Friday, March 4, 2011

Kale Chips

Kale is in season right now and it is one the healthiest vegetables around. It is nutrient-rich in three particular areas - antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and anti-cancer nutrients. It is wonderful in soup, steamed as a side dish, or made into “chips” in the oven.

I was a little doubtful of a green vegetable replacing potato chips, so I tried making a batch to see exactly how this recipe worked. It’s a bit tricky to get the chips to the crunchiness factor that you probably expect, but they do taste pretty darn good in a strangely addicting way.

I made them according to this recipe, but now I want to experiment with some other flavors. Combinations like garlic and red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, or Asian spice with a little Tamari sauce would work well with the flavor of the kale. The chips can be served as a snack, with eggs for breakfast, or even as an appetizer or side dish at dinner.

1 bunch kale, washed and dried, thick stems removed and sliced or torn into 2” strips
1 - 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toss kale with oil, and spread in a single layer and spread onto 2 baking sheets while separating the pieces. Bake for about 25 minutes. Kale should be slightly browned and crisped on the edges. You can move the pieces around gently with a pair of tongs and continue to cook for crispier chips, but watch closely so that they don’t burn. Let cool on sheets. Sprinkle with lemon zest and salt, and toss to coat. (It is trial and error with the cooking time, depending on what type of kale you buy.)

The chips will be crispier around the edges than the middles. They are best eaten right away.

Kale: 34 calories a cup
Olive Oil: 120 calories a tablespoon

Enjoy without guilt!

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