I really do not like kale at all.  But, I trusted my friends and gave it a go anyway. I must say that after making kale chips, they really are delicious.

Another great thing about this kale chips recipe is that it includes olive oil.   Fat eaten with your veggies increases nutrient absorption considerably.

If any of you have made this kale chips recipe with different herbs and spices, please comment so that all of us can benefit from the variations you have discovered!

Ingredients

1 bunch of organic kale, rinsed well and dried (I used red kale for this recipe)
1 TBL raw apple cider vinegar (sources)
2 TBL extra virgin olive oil (sources)
1/4 tsp sea salt (sources)

Instructions

kale 1Strip leaves from stems in approximately 2 inch pieces.   Rinse and dry thoroughly.

 

 

 

 

kale 2Place kale pieces in a large ziplock bag and pour dressing over them.   Close bag tightly.  Massage dressing into the kale pieces for 1-2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

kale 3Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake at 300F for 20-30 minutes.

kale 4Turn the kale pieces for the last 10 minutes to make sure both sides are thoroughly dried out and crisp.

Yum!    The crunchiness is what makes this recipe, in my opinion.   Kale chips would be an awesome, grain free addition to salads for that bit of crunchiness without any croutons!

 

For those of you that love garlic .. Kelly The Kitchen Kop posted a recipe for kale chips that uses garlic powder.   Check it out!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Comments (71)

  1. I was ignorant a little over 8 years ago and believed the docs when they thought they should remove my thyroid due to an enlarged goiter. It was not cancer and now I’m without a thyroid. Will avoiding cruciferous veggies or preparing them properly still benefit me like it will for people with a thyroid?

    Reply
  2. Michelle Stone Lehr via Facebook January 25, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I have two baking dishes of kale chips cooling on my counter! They go so quickly in my house. They make a great on the go snack too. We do olive oil, crushed sunflower seeds, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. My daughters like them with some zing. I through some kale in my chicken soup today as well. Your post was encouraging – thanks!

    Reply
  3. Sarah, I remembered that you said to add fat to juice, so I’ve added coconut milk and coconut oil to my juices. I guess though I will discontinue juicing kale and collards :(

    Reply
  4. I’ve known for quite some time about the dangers of eating raw crucifers, so I have avoided those raw for years. Then recently I read that Dr. Mercola juices daily using vegetables that include both kale and collards. So I didn’t research it. I just assumed the juice would be okay without the fiber since he used it. I’ve been juicing with this combination for about three weeks and it’s so yummy and green. I wonder why Mercola thinks they are safe.

    Reply
  5. We use salt, mct oil and nutritional yeast on our kale chips. It gives a cheesy, buttery taste that my kids love. Thanks for a wonderful post!

    Reply
  6. Wow, I am so sad. I just got addicted to raw lacinto kale leaves, rubbed with olive oil and lightly salted. I can eat almost the whole bunch in one salad plate. Just kale, and nothing else. Now what do I do? It’s not like I am the healthiest eater in the world. Finding out that something I actually LIKED that I thought was good for me turns out to NOT be good for me? Major bummer.
    I do like kale chips, however.

    Reply
  7. Great information. It seems that goitrogens are reduced most by boiling for 30 minutes. Although steaming and other forms of heating do reduce goitrogens. As a guess, if you started baking them rather wet at a higher temperature it might be similar to steaming. It does seem sitting IN the water helps though.
    On Temperature: I’ve made yummy kale chips at many temperatures. My favorite is to use the dehydrator and keep the temperature between 100 and 150 ~12 hours. However, this won’t help reduce goitrogens much, based on what we know about boiling. The chips turn out with less of a burnt flavor if you keep temperatures below 250 or what VERY CAREFULLY. Your choice – 2-5 minutes in a HOT 400 degree oven. About 20-30 minutes at 250, or 12 hours at 100.
    On Storage: The Kale Chips keep very well if they are thoroughly dried and crispy in the dehydrating process. Once dried/cooked you need to either – EAT THEM ALL RIGHT Away (very easy). OR store in a sealed container. If you live in a climate with any humidity, try keeping them in the fridge to stay dry. I’ve used a paper bag in the fridge. When it’s very dry here in Southern California (15-20%) humidity or less – they keep OK in a sealed container on the counter top. If you have any of the little silicon packets from vitamins that say DO NOT EAT, you can try tossing them in. The Fridge is easier.
    FLAVORS: I love them with nutritional yeast. Spice and Oil to taste!
    Thanks for the great discussion and website, I too am trying to learn all there is about protecting your thyroid.

