Recently, my friend Dassi sent me an article about a woman who served kale chips at her preschooler’s birthday party. The woman wrote that all the kids loved them and finished them off completely! I have to be honest. I was skeptical. I wondered aloud whether my kids would eat them, and thus, the next quest was born. The timing was also right, as I had just seen some very green, fresh looking bunches of kale in my fruit store, and I was also trying to lose some extra baby weight, so green chips sounded good… here we go…
One week later….
When I set out on my journey to discover kale, I imagined it was healthy. I mean, it has to be healthy with a name like “kale.” I did some research and came up with some interesting kale data. It’s low in calories, fat free, and packed with a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and K, as well as lots of other things that are good for you!
Kale – and other leafy green vegetables – have been linked with a lower risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. Other studies have shown that eating just one daily serving of green leafy vegetables can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 23 percent.
Eating kale regularly can also help keep your mind sharp as you age, thanks to its exceptional vitamin E content. Vitamin E is thought to protect brain cells from damage caused by free radicals. The brain is especially vulnerable to free radical damage because of its high demand for oxygen, its abundance of easily oxidized cell membranes, and its weak antioxidant defenses.
If you need another reason to eat your greens, it’s because they’re good for your eyesight and your bones, thanks to their sizeable vitamin K content. Research from the Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University revealed that compared to women who consumed the most vitamin K, those whose diets provided the least had significantly lower bone density. Scientists speculate it takes about 200 micrograms per day to protect bones from thinning. One serving of cooked kale (1/2 cup or 125 ml) delivers 531 micrograms of the nutrient!!
Ok, I feel like I had to add all that info in, because it always feels good to justify the fact that you are really eating to keep your body healthy… not just because you enjoy it! So, I bought a big leafy bunch of kale and checked it for bugs according to the instructions on the Star-K website. After that, they were really very simple to make.
1. Tear the leaves from a bunch of washed and dried kale into bite-size pieces.
2. Toss with a thin drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (a couple of teaspoons will do) and massage lightly into the leaves.
3. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, tossing to distribute. Or leave out the salt and add the seasoning of your choice, such as curry powder, smoked paprika, or whatever you have on hand.
4. Arrange leaves in a single layer on two large baking sheets.
5. Bake at 350°F (180°C), switching baking sheets halfway through, until crispy and dark green (not brown), 12 to 15 minutes.
Note: For a barbeque flavor, sprinkle with some smoked paprika about half way through the baking.
I really enjoyed them. They were indeed crunchy and quite addictive.
So, now it was time for the big test. I gathered the family round and had them taste some. Let’s just say that I think that kale chips go over better with a mature palette, and not everyone around me is up to that stage yet. Well, I liked them anyways, so even thought I still am a bit skeptical about the woman who wrote that all the preschoolers loved them, I am happy to have made the discovery.
To encorporate Kale into your diet further, try this delicious salad from my good friend Levana Kirschenbaum. Its exerpted from her new cookbook- The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, featured on KosherScoop.com a few weeks ago!