Kale Chips to Protect Your Thyroid

by Sarah Grain Free, Recipes, Snacks and TreatsComments: 72

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 (72)

  • kim

    I prepped my kale last night at 11pm and put coconut oil and parm on them and put them in the oven. I woke up this morning and noticed they were in there..it was 11am. I guess i forgot to turn the oven on. I went ahead and just cooked them and had a few. Im wondering if i am exposing myself to some bad bacteria by doing that. Does anyone know if it was ok for them to be oiled up and in the oven with no heat for 12 hours..then cooked?

    April 28th, 2015 12:50 pm Reply
  • Wendy Sellers-Brown via Facebook

    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?

    January 26th, 2014 12:46 am Reply
  • Kerry M. Pierce via Facebook

    My daughter and I are addicted. We make them all the time. One more great benefit to Kale. Yay

    January 25th, 2014 2:38 pm Reply
  • Cynthia Coco Camille Korzekwa via Facebook

    Toni O’Brien O’Brien you may like this

    January 25th, 2014 12:10 pm Reply
  • Michelle Stone Lehr via Facebook

    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!

    January 25th, 2014 11:41 am Reply
  • Julie Stilwell via Facebook

    This looks like a good one

    January 25th, 2014 11:40 am Reply
  • Sharon

    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 :(

    January 25th, 2014 8:47 am Reply
  • Sharon

    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.

    January 25th, 2014 8:28 am Reply
  • Lisa Toner via Facebook

    Just discovered these last fall when I had too much kale. Try them with sesame oil and salt!

    January 25th, 2014 1:02 am Reply
  • Monica Christine Escobedo via Facebook

    Elizabeth Sotelo Escobedo

    January 25th, 2014 12:36 am Reply
  • Nichole Morton Karn via Facebook

    Janae Wolf

    January 24th, 2014 10:40 pm Reply
  • Susan

    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!

    January 24th, 2014 10:39 pm Reply
  • Healthful Elements via Facebook

    It’s a (very common) myth that goitrogenic foods/crucifers thwart thyroid function. In fact, they’re recommended for those with Hashimoto’s. http://bit.ly/1aGVeOc

    January 24th, 2014 10:16 pm Reply
  • Fabiana Pierce via Facebook

    Does using a dehydrator also decreases the detrimental effects on thyroid, just like baking in the oven?

    January 24th, 2014 10:03 pm Reply
  • Bethany Leisure via Facebook

    does kale juice work ok?

    January 24th, 2014 10:02 pm Reply
  • Erin Olson via Facebook

    We make ours with nutritional yeast on them as well. YUM!!!

    January 24th, 2014 9:49 pm Reply
  • Paula

    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.

    December 7th, 2013 6:12 am Reply
  • Dr Mary

    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.

    March 28th, 2013 5:21 pm Reply
  • Marti Howard

    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.

    January 9th, 2013 7:18 pm Reply
  • katie

    How long do they keep? I’ve seen this question twice with no answer. Anyone?

    October 31st, 2012 1:19 pm Reply
  • Best Healing Tools via Facebook

    for iodine supplementation…breast fibroids have cleared up..

    August 26th, 2012 11:25 am Reply
  • Best Healing Tools via Facebook

    I use http://edgarcayceremedy.com/eco/detoxified-iodine.aspx

    August 26th, 2012 11:25 am Reply
  • Holly Anne Jorgensen via Facebook

    Karen Tough – it is also iodoral that I take, the 50mg one and I’ve heard that is much better than Lugols

    August 24th, 2012 5:34 pm Reply
  • Holly Anne Jorgensen via Facebook

    Sara you say the lake chips help protect your thyroid, what do you think of iodine supplementation?
    ^ thanks Karen I agree. All soils seem deficient. I take 50 mg a day that’s like 33,000% rda but rda is bs anyway

    August 24th, 2012 11:59 am Reply
  • MunchTalk via Facebook

    I’ve been wanting to make these recently!!! I’ll make sure and get the green kale. :)

    August 24th, 2012 9:58 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    The purple kale chips I made yesterday were very bitter tasting … I’m going to stick with the green kale from now on as they seem to make much better chips!

    August 24th, 2012 8:20 am Reply
  • Antonia Louise Longo via Facebook

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

    August 23rd, 2012 11:05 pm Reply
  • Karen Tough via Facebook

    Love the Lugol’s too Holly Anne Jorgensen, soil levels of iodine worldwide a real issue – Australian government compulsory supplementing us since 2009. Unless u r eating loads seaweed u r not getting enough if any :( !!

    August 23rd, 2012 10:00 pm Reply
  • Ann

    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?

    August 23rd, 2012 6:27 pm Reply
  • Michelle G

    We love sprinkling nutritional yeast on them.

