The Great Indoors: Much better than lawn clippings!

It happens every few years. A particular type of produce turns trendy.

Kale is the latest “it” vegetable. The dark, leafy green is full of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and carotenoids, and that’s just the beginning. Research has also shown that kale contains 45 different flavonoids with a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

After hearing all of this, I decided to try and bring this latest “superfood” to my dinner table. I found a recipe for a raw kale salad that included balsamic dressing and tomato. But my meat and potato Iowa farm boy husband who normally will eat whatever is placed in front of him drew the line with this. He said it tasted like lawn clippings. I figured it was a lost cause. But when my co-worker Josh Thomas started telling me how he made the sometimes tough and bitter vegetable into a delicious snack food, I was all ears.

Kale chips, while not quite as nutrient heavy as raw kale, are a nice way to get kale into your diet. Kale chips have the texture of thinly sliced potato chips, but have fewer calories and fat and more vitamins and minerals.

Kale Chips
Ingredients:
• 1-2 bunches of Kale
• Sea Salt
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Parmesan Cheese

You will also need:
• A large Ziploc bag
• a pizza cutter
• baking sheets covered in foil

1) Wash and dry kale thoroughly, pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
2) Use a pizza cutter to remove the leaves from the stems, discard stems. Cut leaves into potato chip sized pieces.
3) Place kale into large Ziploc bag. Pour just enough olive oil to coat chips into bag, along with salt and parmesan cheese to taste. (NOTE: Be VERY conservative with the salt, a little goes a long way in this recipe)
4) After kale has been coated with olive oil and seasonings, place on baking sheet. Make sure kale is not touching each other (you may need more than one baking sheet). Bake kale for 20 minutes. If kale is not crispy, cook for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until kale is no longer soft (adding more olive oil will increase the baking time).
5) Let chips cool and enjoy! Store leftover chips in a paper bag to absorb the oil. Chips in plastic bags will get soggy.

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