Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kale Chips

 Becca here with a great, super healthy recipe for you to try!  All leafy green veggies are nutritional powerhouses, and kale is commonly referred to as the very healthiest of them all, beating out even spinach!  These "chips" are low in calorie but high in nutrients, and have a great light, crunchy texture.  My older kids have enjoyed these for a couple of years, and now even my skeptical 2-year old loves them too.  It's a really easy way to get lots of leafy green vegetables into them, and I'd be surprised if they don't ask for seconds.  I like them best with just olive oil and good salt on them, but feel free to experiment with your favorite seasoned salt, or seasoning blend, as the recipe I was first inspired by suggests.  In case kale is new to you, I included a few photos below so you can see how really easy it is to prep.  Enjoy!
Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale (or more, my family can eat 2 bunches in 1 sitting pretty easily!)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil (best used in a air pump 'mister')
1 teaspoon salt (I like "Real Salt")
Preheat oven to 350.
After washing and drying the kale well, remove leaves from the large stem of the kale, and cut into large bite sized pieces. 
Place kale into a single layer onto large baking pan lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Spray with olive oil if a mister is available.  If not, thinly drizzle with the olive oil, trying to cover a large surface area, and not get too much in one spot.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to turn brown, but definitely aren't burned looking.  You can try one to check and see if they're done, the texture should be very light and crispy, and melt in your mouth.  If they're still a bit thick or chewy, bake them a couple extra minutes.  I usually do mine right at 14-15 minutes, but it will depend on your kale.  Serve immediately, and enjoy!
A quick rundown on kale if it's a new-to-you veggie!
This is what a bunch of organic kale looks like when you buy it.  You can also sometimes buy kale in a large bag, like the prewashed salads, that has already been removed from the stem.  I purchased this from Azure Standard because their organic kale was less expensive than the conventionally grown kale at my local grocery store, but even my small town grocery carries kale in both a bag or still on the stem like this, for just a couple of dollars.
This is one leaf of the kale.  See the thick stem running through the middle of it?  That's what you're going to remove for most recipes.  It's similiar in texture and flavor to the stem of broccoli.  You can save it and dice it to use in a stir-fry or something, or discard it. 

This is the same leaf of kale, ready to be used in these kale chips, or in another recipe (I'll be featuring several other kale recipes in the next couple of months).  I use kitchen shears to just quickly cut along both sides of the stalk of the kale, removing the leafy parts, and then cut them into large bite-sized pieces.  The whole process is super quick, especially after you've done a leaf or two; I was blanching kale to freeze and use later, and got to where I could get a bunch of kale de-stemmed and cut up in just under 3 minutes :)

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