But thanks (again) to my extremely health conscious friend, R, I’ve given it a second chance. R is often on a raw diet (by choice) and she encouraged me to try it raw in a salad “because it’s so extremely good for you”. I did, and what a difference from that limp, lifeless vegetable from my childhood! It’s sweet, a little spicy, crisp and delicious. And she’s right, it’s incredibly good for you.
What Is Kale?
It’s a type of cabbage from the Brassica oleracea family (which also includes a couple of my other favorites: broccoli and cauliflower) and it is loaded with healthy stuff. It has crazy amounts of Vitamin A, C and K, and lots of fiber, calcium, manganese, magnesium, carotenoids and flavonoids, etc. It is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and caner preventive food and it helps detoxify the body and lowers cholesterol.
That’s just too many good things to pass up, so these days, whenever I make a salad, I put half lettuce and half kale in it (I like to use the curly kind) and I also like to just snack on it raw with my spicy chickpea dip.
But my favorite way to eat it is as chips. They are quick and super easy to make and we often make a batch to snack on on weekend afternoons. Note: You’ll get a fair bit of kale stuck between your teeth, so it’s best eaten only with family and close friends!
Kale Chips Recipe
Kale (preferably organic, or even better, biodynamically grown – it’s on EWG’s list of fruit and veggies with the most pesticides)
You can use the curly kind for this, but I have found that they tend to cook a bit too unevenly for my taste. The curly parts will be crisp and yummy and the flat parts soft and sometimes even soggy. So I use any flat leaf kind (I used Lacinato for the chips in the photo).
1. Pre heat the oven to 350.
2. Rinse and remove the stems from the kale. Rip the leaves up into smaller pieces (whatever size you want them to be, mine are usually palm sized)
3. Very lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil (go super light on the oil, the chips will get soggy and gross otherwise)
4. Put the kale on the baking sheet in one layer, no overlapping. Sprinkle with salt (any kind works, I usually use regular table salt, but sometimes Welsh sea salt)
5. Bake for 5-10 minutes. You’ll have to test this since all ovens vary. I have a suspicion that ours does not get as hot as it claims it is, so the ideal time for me is around 9 minutes. If you have an electric oven, check on them after 5 minutes. I have an old gas stove, and electric ovens always cook better and faster than mine.
When crispy but still green, they’re ready. Take them out, put on a plate and enjoy.