Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kale Chips

It's hard to tell from the picture, but a leafy green veggie is now a crispy snack!

This is another one of those recipes where I am going to ask you to give it a chance if your first thought is "really?!" Kale chips are a new favorite snack here--my husband thinks they taste similar to popcorn, and even my youngest son loves them and can't get enough.

This recipe cost me almost nothing, as the kale came from my garden. My local grocery store sells a large bunch of organic kale for $2.99, and I can get 2-3 batches of chips out of it, and even that is quite economical for a fun, healthful snack.

I'm backing off on the nutrition information since it's easy to find yourself, and I don't want to turn my posts into preachy novels, but I do have to tell you that kale is amazingly nutrient-packed! Just one cup of raw kale provides over 200% of the standard recommended amount of Vitamin A, over 100% for Vitamin C and almost 700% for Vitamin K! It's also a good source of Vitamin B6, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, folate and other vitamins and minerals. One cup even gives you two grams of protein! I love it on sandwiches and in salads, even sauteed or in soups, just as you would use spinach or other greens.

Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Optional: 1 tsp red wine vinegar, substitute 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce for the salt, add black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and/or dried herbs to taste

Directions: Wash and dry kale well. Remove stem/rib and tear into half-dollar size pieces. You will want to work with no more than 3-4 cups at a time. Toss with olive oil, salt and anything else you choose and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place in a 325 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes, scraping them from the baking sheet after about 7 minutes.

Note: Watch these closely since ovens and cooking times can vary. You want the edges of the chips to be just barely golden brown. If you go any further than that, they will overcook and crumble when you try to handle them.

Cost: Virtually nothing

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