NYC Radiator Kale Chips :P

So you love homemade kale chips, but you don't have a dehydrator. If you are like me, you have already made some pretty good decent batches of kale chips in the oven... and probably over-baked them a few times! That's ok for me, except that during the winter my apartment is already super hot and the air so dry to even think about turning on the oven. Yes, you guessed right, I live in NYC, in one of those tiny old apartments with steam-heated radiators that have one thermostat for the whole building. My radiator is always either on or off, and I have no way to control the temperature. So, what to do when you are craving kale chips in the middle of the winter and don't want to end up broke by buying yet another tray from the supermarket? You make Radiator Kale Chips!

These chips are, in fact, an energy efficient hack to your NYC oven-apartment: you will save money, you will naturally help humidify your urban cave, and you will eat delicious debt-free kale chips during the whole winter!

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Step 1: Ingredients

There are tons of recipes out there to make homemade kale chips, from the vegan fat free to the decadent cheesy ones. I like them simple: lemon, olive oil and pepper. Sometimes I add parmesan too, not too much, not very often really.

So the ingredients for a bunch of kale (but you want to make more!!) are:

-A bunch of kale (I like curly kale the most).

-2 tablespoons olive oil.

-The juice of one lemon (or use lime for an extra sour experience).

-A good pinch of salt (or make them salt-free! I find kale already kind of salty myself).


*Optional: parmesan or any other spice you want.

Step 2: Prepare the Kale

Wash the kale and dry it very well. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim out the ribs of the kale. If you want to, tear or cut the leaves a little. Not too much though, you don't want them to go through the rack and end up in between the radiator.

Place the kale in a large bowl. Mix the pepper, lemon, salt, and oil and drizzle the kale with this mix. Massage the oil and seasonings into the kale with your hands to distribute evenly. Add a little parmesan or something else if you want.

Step 3: Dehydrate Your Kale Chips

Place the kale in a single layer on the baking rack, and place the rack on top of your heater (when it's on, of course).

That's it. Go on with your life. Read a book. Check your kale chips occasionally* until ready, crispy, and yummy. Make More! Store them in a tight container. If you have it, drop inside one of those little food desiccants bags (I save them from the roasted seaweed packages).

*Radiator heater cooking time varies, I guess. My heater makes a whole batch in 30-40 minutes.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Great idea! When i make kale chips I put all the seasoning ingredients in the plastic produce bag and mush it around in the bag, then add the kale. No messy bowl!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    :) Uuh of course! Plastic bags are the best kitchen tool ever! Thank you for sharing!

    always curious

    3 years ago

    Living in Europe with same heating system. Summers coming, so will have to wait until winter to try this out. Unfortunately do not have kale as shown in photos, just a cabbage with lighter coloured leaves which is called kale. However, was thinking I could try to dehydrate (up to a certain point perhaps) fruit and vegetables? Thanks for the idea! Enjoy your chips, you lucky person!

    1 reply
    enavigandaalways curious

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi! Thank you. I'm enjoying them. Crazy climate change temperatures keep NYC still pretty cold, so the heater has been on for some extra days. Trying to look at the bright side of things, I'm making more radiator kale :). I wonder if that cabbage kale is what we call "purple kale" here in NYC. If that's the case, purple kale chips are super yummy too. Probably other fruits will work too, thin slices of strawberries or figs, maybe?