I’ve heard the rumors for a while now–this crazy notion that long-addicted snackers and potato chip lovers can take solace in the low-calorie, high-nutrient snack that is kale chips.
The first time a girlfriend shared her bag of specialty-food store “chips” with me, she said, “try it! Isn’t it gooood? Doesn’t it make you want to give up potato chips all together?!”
I nodded, smiled and tasted the completely green nibble that seemed nothing like potato chips.
I’ve always avoided chips for their high salt and fat contents, and instantly loved the idea that you could get the satisfying crunch of a chip with the nutrient-power of kale in a single bite. Given kale’s abundance at our local farmer’s markets and produce stands, it’s a wonderfully versatile green that goes great when roasted to crispy perfection in olive oil and coarse salt.
Kale chips taste nothing like potato chips, but I would argue that they taste a little bit better. Flavorful, green, and just a little bit salty, I find this homemade snack incredibly addictive. And, I’m not one for chips.
Pictured: Flavorful, green, and a little bit salty, Kale Chips help scratch that snacking chip-itch many food lovers know.
And the dish couldn’t be easier–simply quick roast kale’s smaller green leaves with a little olive oil and salt and voila! An instant healthy snack with relatively no calories and tons of nutrients.
I ran into a woman at the Baton Rouge Farmer’s Market that complained she always burned her Kale Chips, and to her I suggested the purchase of a Silpat. You will never, ever, ever burn another baking item again as the unique silicone and plastic mat prevents any dark browning at all.
Don’t have a silpat? Substitute wax paper to prevent over-browning.
This is one snack you just have to try.
*1 bunch kale, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
*olive oil, for dressing
*kosher salt, for dusting
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED
1.) Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with either a silpat mat or wax paper. Lay kale leaves across baking sheet and dress lightly with olive oil and kosher salt. (Note: don’t worry about over-crowding your kale leaves as they will shrink a good bit during cooking).
2.) Roast kale in oven for 5 minutes and flip. Roast for an additional 5-7 minutes or until kale is light and crispy. Remove from oven, cool, and enjoy. Makes 4 servings.
This recipe was re-published for my “Fresh Ideas” Column for Louisiana’s state newspaper, The Advocate, on Thursday, August 15th, 2012. You can read the reprint here.
Written by: Helana Brigman