Eat More Kale Chips

For this month’s #LetsLunch, a virtual potluck on Twitter, the theme is green foods.

For my contribution, I am making kale chips, my family’s latest snack craze.  We love leafy greens in general, but it is amazing what a transformation kale undergoes when heated at low temperature in the oven– less like a good-for-you green vegetable, more like a potato chip.  My kids can devour an entire head of kale prepared this way in five minutes flat.  And unlike potato chips, kale retains its nutritional value when made into chips.  Kale is getting a lot of attention for being the  most nutrient dense food under the recently popularized  ANDI scoring system.  (Nutrient-dense foods are those foods that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories.)  Kale is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and calcium, as well as B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium.  It’s fat and sodium free, and the minuscule amounts of olive oil and salt in my kale chips recipe barely bumps those amounts.

Back in December, humble kale was brought into the spotlight because of a lawsuit.  A Vermont artist, Bo Muller-Moore, who for the past decade has produced T-shirts silk-screened with the slogan, “Eat More Kale,”  applied for federal trademark protection of his slogan.  That got the attention of the fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A, which accused Muller-Moore of infringing on its trademark, “Eat Mor Chickin’.”   As the case continues, Muller-Moore has enjoyed increased business (I am planning to get shirts for my whole kale-loving, small-business supporting family) and has also embarked upon a Kickstarter project to produce a documentary about his legal battle.

Legal intrigue and big vs. small business politics aside, I do encourage you to eat more kale, along with other green leafy vegetables.  Your body will thank you for it.

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Kale Chips

Ingredients

1 head kale, washed and completely dried

salt to taste

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

Technique

1.  Wash whole kale leaves, then shake out or dry in a salad spinner, then place on a rack to dry thoroughly.  Depending on your temperature and humidity conditions, this can take an hour or several hours. Alternatively, dry thoroughly with towels.

2.  Preheat oven to 275 F.

3.  Once kale leaves are completely dried, tear leaves off the fibrous central stem into bite-size (potato chip sized) pieces and place onto two baking sheets in a single layer with some space around each leaf.

4.  Sprinkle on some salt and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, about 1 Tbsp per baking sheet.  Toss with tongs to evenly distribute salt and oil.

5.  Place prepared kale leaves into the preheated oven, and bake for 20 minutes, turning over leaves halfway through baking.

6.  Serve immediately.

Variations: You could experiment with an endless variety of tasty seasonings depending on your theme

-Mexican: cayenne pepper with a squeeze of lime juice

-hippie/vegan: Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast

-Japanese: Nori Furikake (seaweed sesame rice seasoning)

Do you have any other flavor ideas?

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Please also check out these other great #LetsLunch posts on green foods from Twitter friends around the world, and come back later for updates:

How to Brew a Better Pot of Tea from Grace at HapaMama

Green Chorizo from Felicia at Burnt-Out Baker

Pandan Tapioca from Charissa at Zest Bakery

Natanya’s Guacamole from Lisa at Monday Morning Cooking Club

Notos Pesto from Ellise at Cowgirl Chef

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes from Cathy at ShowFood Chef

Green Bean and Vidalia Spring Onion Soup from Lucy at A Cook and Her Books

Asparagus with Poached Egg from Karen at Geofooding

Ginger Honey Wok Brussels Sprouts from Eleanor at Wokstar

Pete’s Baked Beans from Joe Yonan

Roasted Asparagus and Sage Salad from Rebecca at Grongar Blog

Brussels Sprouts Slaw from Maria at Maria’s Good Things