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Friday, March 2, 2012

Kale Chips

By Carolyn Brown, MS, RD

Kale

I got a cool sweatshirt (by my standards) a few weeks ago that says “Eat More Kale.” I had been shamelessly wearing it everywhere when a guy I had been out on a few dates with asked “What’s kale?” Yes, you can see where that relationship since headed (though there were other reasons than lack of vegetable awareness), but I was reminded that, to some people, kale sounds like an intimidating, health-nut-only food. And if it’s not prepared right it can totally reinforce people’s expectations of “healthy” food – that it’s going to taste “blah”.

Kale is at the top of every health food list, but what is it? Kale is a leafy green veggie full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients like Vitamin K (important for blood clotting), Vitamin A (essential for vision), and Vitamin C (a cancer-preventing anti-oxidant). It’s also loaded with manganese, copper, calcium, b6, potassium, iron… and the list goes on and on. All you really need to know is that this leafy green veg packs a punch of healthiness and it’s low in calories and super high in fiber.

While you could grab a bunch of kale and throw it into a salad, it is much tougher and heartier than your typical leafy greens like lettuce or spinach. I recommend cooking it – because when done right, kale can be the perfect replacement for.…

POTATO CHIPS! I kid you not; I have several convinced friends and family. I love this as a snack, but especially for something to pick on while cooking dinner. Rather than munching on chips or cheese and crackers, try this recipe for my personal favorite: kale chips.

Kale Chips

Large kale leaves, stem removed and cut into 2″ pieces
1-2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
A few pinches of kosher salt

1.     Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2.     Toss Kale leaves with oil and salt (or spritz the leaves with an oil spritzer).

3.     Place in a single layer on cookie sheet and place into oven.

4.     Bake 15-20 minutes until crispy.

Do not overcook (allow them to become completely brown) as they will taste bitter. Enjoy!

Side note: kale chips are a terrible date food – Eat only with people you don’t mind seeing you with green stuck in all of your teeth. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Photo: iStockphoto

Posted by: Carolyn Brown, MS, RD at 8:35 am

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