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Are you missing that crunchy and slightly salty taste of potato chips, but don’t want the amount of fat and calories that goes in to making them? Well, have no fear, Kale chips are here! And just like potato chips, you can’t just eat one.
You can find kale chips in a grocery store, but there is nothing like the taste of the home-made version that you can prepare in minutes. To be honest, I was skeptical on finding a solution for a crunchy, good for you snack. I’m not big on snacking, but there are times when I just need that crisp crunch to satisfy my hunger until the next meal. So instead of pulling out that bag of potato chips, I reached for the kale.
I have to admit, my first attempt was an epic fail. I only had some smaller-sized, curly kale left in my refrigerator. And within 20 minutes, our kitchen smelled like, well, burnt greens. I obviously became preoccupied and forgot they were in the oven. Lesson learned! But don’t worry, with the use of a basic kitchen timer, anyone can make this recipe in under 15 minutes! (Definitely not 20 minutes!)
What type of kale should you use? The answer is simple – whatever you can find. Curly kale, Tuscan kale, Red Russian kale, even beet greens and chard can all make gloriously crispy chips. And don’t let your first attempt be your final recipe – experiment with various seasonings. We have tried cayenne, cumin, bar-b-que, and garlic salt. The sky’s the limit!
For those interested in the nutritional value, you will hard pressed to find a healthier snack:
Kale contains no cholesterol and no unhealthy saturated or trans fats making it a good choice for cardiovascular health. In fact, it actually helps lower your LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol and raise your HDL — or “good” — cholesterol. It is packed with Vitamin A, and other nutrients that help with protecting your eye-sight. Not to mention it is high in antioxidants. In 1 cup of kale chips, you’ll consume 134 percent of your daily vitamin C needs to support immune function and more than 600 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements for proper blood clotting. The olive oil used to make the chips also contains 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. It’s a win-win snack!
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
On a cutting board, use a kitchen knife to chop the kale into bite-sized (about 1 1/2″) pieces or simply tear it with your hands. Be sure to remove the large center stem and discard (for your compost pile) Place pieces in a large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil. Then using your hands, toss the kale until the leaves are evenly coated with the oil.
Lay the kale pieces out evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and then sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until kale is dark green and crunchy. Remove from oven, (you can also add additional seasons here), let cool, and then serve.
Mary and Jim
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