Saturday, April 28, 2012

Make your own Kale Chips - Super Healthy Food

Kale is well known for its health benefits and I found this web page to tell me all about it: Eat This.
Amongst other things, it's full of  beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, iron and sulforaphane, an anti-cancer agent.  It is said that kale will also provide cholesterol lowering benefits.
Researchers have also identified over 45 different flavonoids in kale, "with kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale's flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress." (The World's Healthiest Foods). I have also read that flavanoids are beneficial in reducing allergies, in particular the Quercetin.

Kale can be prepared in many different ways, from sauteed to added as a soup mix. However, in order to retain the most nutrition, I found out the chip variety to be leading the way.

WholeFoods sells great kale chips from Brad's. They are called Brad's Vampire Killer Kale Chips:

Great kale chips from Brad's Raw Foods

Judging by the name, you have already guessed these are loaded with garlic, however, there are other varieties. We tried them and were instantly hooked! The price? Not so much. A small container (about 3 servings cost about $7.50), said box was empty by the time we reached the register!

Since Kale is relatively cheap at your local produce stand, I could not see any reason not to make my own kale chips. There was no trial and error in putting this recipe together, I just made a dash for it.

Ingredients for my Kale Chips:

Ingredients for my kale chips

2 bundles of Kale (make sure it is fresh by looking at the stem, it should be neatly cut with little grey or dried areas)
Olive oil (use as desired - I used at best 1 tbsp per bundle)
Turmeric (powder form - for its anti-inflammatory properties)
Celery Salt (less sodium - more taste)
Packets of Italian Salad mix (use only a sprinkle adding only for taste)

How to:

Turn your oven on at 350 F.

Separate the leaves from the stems by simply using a small sharp knife and scrapping them off the stems. Cut larger leaves into quarters, but be careful not to cut them too small since they will shrink in size.
Wash the batch under cold water, rinse and dry thoroughly using either your salad spinner or paper towels.

In a bowl, add the olive oil and mix well making sure the leaves are coated on all sides (this is a healthy recipe no more than 1 tbsp is needed). sprinkle all the dry ingredients to taste and continue mixing.

Place the leaves on a baking sheet- and place on the middle rack.
Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Before cooking

Before removing the chips, shake the rack first, most should easily slide off. If some chips are still "wet" it is fine, they will air dry quickly.

Straight out of the oven
 Place the chips in an air tight container and you are done!

A close up of my Kale chips

These were absolutely delicious! They did not take long to prepare and the mess effect (cleanup required) was limited to a few stray leaves here and there.

Things you can do with kale chips:

Add crunch factor to hamburger, salad and soups,
Use as a healthy afternoon snack alternative,
Package nicely as a homemade gift to the health conscious amongst your loved ones,
Introduce your children to "Vampire" chips.



1 comment:

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