Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kale Chips Are SO In Right Now

Kale is the new "it" vegetable. It's got crazy amount of vitamin A and C, not to mention a bit of calcium, potassium, and tons of other nutritional goodies. It's great sautéed with some garlic and a little balsamic vinegar, added into soups, or tossed in a salad. The recipe that I've been hearing rave reviews about for a while now though is kale chips. My first attempt at cooking this supposed treat was a huge failure. They tasted like a crispy, salty, sandy bits of cardboard. I was determined though! The reviews had me convinced that these things had to be delicious and that I just was not preparing them correctly. Six or seven attempts later I have a pretty yummy healthy snack. I mean it's lettuce, you can't expect it to taste like pretzels, potato chips or nachos, but for lettuce it's pretty good. After trying various oven temperatures, cooking times, and toppings, here is what I found works best.

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

2. I got a bag of kale that was already torn into pieces. (I don't recommend baby kale!)  But if you get the full leaves, tear it into bite sized pieces and remove from the center ribs. You just want the leafy part. You need about 2 or 3 handfuls. 

3. Wash the kale and dry really well. I use a salad spinner. 

4. Put the kale in a bowl and drizzle with about 2 or 3 teaspoons or olive oil. Then massage the oil into the kale. I don't normally like to massage anything unless I'm getting a massage in return, but you really need to gets the leaves covered in oil. 

5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then spread the kale in a single layer on the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. There are lots of other seasonings you can add to flavor your kale chips but my favorite is parmesan cheese. So sprinkle with a tablespoon or so of cheese. 

6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the kale over, then bake an additional 10 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them in these last minutes. You don't want them to burn. That's when that cardboard taste comes out. You just want the leaves to be slightly crispy. When you notice a little bit of brown on the edges of some of the leaves they are probably done. 

Yes, kale is rather trendy now. So enjoy this healthy popular snack! Before you know it, the "it" vegetable will change. It might be something retro, like sweet potatoes. Ooooh, I look forward to that one!

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