I’ve already touched on one great way to get some more greens in your diet. Well, here is another! Behold…
This was my second attempt at creating the green crispy treat known as kale chips, and after rather limited success with my first batch (several months ago) I set out to conquer the mighty kale once and for all. The recipe I used is from Meghan’s blog and if you visit it she has a video posted, which I haven’t seen, on how to make them. Here is her recipe with my changes and comments in italics:
1 bunch of kale (I used dino kale; any kind will work)
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced (I used a little over 1 T. fresh juice)
1 tsp salt (I used 1/4 –1/2 tsp as I was afraid they would be too salty)
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees (or if you have a dehydrator you can use it make raw chips)
- Wash kale thoroughly and let dry (I used a salad spinner)
- Tear kale away from stem. Each kale leaf should be torn into about 6 or eight pieces.
- Place kale, salt, olive oil and lemon into a bowl and mix together with your hands, gently massaging the kale with the oil, lemon and salt. (This is the fun part!)
- Lay kale out on a cookie sheet or pizza pan (line with parchment paper for easy clean-up)
- Place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
- At 30 minutes, remove from oven and gently unstick kale from pan if it has stuck and replace for another 10-15 minutes until kale is dry and crispy. (If it’s still not dry and crispy, leave it in a little longer—but watch it to make sure it doesn’t burn or get too dry.)
- Allow to cool (or devour immediately, like I did!). Can store in fridge for up to a week in air-tight container.
The verdict? Pure bliss! These are sooo good! Seriously, I think they are better than regular store-bought chips. Really. They are that tasty! I think the lemon juice is really key. It adds this amazing tang that is almost cheesy. You have to try these.
I like this recipe because due to the lower baking temperature the extra-virgin olive oil in these doesn’t reach dangerous levels. Another plus, as Meghan explains in the comments, is that the “the kale dehydrates rather than toasts”. Also according to Meghan, don’t let your crisps get blackened, as they then become carcinogenic.
The only thing I would change about this recipe is using less oil. Maybe my “bunch” of kale was small or something, but I thought these were a tad too greasy. Next time I’ll cut down on the oil and see how it works.
There are truly so many variations on this recipe: tossing them in different vinegars, adding nutritional yeast, or even attempting the “chip” idea with other greens (collards and chard, for instance). I’m not sure if the latter would work but it’s definitely worth a try! After all, variety is key when it comes to greens. Eating too much of any one kind isn’t good. Most of us, however, hardly need to worry about that! Regardless, we all need to eat MORE of this food group, in general.
As I mentioned above, this is a great way to eat a bunch of kale (literally, a BUNCH. Although next time I think I’ll have to make at least two bunches!) So, why exactly is kale so good for you? According to HowStuffWorks.com (a branch of Discovery) these are just a few of the many benefits of this leafy green:
- high in fiber
- an excellent source of nutrients, especially vitamin A and calcium
- provides beta-carotene—one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases
- possesses other important carotenoids that help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts
- an incredible source of well-absorbed calcium
- provides decent amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium
- the manganese in kale helps your body's own antioxidant defense system
- its folate and B6 team up to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures
Are you sold on this stuff yet? How could you not be! Now, to start your path to kale-y goodness, go make those crispy crunchy chips featured above. Or, if you prefer a fancier treat, here are some other ideas for kale chips: Joanna’s recipe for Chrissie’s Goddess Chips (scroll down about half a page) and this recipe for Cheesy Curly Kale Chips (yum!). Although I’m perfectly satisfied with the simple oil, lemon juice and salt combo, I’m eager to try some of these more creative recipes.
“In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.” –St. John of the Cross