    August 23rd, 2012 5:58 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Darrington Stewart via Facebook

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

    August 23rd, 2012 4:37 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Umberto I so wish I didn’t have to do this. I thought about if for a long time before making the decision. You can always use the print icon at the end of the post and scan into Word if there is something you really need for some reason.

    August 23rd, 2012 4:26 pm Reply
  • Hannah @ Hannah’s Healthy Heaven

    I LOVE kale chips! I have been treating my low thyroid naturally through my diet and I eat kale chips because theyre delicious but its good to know they’re helping my thyroid too! Thanks for the info :)

    August 23rd, 2012 4:06 pm Reply
    • Mary

      I don’t think kale is helping your thyroid. Cooked kale just happens to be less harmful.

      August 23rd, 2012 4:29 pm Reply
  • Agi

    Thanks for the reminder to make these. I like to put a dusting of Parmesan on them once they’re done

    August 23rd, 2012 4:02 pm Reply
  • Ashley Moody via Facebook

    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:)

    August 23rd, 2012 3:40 pm Reply
  • Heather

    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.

    August 23rd, 2012 3:29 pm Reply
  • Theresa Bonner

    Also, I only bake them at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. They come out super crisp. I wouldn’t really feel comfortable using olive oil to cook anything. I always use butter or coconut oil for cooking.

    August 23rd, 2012 3:18 pm Reply
  • Theresa Bonner

    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.

    August 23rd, 2012 3:13 pm Reply
  • Veronica Flores via Facebook

    They are really good with Trader Joe’s everything seasoning too!

    August 23rd, 2012 3:03 pm Reply
  • Umberto Carrara via Facebook

    ok i respect that, thank for your great effort and helping with all these precious informations !

    August 23rd, 2012 3:03 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    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.

    August 23rd, 2012 2:56 pm Reply
  • Umberto Carrara via Facebook

    what is the point in not allowing people to save these documents? why do you keep it so tight?

    August 23rd, 2012 2:54 pm Reply
  • Lisa Lanza Menard via Facebook

    I’ve never seen purple kale.

    August 23rd, 2012 2:52 pm Reply
  • Susan

    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.

    August 23rd, 2012 2:50 pm Reply
  • Holly Anne Jorgensen via Facebook

    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.

    August 23rd, 2012 2:42 pm Reply
  • Amelia Owca Hinote via Facebook

    I have never tried it with vinegar before. That’s new!!!

    August 23rd, 2012 2:41 pm Reply
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  • Elizabeth Jaconelli

    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.

    February 24th, 2012 7:58 pm Reply
    • Christi

      I would really like to know this as well. I was wondering the exact same thing as I was reading the post.

      February 26th, 2012 8:19 pm Reply
  • Crys

    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 …

    January 18th, 2012 6:14 pm Reply
  • Lisa

    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.

    December 9th, 2011 2:15 pm Reply
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  • Aimee

    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!!!

    October 18th, 2011 12:56 pm Reply
  • Erin

    How long do the chips usually keep? I’m making them now (Thursday) and I’m hoping they’ll still be good for our Saturday camping trip. What do you think?

    September 15th, 2011 2:35 pm Reply
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  • Richard Woods

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

    March 6th, 2011 2:09 pm Reply
  • Stephanie B. Cornais

    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.

    October 24th, 2010 9:35 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    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.

    October 24th, 2010 2:33 am Reply
  • Sherry Rothwell

    I just made a video demo on how to make Kale Chips about a week ago! Here is the link to the blog post containing the recipe and a youtube video:
    http://wholefoodswholefamily.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/how-to-make-kale-chips-a-foodie-family-friday-production/

    Enjoy!

    October 23rd, 2010 9:40 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    Ok…what green veggies are safe to juice? Celery and cucumbers? (sorry it's off topic!)

    October 23rd, 2010 3:01 pm Reply
  • TinaC

    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!

    October 23rd, 2010 1:19 pm Reply
  • Sarah Smith

    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.

    October 23rd, 2010 12:58 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    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!

    October 23rd, 2010 12:24 pm Reply
  • Michelle (Health Food Lover)

    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!

    October 23rd, 2010 9:46 am Reply
    • Derek

      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.

      December 27th, 2012 3:44 pm Reply
  • TinaC

    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?

    October 23rd, 2010 1:36 am Reply
  • Amy

    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.

    October 22nd, 2010 6:25 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    I've not used apple cider vinegar…I'll have to try it. I normally do oil and garlic salt.

    October 22nd, 2010 6:22 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    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.

    October 22nd, 2010 3:45 pm Reply
    • Chris

      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!

      March 14th, 2014 1:06 am Reply
      • Diane

        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..

        March 18th, 2014 9:19 am Reply

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