The Crispiest and Healthiest Kale Chips

Do you know what happens when you plant a garden AND you visit the farmers market AND you love to cook AND you love to eat??
You buy more than you can cook, you plant more than you can harvest, you cook more than you can eat and you eat more than you should…period.  But it could be worse – eating too much kale has never hurt anyone.
Last year I planted some kale (and they did great) but I didn’t find plants this year and put so many other plants in the garden that, by the time I realized I should seed some kale, I ran out of space as well as time!  But, my trip to the farmers market last week made me realize that not all is lost…Ontario kale is readily available all summer long.
I bought two huge bunches but got carried away hulling all of the strawberries I bought that I forgot all about the kale.
Thank goodness it survived in my crisper.  But, I now had to figure out what to do with it.  Last year, I had so much that I ended up washing and chopping a lot of it and using it through the winter (in soups, frittatas, and pasta).  But I also discovered a new snack…kale chips.
The Crispiest (and Healthy) Kale Chips
I was at a local health food store a few years back and saw Kale Chips for sale…a small bag for almost $10.  I bought them because I assumed they were labour-intensive.  I have to be honest, the first few bites didn’t make me a fan, but as I kept eating (realizing that they were satisfying my “crisp” craving all while feeling healthy and not sabotaging any calorie curbing efforts), I was really happy to have found this new snack.
I immediately bought a bunch of kale and made a batch of chips.  I make them regularly and leave them on the counter for everyone to munch on…but only my daughter and I eat them.
The Crispiest (and Healthy) Kale Chips
One bunch of kale can cost about $1.50 and will make about two trays (my 2 bunches made 4 trays).  Once baked, they last forever but don’t wrap them as they will lose their crispiness. That’s when you realize how much $$ the stores are making on these chips!  So, go ahead and make a tray and let me know what you think!
If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast, today is the day to start! According to the folks over at Bob’s Red Mill, nutritional yeast “is grown on enriched purified cane and beet molasses under carefully controlled conditions. With the addition of vitamin B12, it is an ideal vegetarian support formula and has an appealing cheese flavor. It can be sprinkled over popcorn or salads, added to juice, cereal, smoothies, gravies, soups or casseroles, or used to make sandwich spreads”.
I have used it for about a year on these chips, but I have introduced it to vegan friends who use it on pasta as a Parmigiano substitute and to my dad (who has diabetes) to help him find alternative ways to cut down on salt.
In case you’ve never “prepped” kale, here is a visual:

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Try this recipe first with just salt, pepper and nutritional yeast and then experiment with grated cheese, pureed red pepper, a splash of apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, etc).
Your new “feel good” snack……you’re welcome!

Good-For-You Kale Chips

If you know, you know!! They'll be your best friend if you love potato chips!!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale (green or purple)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and get a baking sheet ready (lined with foil)

  2. Separate your bunch of kale and wash in a sink full of cold water (make sure to get rid of any sand in the crevices). Cut out the centre ribs (hard stalk in the middle of each leaf) and discard.

  3. Put all of the leaves on a clean tea towel to dry off the leaves and then place them on a cookie sheet (try to keep them flattened in one layer...they will shrink a lot in the oven).
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the oil coated leaves with nutritional yeast. 

  5. Bake for about 10 minutes (watch it as you want it to get crispy but not brown - it should retain some of it's colour).

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