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Blog In I Heart Food

Kale Chips

By Chanah Rubenstein
Posted Jun 8, 2012 in Food
I like to eat healthy foods…well…I like how healthy eating makes me feel. I actually love eating really bad-for-you, comfort foods. I’m not one of those people who can eat healthy foods for the sake of it being healthy; I need to feel like I’m being bad too.
As I’ve grown up a bit, I’ve realized that I can compromise and make healthy food taste really good – so good that I don’t miss out on my comfort foods that much. I’m always looking for ways to accomplish this, and because of that, the Internet has become my greatest companion. There have been some misses of course, but usually with a lot of research, I can find some really good healthy alternatives to my usual go-to foods.
A few days ago, I tried an Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe. My daughter ate it up, but I found it a bit too bitter for my tastes. It was very creamy and very chocolate-y, but I think the cocoa-to-sweetness ratio wasn’t quite right. I’ll try tweaking it with less cocoa next time.
Lately, it seems everyone is talking about Kale Chips. They aren’t new, but they’re new to me. The reviews seem to declare this the greatest food invention out there. Kale is a very nutritious leafy vegetable. It’s chalk-full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It’s also said to be a natural detoxification food. One cup of kale will give you more vitamin A and K than you need in one day. It’s also rich in fiber, calcium and potassium.
I had to try this super food recipe. It was a bit more difficult to find kale than I thought it would be. It seems standard markets in my area don’t always carry it, perhaps due to a lack of demand. I decided my best chance would be to head to Longo’s, which is a great supermarket for produce (it’s a bit more expensive but the quality is always top-notch and there is a lot of variety.) It’s more expensive than a standard head of lettuce, but not too unreasonable. I paid 5 bucks for 2 bunches.
1 bunch of kale
2 teaspoons of olive oil
Light sprinkling of season salt, or sea salt, or any other kind of flavouring you want.
I’ve never made anything with kale before, so I was adamant about keeping right to the recipe and being as precise as possible. I washed the leaves thoroughly and made sure they were very dry. After they were dry, I tore them into bite sized pieces and sprinkled the olive oil on and then massaged the olive oil into the kale as the recipes suggested.
kale washed and ready for seasoning
kale washed and ready for seasoning
From what research I could find, it’s important to not over-do the olive oil, the kale doesn’t need much. Two teaspoons didn’t seem like a lot when I sprinkled it onto all that kale, but once you start massaging the kale, you realize that you really don’t need much. Two teaspoons was more than efficient, I could even cut it down a little bit next time.
One thing that really struck me once I added the oil was the smell. On its own, I didn’t notice any scent from the kale. As I was massaging the oil in, I started to notice a very earthy smell. I looked around looking for the cause, not realizing it was actually the kale. I’m not sure if it’s a reaction between the oil and the kale, or if it’s from the breakdown of the kale as you massage it - I'm assuming it's the later. Just to be sure, I smelled my olive oil, and found nothing. I checked the other bunch of kale that was still in the fridge and didn’t notice anything either. It wasn’t a bad smell really, it was just surprising.
I sprinkled on the seasoning (just a pinch) and tossed. I read that kale is naturally a bit salty so you don’t need a lot of seasoning. I figured if it was too bland, I could always add a little bit later (but I didn’t need to, they turned out perfectly seasoned.)
kale seasoned and ready for the oven
kale seasoned and ready for the oven
Baking in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes worked nicely, though all that kale did take a few batches. They were a nice dark green with just a few spots starting to brown. They were surprisingly crisp to the touch and cooled quite quickly.
kale chips fresh from the oven
kale chips fresh from the oven
I can see why people rave about these. They are very good. They kind of break apart and dissolve in your mouth. However, I would suggest that if you’re trying to impress someone, don’t eat these around them – it sticks to your teeth quite a bit.
kale chips
kale chips
I grew up in a fishing town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m not sure what it was (maybe I had them when I was kid, I’m not sure,) but I was instantly transported back to my childhood. It’s a very earthy, almost beach-like flavour. I immediately thought of seaweed (or nori, if you prefer,) only this tasted good.
There is a limit of how much I could eat. It’s not something I could sit in front of the TV with and eat, like popcorn. The flavours and textures that make them delicious become lost after a few. I’d probably serve them as a small appetiser though. For me, less is more in this case.
The great reviews for Kale Chips are justified.

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