Qn of the Month: How Do I Make Kale ‘Chips’?

DSC08680First, what is kale and why eat it? Kale is a dark leafy green packed with important nutrients like vitamins, fiber, calcium, antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin compounds. Kale can be served in many different ways (see post The Wonders of Kale), but one way that may become a fast favorite in your household is to turn kale into ‘chips’! So how do you make them? Very simply! Here’s how:

All you need: A raw bunch of kale, olive oil and seasonings as desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325oF (or 170oC)
  2. Wash and pat dry 1 bunch of fresh kale.
  3. Cut (or simply hand tear) the leaves off the thick stems/ribs and into bite sized pieces.
  4. Put in a bowl, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil (at least 2 tablespoons to half a bunch of kale), then toss so that all the pieces are well coated.
  5. Put parchment/wax/baking paper on 1-2 baking sheets, then spread the pieces on evenly.
  6. Bake for 10-15 min, then turn the pieces over. Bake another 10-15 min or until the pieces are crisp, but not overly brown.
  7. Season and enjoy! Once cooled, keep in an airtight container and these ‘chips’ will stay crisp for up to 3-4 days!

If you like, you can sprinkle on a bit of salt or garlic salt once the chips are done. However, here are a few other simple but great tasting seasonings you can use for your family:
Parmesan cheese
Rosemary
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Finely grated cheddar cheese
Paprika (or cayenne pepper)
Pepper
Feel free to experiment and try a combination of seasonings. My favorite so far is rosemary and parmesan cheese with a touch of garlic/onion powder. Yum! And the taste? My husband says the kale chips taste a bit like Japanese seaweed because they are so crisp and papery thin!

Don’t want to make your own? I know that Trader Joe’s sells a small bag (2 ounces or 57 grams) for US $3.99. It has a long list of ingredients though: kale, cashews, sunflower seeds, carrot powder, red bell pepper powder, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice concentrate, salt, garlic powder, chipotle powder. Not only is this relatively expensive (a bunch of raw kale costs only about US $1 and there is also the precut washed version for about a dollar more), this product may not be suitable for someone with particular food allergies like to nuts or seeds. And personally, I don’t think you need so many seasonings to make great tasting chips!

Whether your child normally likes vegetables or not, this is sure to be a winner for him/her and probably the rest of the family! By the way, you can bake and turn the leaves of other vegetables like swiss chard, beets, turnip greens or radish leaves into crunchy ‘chip’ snacks too!

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