Monday, April 29, 2013

Kale Your Kids Will Eat

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Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. It is a cruciferous vegetable (like broccoli or brussel sprouts) and as such, contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties and indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells. You know that kale is good for you, the question is... how to get your kids to eat it?

The answer may be kale chips. These delicious crispy, crunchy, salty chips have become a favorite in my house and I am hopeful that they can be in yours as well.

Crispy Crunchy Kale Chips

  • 4 large handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces with the tough stems removed (about 1/3 pound)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (use the convection setting if you have one).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the kale leaves into a salad spinner and spin all of the water out of the kale. Use a towel to blot any extra water on the leaves. The biggest secret to getting the kale extra-crispy is to dry them in a salad spinner. If there is moisture on the leaves, the kale will steam instead of crisp.
  4. Place the kale on the baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the kale leaves. Use your hands to toss and coat the leaves.
  5. Bake in the oven for 12-20 minutes until leaves are crisp. Check them at the 12 minute mark. Use a spatula or tongs to touch the leaves, if they are thin and crackly, the kale is done. If the leaves are still a bit soft, leave them in for another 2 minutes. Do not let the leaves turn brown (they'll be bitter).
  6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and serve. (Do not salt the kale until after they have come out of the oven. If you salt beforehand, the salt will cause the kale to release moisture resulting in less crispy chips.)

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