All Hail the Kale

Kale is one of those things your parents always tried to get you to eat because it was good for you. You tried to feed it to the dog when they weren't looking. Turns out your parents were right. You should eat kale. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

So why, despite all its benefits, do kids try to avoid it? Usually because it isn't cooked properly or picked at the right time. Kale that is too large can be tough. In extreme heat, kale can turn bitter. If you don't remove the thicker parts of the stem, biting in to that tough, stringy stem is unappetizing. If you steam or boil kale, you miss out on the nutritional aspect since many of the vitamins in it are fat soluble. If you aren't eating kale cooked in butter, bacon grease, olive oil or lard, you are just giving your intestines a workout and not fulfilling your nutritional needs. Not to mention you are totally cheating your taste buds.

One of the best ways to get over your childhood aversions and reap the benefits of this inexpensive green is to make yourself a batch of kale chips. You wont believe how a leafy, healthy vegetable can turn in to a delicious crunchy snack in a matter of minutes. Who knows? Once you master the kale chip, you might even become brave enough to eat it fried with your breakfast bacon!

 Kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of fresh red or green kale
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • Nutritional yeast (or powdered parmesan cheese)
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Dulce flakes (optional)

Wash kale and trim, cutting off the thickest part of the stem. If stems are very thick, cut kale leaf totally away from the stems in to 2 pieces. Smaller pieces with thin stems can be left whole. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Toss trimmed kale in a bowl with the olive oil and vinegar. Make sure all pieces are thoroughly coated. Add more oil and vinegar if necessary.

Lay kale leaves flat on a piece of silicone baking mat inside a roasting pan or use another non-stick baking surface with sides. (If using dulce flakes, sprinkle them on the kale now.) Try not to overlap pieces. Bake in a 350º oven for approximately 15 minutes. Leaves should be very crispy, but not too browned.

Place on paper towels to drain excess oil and lightly sprinkle with nutritional yeast, then sea salt to taste.