    Reply
  8. How long do they last? Not long if you can not stop eating them, otherwise left in a bowl covered with paper towel or saran wrap, or throw in a plastic bag with end left open. They are so good my problem is I eat them right out of the oven and can not stop. There is usually NONE left. I buy all kinds of kale, my favorite is the Bag of Russian Kale at Trader Joes, sooo good. I take kale off the stems, toss it in a bowl with coconut oil and cracked black or white pepper., sometimes lemon juice, sometimes not. Hot oven for 15 min. Crisp and good. Oh! I should mention I spread them on a large cookie sheet, 1/2 bag fills one cookie sheet, so I do it twice. Although while the second batch bakes I usually eat the first batch right away. This stuff is addicting.

    Reply
  9. Antonia Louise Longo via Facebook August 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Every time i’ve tried to mkae kale chips i’ve failed miserably! Which sucks because I crave them so bad >:(

    Reply
  10. I have read that you need to boil a crucifer for about thirty minutes for it not to be bad for your thyroid. And steaming, baking, or dehydrating does nothing. Anyone know more?

    Reply
  11. Jennifer Darrington Stewart via Facebook August 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    We do olive oil, salt, and sri racha. Super good. I have not heard of the vinegar… will try that one next!

    Reply
  12. I use coconut oil and salt for a sweet salty kale…..DELICIOUS!
    Also a health food store sells cho kale ate chips and I’m obsessed! I checked the ingredients and it wasn’t much. I bought the cacao powder and the cacao butter. There are maybe three more things in it that aren’t hard to find. I will attempt to try to make my own chocolate covered kale:)

    Reply
  13. How do you store the chips? I’ve made a few batches this week, put them in an airtight container and by morning they are limp and wilted.

    Reply
  14. I’ve been making these for while and my whole family loves them. I use kale or chard for our chips. I use salted butter though to make mine and have never used vinegar since my husband hates the smell and taste of anything with vinegar in it. The butter gives it a MUCH better flavor than the oil. Sometimes I add a little white pepper and garlic powder.
    Theresa Bonner\’s last post: On the water infusion bandwagon.

    Reply
  15. Because my blog content is stolen all the time and the stolen content is outranking the original content in google searches which is hurting my blog reach to new people terribly. Other bloggers are starting to do the same thing. Kind of like folks didn’t used to have to lock their front doors, but now they do. A sad sign of the times.

    Reply
  16. I’ve been making kale chips for a while, but I’ve had two questions in the back of my mind about them. I thought that to reduce the goitgrogens, the greens needed to be steamed and that the water needed to be discarded. So, even just sauteing the greens was not enough. If that’s correct, how does baking them remove the goitgrogens? Secondly, I’ve wondered if 300 degrees is too high of a temperature for olive oil? Thanks for any insight.

    Reply
  17. This is awesome! Curious what anyone in this threads opinion is if potassium iodine supplementation. If you reveal to me it’s real bad- then that’s the pits because I’ve already been on it for years! I’ve experienced wonders on it, though! My allergies over 80% better and many other benefits! Any knowledge about this?? Keep in mind that I supplement with POTASSIUM iodine not just pure iodine (I could get the exact blend off the bottle once I’m home) supposedly its just as if you ate tons of leafy greens consistently in your diet? Interested to hear your wisdom from this bunch on this one.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: 20 Healthy “Grab And Go” Snacks Your Kids Will LOVE « The Mommypotamus

  19. Elizabeth Jaconelli February 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Just wondering if the dehydrator set at the highest temp (145) would break down goitrogens and oxilates sufficiently? Being easily distracted with little ones, I tend to burn kale chips in the oven too often. I did notice my mouth was very sore after eating spinach chips preparerd in the dehydrator, so I’m thinking it’s not enough heat…or maybe I ate something else that day that irritated it.

    Reply
  20. I just made these today and they are terrific! I have a subclinical hypothyroid, so I have to be careful, so it’s nice to see the info about reducing kale’s “nastiness” on the thyroid.

    Oh, and these are definitely a hit with my kids. So far, my 3-year old, my 9-year old, and my very fussy 10-year old love them!

    Now, I’m wondering how the same recipe would taste with spinach …

    Reply
  21. There is a video on youtube where a gal makes kale chips that are supposed to taste just like Doritos. She uses a dehydrator but I can’t remember which spices she used. I’ll be following your recipe and looking for hers since my family used to be major Doritos eaters.

