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Thai-inspired sweet and savory kale chips

Recipe by:Timaree Hagenburger
Nutrition Professor, Cosumnes River College, Sacramento


  • 1 large bunch kale (any variety)
    1 tbsp. almond butter or peanut butter
    1 1/2 tsp. pure maple syrup
    Zest and juice of 1 lime
    1/4 tsp. soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari, if avoiding gluten)
    Dash of cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha (optional)


Rinse kale under cool running water and rip bite-sized pieces of the leaves from the stems. Reserve stems for later use. Soak leaves in a large bowl of ice water for 5 to 10 minutes, or up to several hours if you are busy with other tasks. Dry kale with a salad spinner or by wrapping in a paper towel.

In a small bowl, whisk nut butter, syrup, lime zest, lime juice and soy sauce until well combined. If you like your kale chips spicy, be sure to add your favorite "heat"—cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha.  

In a large bowl, combine kale and sauce, using your hands to "massage" the kale, which will help break down the kale a bit and also ensure each piece is well coated. Spread kale on parchment-lined baking sheets, in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pieces.

Bake at 300 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until very dry and crispy. Beware: The chips can burn and then taste bitter, so begin checking them after 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven. If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container.

Timaree's prep smart, cook smart tips:

  • Any variety of kale can be used for this recipe. It is fun to experiment with green curly kale, lacinato or dinosaur kale and red/purple kale.
  • Be sure to buy nut butters with only 1 to 2 ingredients: the nuts and maybe salt—that's it!
  • Don't forget to zest the lime before cutting it up to squeeze for the juice.
  • I finely chop the kale stems to use later. For example, add to mirepoix (carrot, celery and onion) when making soup, mix with other greens for salads or toss into stir-fries.
  • Serves 1 to 2

    Califonia Bountiful