Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kale Chips

So, you may have heard some of the buzz about kale chips... There seem to be posts just about everywhere, and here's another one!

These things are super easy to make, they don't taste half bad, and they're way more than super healthy for you. Even if you don't think you would like them, it certainly wouldn't hurt to try them. And actually...if you don't care for them the first time, try them again. I did *not* like them the first time we made them, but after someone mentioned them a few months after that, I decided to try it again. And hey - I'm a big fan now!

Kale chips fresh out of the oven. YUM.
If you look around online, you'll find a lot of similar recipes, and the cooking times and temps will vary. You really just have to find what works with your oven and your tastes. Here's what we do...

Kale Chips
adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

1/2 - 1 bunch of kale (organic - kale is one of the dirty dozen!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp sugar
(Honestly, I don't really measure. Except the sugar. I try to make sure I don't use much more than 1/2 tsp with a big bunch of kale!)

And yes, there is sugar. It's a very small amount, but it makes them taste so good! You can leave it out and add a bit more salt instead. After they're done, you can add some Parmesan cheese. Or toss in some garlic powder with the salt. Try some other spices you like. You can make it however you like. I love it with the sugar. My dear hubby does not. He doesn't really care for them in general, but he likes the sugar version least and likes them more with the Parmesan.

I got the idea for using a bit of sugar from this roasted broccoli recipe. This stuff is also addicting. There are never any leftovers because I eat them ALL. Love it. The sugar caramelizes a bit as the food cooks in the oven. And just like she says about the broccoli and sugar...if you really feel that this tiny bit of sugar is going to ruin all the goodness you're getting from the veggies, well...yeah, I feel for you. We don't eat a lot of sugar around here, so a bit here and there will not cross out the wonderful benefits from eating things like broccoli or kale! (PS, we don't use bleached white sugar, though. Blech.)

Rinse and dry the kale leaves. Then, remove the leaves from each stalk. It's easy to do quickly. Hold your thumb and finger pinched at the base of the leaves, and then slide up the stalk, taking off the leaves. Pull apart into smaller pieces. Toss in a large bowl, drizzle over olive oil, and sprinkle on the salt and sugar, if using. Toss it all around, and then "massage" each leaf to make sure it is covered with the oil. Place leaves on parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure not to put them so close they are touching each other. Roast on 375 for five minutes, turn over each leaf, and then bake another five minutes.

I've seen some people state to cook for up to 20 minutes. The thing is, it all depends on your oven, etc. There's a fine line between having these babies done and burning them. It really takes a matter of seconds to cross that line. Seriously, the other day I took not quite 15-20 seconds after the timer went off before pulling out the chips - they weren't quite burnt but they were starting to get there! So, watch closely the first couple times and you'll find what works. You do want them to turn brown-ish, just not burnt.

Then sit back and enjoy! They do have a very different texture and will basically fall apart in your mouth. It's kind of odd at first. Not bad, just different. Lots of folks say they're like chips. Sorry, but I disagree. They're nothing like potato chips or veggie chips - texture and crunch is totally different. But I still like them. I can eat an entire bowl in no time at all, and I'm suddenly wondering why I didn't make a triple batch...

Here's a cute video that shows some visuals, if you're interested. (Stay tuned at the end for outtakes!)

Is that girl not adorable?! I love how her mama is teaching her to eat so well! And what a neat way to do it - by eating a rainbow every day. They also have a website Today I Ate A Rainbow! Or visit their facebook page here and "like" their page.

And yes, after you mix them all up and get them on the baking sheet, rinse your hands just enough to get the seasonings off. Or, if you just used salt or sugar to season, rub that into your hands before rinsing off. It's a wonderful sugar scrub! (I make my own sugar scrub, and that's about all it is...sugar and oil.) Then take advantage of the olive oil still on your hands and rub it in. Great moisturizer! ;)

Now, I will be honest... Not everyone in this house loves these things. Camden doesn't like them. Ryan says he doesn't but will eat a few. (I've told him he will learn to like them. I have my ways.) Aiden...well, he says he likes them and he will eat one or two tiny pieces. He doesn't like big pieces - has to do with the texture and how they will crumble in your hands if you squeeze them. He eats more each time I make them, it seems. He never says "blech" or acts like they're awful, so that's a sign that he likes them but is getting used to them, which is enough to make me happy. And honestly, I don't mind having most of them to myself! The other day I offered some to the little toddler I watch. While she ate small pieces, she was singing one of our lunchtime songs: "Yummy, yummy, yummy in my tummy, tummy, tummy." I'd say she liked them.

  • Little ones can make quite a mess if they pinch the "chips." They'll have tiny fragments of kale on their hands and face. (I think this is part of what makes Aiden hesitant. He likes to be clean.)
  • Don't go anywhere after eating these before checking your teeth. Don't assume that before you're on the way to a birthday party, your husband will warn you that there are bits of kale in your teeth. (Thank goodness for mirrors in the car, huh?!)
  • These can become addictive. Very.
Have you made them? Let me know what you think or if you have a different way of making them!


Becky said...

Supposedly we are replacing the oven soon.. maybe I'll try these out. Sean would like them. Colin probably won't touch them and I'm guessing I'll need more than a 1/2t of sugar to make my tongue happy but I'm a big believer in 'whatever gets it down' The fact that I cover my salads in fattening dressing doesn't remove the vitamins and minerals from the spinach..without the dressing less spinach goes in... which is worse really? I guess I have the luxury of not having a weight issue.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Yeah, I tend to think that way, too... Which is worse, the extra stuff that some need to get the good stuff down, or not getting the good stuff period? I would say (usually) not getting the good stuff. So, if a bit of sugar is what it takes... Not sure if you're a broccoli fan, but the roasted broccoli recipe is delicious. I might use a bit more sugar than she says to use. I can't remember.

If you like smoothies, you can always add spinach and kale to those, too. You really can't taste it (unless you use a ton!). I keep meaning to get a post up about that... Hopefully soon! Blogging time is hard to come across these days. :(

And yes...you do have that luxury! I remember when I used to back before I had kids. Um, yeah. I don't have that luxury now. Haha! But good for you! ;)

Sonia said...

I had half a cabbage I need to use so I borrowed this idea. I cut the half cabbage into 4 parts, then sliced each part, ending up with about 2" square "chips". I put them in a bowl and mixed them with olive oil and a bit of salt. Baked for about 15 minutes at 325, flipped the whole cookie sheet full with a spatula, and cooked for about another 15 minutes. Yum. Not the same thing I'm sure, but a tasty, healthy snack. I sprinkled with Parmesan and ate with a fork.

Daisy and Ryan said...

Sonia - I keep meaning to reply... Thanks for letting me know how it turned out. I was curious! ;) Glad it worked and was good!!

Kara said...

FINALLY tried these! SO yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe :-)