Those of you who know me well know that I am practically always eating. I am the type of person that needs to eat at least every three hours; otherwise, you should run the other way if you are in my immediate path. Growing up, I was always exposed to different kinds of food from a very young age. I have never been a picky eater. Aside from the occasional junk-food cravings I get, I eat healthfully. Salt and vinegar chips and Reese’s peanut butter cups are my two weaknesses, my salty and my sweet. I like to find alternatives to satisfy those cravings when I can. Kale chips are a great substitute for potato chips. They offer the same crunch we so often crave and they are salty and sweet at the same time.
Kale is a green that is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Kale can be classified as a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables include things like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. Eaten regularly, cruciferous vegetables can prevent several forms of cancer and support the body’s detoxification system. Kale is packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, iron, dietary fiber, 0mega-3s and antioxidants. Kale is pretty much a super-food. I love to tear the kale leaves into pieces and bake them into chips. They are so delicious and satisfying that you may never need another potato chip again.
I know this recipe sounds weird, but I promise you they are really very tasty. Someone said to me recently, “no wonder you’re so skinny, you eat a bunch of weird sh*t.” This made me laugh for a few reasons but mainly because: 1. I basically eat like a man and people are always in awe of how I still maintain my girlish figure; and 2. it made me recall a popular saying that I have always thought to be rather ridiculous, “never trust a skinny chef.” This is just wrong on so many levels. Ask yourself who you would rather take food advice from. Exactly!
Preheat oven to 300°. Wash and rinse the kale. Tear the kale leaves into smaller pieces. Work around the thick vein and leave those behind. In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the individual kale pieces on a baking sheet. Be sure not to crowd the kale pieces on the baking sheet. If you place them too close together, the kale will steam rather than crisp. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. When the chips are cooked, remove them from the oven and sprinkle with brown sugar. The sugar is necessary in this recipe because kale can be very bitter and the sugar helps to balance out the bitterness. The chips can be stored in a zip-lock bag but I guarantee they will be eaten before storing them is necessary.
* TIP: Brown sugar can often be clumpy and does not disperse as evenly as granulated sugar. To get the same results, bake the brown sugar on low until it dries out. Remove the brown sugar from the oven and place it in the food processor or spice grinder and break it down. This will give the brown sugar the same feel as granulated white sugar.
À tout à l’heure,
The Refined Palate
© 2011 Xristina Marie