Here's a recipe for those yet to be converted...to the world of kale chips. Who doesn't know yet of the wonderful virtues of this leafy green wonder - kale - in all of its glory.
Before I share my recipe, here's my abbreviated version of #101 Kale for Dummies. For starts, it comes in different types - who knew? For example, there is the traditional green curly one that I first bonded with a few years back now - it is dark green, curly, tight-ruffled edges and has fairly tough stems. It can tend to be a little bitter, particularly if it is old but it cleans up pretty good if you add the right complementary flavors and cooking styles to it.
Lacianto kale is of Italian origin (don't all good things come from there?) and is referred to also as Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale. Not sure where the Dinosaur name comes from but I caught your attention, didn't I?! Its' leaves have a dark greenish-blue tinge to them and are long, narrow and smooth edged with a sweeter taste than the curly. The stems are not as tough also.
Red Russian Kale, not to be outdone by the Italians, is also sweet and mild in flavor with flat fringed leaves and a red tinge on the stalk and edges. Some think it resembles a large oak or arugula leaf. From the looks of my picture above, I think I used Red Russian kale for the chips.
And finally, that I know of, there is also a Redbor Kale which is very pretty to look at because of it's dark red-purplish color. Due to it's attractive appearance, some count this as an ornamental plant although it is edible.
Here's some useful information about kale (for those yet to be converted)that I found on the Food Matters website:
1. A serving of kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk.
2. Kale tops the Nutrient Density Scale - 1 cup of raw kale has just 33 calories yet contains 684% of vitamin K, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of Vitamin A plus iron, folate, omega-3s, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
3. It possesses phytonutrients, which quell inflammation, improve the liver’s detox ability, and can even protect brain cells from stress.
4. Start with something like kale chips instead of a giant kale salad. Introducing this kind of roughage into your diet might make you initially feel bloated, so you need to ease into it. One chip at a time, for example!
5. Kale is on the list of the Environmental Working Group's “Dirty Dozen," a list of foods that you should try to buy organic because of high pesticide counts. But you might not have the option to buy organic kale, and that's OK. The health benefits of eating kale (even if it's not organic) are much better than eating no kale. I wash non-organic greens in a solution of white vinegar and baking soda, for example, when I can't get organic.
Having said all that, there are some people who should avoid kale. If you are taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) you definitely want to check with your doctor before upping your kale consumption due to the vitamin K in kale which can interfere with the medicine. And if you have a cruciferous vegetable allergy, kale would not be for you either.
Okay, now that we have all that out of the way, here's a very simple recipe for Kale Chips that may be your entry into the world of kale!
Turn on the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the greens from the stems and then wash, dry and tear your kale into bite size pieces. Don't make them too small, since they will shrivel anyhow in the oven.
Drizzle your olive oil over the kale and massage it in well. If the kale is not well coated, you might need to drizzle just a few more drops on it. Sprinkle with your choice of Himalayan salt, garlic salt or even Herbamere. If you put a sheet of parchment down first, that will save on your clean up time also.
Lay the kale on your bake tray so that it does not overlap - this will allow the chips to crisp properly.
Place in oven and set timer for 15 minutes; rotate tray around and finish cooking for another 15 minutes. Chips should be crisp and tasty - remove from oven and enjoy!