I’m a snacker. Its one of my dietary down falls, along with being addicted to sugar, pasta and a good soy chai latte. Being diagnosed with food allergies has me reconsidering my usual snack options. Not only that but snacks are notoriously unhealthy. They don’t have to be, but that seems to be the type of snack I usually gravitate towards first. Insert baked kale chips to bring me back on the straight and narrow snack path. Kale is one of the most super, super-foods. It’s chock full of all sorts of essential vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin A and calcium), fiber and protein. It helps detoxify your body, lowers your risk for certain cancers and contains 45 different flavonoids that are both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. So make friends with this super-green, your insides will thank you.
I have to admit there was a time when I wasn’t so pro-kale, but this recipe for kale chips helped me become a huge kale fan. My mother actually made the first batch of kale chips I tried. To everyone’s surprise they were delicious. I took them into work the next day and my skeptical coworkers liked them too. If you’re looking for something to replace your favorite BBQ potato chips this wont work (I mean can you every really replace BBQ potato chips). If however you’re looking for a yummy snack you and your waistline can feel good about this is for you.
The key to baked kale chips is making them crispy without burning them. That might sound like an elementary concept but it’s easier said than done. Kale will go from crisp to burnt faster than you can say “these taste gross”. Start checking them a minute or two sooner than you expect them to be done, especially if your oven runs hot. Kale chips are like a blank slate, flavor them however you like. Try sprinkling them with little nutritional yeast after baking or toss with some gluten-free soy sauce before baking and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. I like them with a little balsamic vinegar and salt. How do you like to flavor your kale chips?
Baked Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 tablespoon of oil, I like olive oil but use whatever you prefer
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- salt and/or pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and pat dry the kale leaves. Remove the tough stem and rip the leaves into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Remember they will shrink while baking so make the pieces a little bigger than you think you should.
In a plastic bag or large bowl toss the torn kale leaves with the oil and vinegar until will coated. You might think 1 tablespoon of oil isn’t enough, but trust me it’s the perfect amount.
Place the kale leaves on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Make sure the leaves aren’t overlapping each other. If they are they won’t get crispy. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 8 minutes. Check the leaves before then though to make sure they’re aren’t burning. Enjoy!
Note: If possible try and buy organic kale. Kale is one of the most highly contaminated vegetable and if you’re treating your body well by eating delicious kale you don’t want to negate that by also eating a bunch of toxic pesticides.