I know this has to be a shocking change from my last few recipe posts, tee-hee! Really though, I’ve been doing my best to eat whole, nutrient packed foods during this pregnancy. Especially foods rich in iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Kale is one of the healthiest veggies out there. It’s also known as borecole, and is in the Brassica family (cruciferous vegetables) along with other kid favorites (ha ha) like cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, broccoli & brussels sprouts.
It’s touted to have cholesterol lowering benefits, cancer risk-reducing benefits (thanks to isothiocyanates A.K.A. ITCs made from glucosinolates in kale.) It also contains over 45 flavonoids to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Although steaming is recommended to get maximum benefits, a cup of raw kale is low in calories and high in vitamins A, C and K.
It’s also pretty inexpensive! A bunch advertised as 1 lb sells for $1.49 at my favorite grocery store, and I grabbed two bunches on sale for 99 cents each. I realize my prices are probably a bit lower than elsewhere, that’s largely why it’s my favorite grocery store!
The first thing I did was cut the stems off, then slice out the center of each leaf. You can leave the halves large, or cut/tear them into bite sized pieces (bite sized pieces crisp faster/more easily!)
You want to make sure to get the leaves nice and clean. Dirt and debris can hide in the ruffled edges of the leaves, so be sure to rinse thoroughly!
Next, make sure to get them completely dry. I did this by laying the leaves on a clean, dry towel, covering with another, then pressing down on them and squeezing a bit.
Transfer the dry leaves to a large bowl, and then you get to have your fun! There are lots of “recipes” out there; basically seasoning with different things (and often different cook temps/times.) The first time I made them, I just seasoned the leaves with a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
The next two bunches, I seasoned with olive oil and garlic salt. You can play around with these and do whatever you like!
I used 1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, drizzled a little bit, tossed, sprinkled a little seasoning, tossed, drizzled a little more oil etc. A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it!
I spread the kale leaves on two cookie sheets (in a single layer.) I used the convection multi-rack bake setting on my oven, at 250 degrees. This worked really well for me. The smaller pieces were ready in about 20 minutes, and the larger and/or more ruffly pieces took closer to 30 minutes.
I’ve seen recipes with temps up to 350, and cook times as short as 10 minutes. Whatever you choose, just check them every 5 minutes or so to make sure you don’t burn them. I had to turn a few of the big pieces over halfway through, but you can tell that they are getting darker and more dry as time goes on!
When they’re finished, munch away! They are a little crumbly, so eat them over a plate if you don’t want to sweep the floor, LOL! The first time I made them, my husband and daughter took a teeny, tiny bite and said they didn’t really care for them. My husband later said they did taste a lot like chips, and he didn’t dislike them. That’s actually quite a compliment coming from him!
That first time, my son refused to even try them. However, the second time I made them, the child who thinks no green vegetable (other than a green bean) is fit for human consumption, gobbled them up! I ended up having to cook a second batch, and he was trying to grab the raw leaves as I was getting them ready. As he munched, he declared: “Mommy, it’s ‘licious!”
Jawdropping for sure. He loved them! I didn’t even mind sweeping the floor after. 😉 He looked awfully cute with his kale chip crumb beard too!
A bunch of kale netted me about 5.5-6 ounces of kale leaves (I probably could have gotten more if I had cut more carefully!) This means the entire recipe contains about 137 calories (60 of that is from the olive oil), so no worries if you gobble the whole recipe yourself (which I may or may not have done!)
I want to try to grow kale next year; I bet that would get the kids (and the hubby) even more interested in eating it!
If you try kale chips, I’d love to hear what you seasoned them with, and what your family thought of them!