    Reply
  22. Pingback: Tea & A Think » Blog Archive » Healthy Snacks 1 – Kale Chips

  23. I wish I had read your post last year when this was originally published! I thought I was doing myself a HUGE health favor by buying a green star juicer and converting to an exclusive plant basd diet, boy, was I wrong! In the span of 4 months my health and mental state went from good to a very fast downward spiral. I drank green juice religiously, and used primarily crucifers. I did not eat much saturated fat and no meats at all. The result of this “healthy lifestyle change” is now I am 10 pounds over my normal weight, tired, depressed, moody and ready to cry at the drp of a hat, just one big mess! Luckily I went to a wholistic nutritionist who set me straight. I just recently stumbled upon your blog and very glad that I did. Can’t wait to try lots of your great recipes, but I think I will hold off on this one and make sure to eat my coconut oil while my thryoid heals!! Thanks for all of your great posts and outstanding information!!!

    Reply
  24. Pingback: Most healthy chips ever! «

  25. Has anyone tried making the kale chips in a dehydrator instead of the oven? Does it give the same result?

    Reply
  26. Stephanie B. Cornais October 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I love Kale chips! I also use cayenne. They are great for picky eaters (kids or adults). I have also used coconut oil when making them.
    Oh and I do a lower temp for longer, and they come out perfectly crispy.

    Reply
  27. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 24, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Elizabeth, any green veggies that aren't crucifers plus a few more that have oxalic acid in them. I wrote a blog last week about which ones are safe raw and which are not if you check the archive. The ones I juice include celery, cucumber, zucchini primarily.

    Reply
  28. Oh yes, they get nice and crisp! But I am going to try to lower temp next time, especially since I use the olive oil. Love your articles, they always get me thinking and give us such great ideas!

    Reply
  29. They are also very good using lemon juice instead of vinegar. I use a mixture of refined coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil so that the oven temps are fine for the oil too. But that was with a higher temp, so perhaps using your 300 degree temp the olive oil would be fine by itself.

    Reply
  30. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Amy, great tip about just rubbing the dressing in my hand. Will try that next time I make them.

    Tina, a lower temp for a little longer would probably preserve the nutrition a little better than a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. Do yours get nice and crisp in only 15 minutes at 375?

    Michelle .. I will have to try the cayenne. I wondered if it would be too tangy but will have to try now that you mention it. I love tamari too. Yummy!

    Reply
  31. Michelle (Health Food Lover) October 23, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I love Kale Chips! I love adding cayenne as well! And tamari is another great option too.
    At different times I've also used coconut oil and olive oil which both work really well.
    I would love to make some kale chips…its all out of season now which is sad!

    Reply
    • Curious… Is olive oil safe when used for this baking of the kale. I read it turns toxic in the case of using it above a saute.

      Reply
  32. Yum! I generally toss the kale with a little olive oil, sea salt, and some diced onions and cook them at 375 for about 15 minutes, we love them! Would the higher temp affect the nutritional value at all?

    Reply
  33. i make kale chips alot! and love them:) i massage them by hand – no need to use a plastic bag (and your hands get nice and soft). my favorite toppings is nutritional yeast – such a great umami flavor. a little soy sauce is good too.

    Reply
  34. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I really should mention that I bought the organic kale at the store yesterday afternoon and put them in the refrigerator overnight .. this morning I saw they were getting slightly wilted already, so I made the kale chips right away and posted about it shortly thereafter. So, if you buy a bunch of organic kale to make this, be ready to make them right away as the kale gets wilty pretty fast in the fridge. My MIL told me that to keep it fresher longer, stick the stems in a glass half full of filter water and cover them with a plastic bag and then refrigerate.

    Reply
    • I’d like to add: I use my “Misto” sprayer for adding the olive oil to the dry kale leaves, which leaves a very light amount on every piece. (I only mist one side.) But, since I’ve never heard of using ACV, I may put both EVOO and ACV into my Misto! Sounds delicious!
      One more thing: Trader Joe’s now has “dehydrated” kale chips that have a delicious coating. I saw a similar recipe on The Raw Chef’s website, using cashews, etc. I’m going to try that recipe next!

      Reply
      • To keep Veggies longer in fridge ~ shave the cut end, ust to expose fresh end and rinse tips in water, rebag and refrigerate..this works well for celery, red cabbage, lettuce, Kale..

        Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!