Monday, January 5, 2009

And you thought you couldn't eat another chip!

Could I be telling you that you can have your chip and eat it too? Yes, I am! Of course, we're not talking about the chips that I know you're thinking about (as in potato chips, chocolate chips, or French fries if you're eating fried seafood!). I am talking about your nutrient-packed friend, KALE!

Perhaps you have never eaten kale before (let alone kale chips). That's OK. It's most likely waiting at your local grocery store, camoflauged against all the other greens in the vegetable section. It is a funky looking veggie, with curly leaves and sometimes a purplish green color. This is one of the best greens you can eat -- it'll "do your body good."

Before I get to the recipe, let me tell you why kale is so good for you and why it's on my list of top 10 foods to eat.

  • Kale is packed with calcium, iron, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.
  • It is a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids (remember beta-carotene from carrots?) that help prevent vision problems caused by macular degeneration.
  • It contains plant nutrients called indoles that have been shown to prevent breast, cervical, and colon cancer.
  • The sulforaphane in kale is also known to be a major cancer fighter.
  • You can eat a whole cup and laugh at the minimal amount of calories!
And, why are kale chips good? They are fairly quick to make. They're also crunchy and can help fill that void you may have if you have stopped eating popcorn and potato chips. One of my personal vices is eating potato chips (one of the few fried foods that doesn't have soy, my archenemy), but now my friend kale may do the trick when I need to nosh.

The recipe I found is on while I was madly searching for ways to use up lemons from my monster lemon tree. I pretty much inhaled the resulting crispy leaves. Yes, the "chips" will be green and no, they will not taste exactly like potato chips. But, I promise you, your body will thank you later!

-One bunch of kale, or more if you really like it!
-olive oil
-sea salt (I prefer to use RealSalt - once you use it, you can't go back to regular salt!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Remove and discard the thick stems. You'll only want to use the leafy parts. Tear them into bite-size pieces. Wash them in a salad spinner and spin them dry. Lay them on a large cookie tray in a single layer (large pieces or multiple layers will not cook evenly). Drizzle evenly with some olive oil and sea salt. Stick in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy and the edges are light brown. Do not leave them in too long or they will burn!

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