If you’re looking for a healthy crisp alternative, these kale chips work really well and are always devoured when guests come over. Not only are they really easy to make, they’re dehydrated so impossible to burn and all the nutrients remain intact. My kids actually argue over who has the bigger bowl and they make a great after school snack or substitute for popcorn on movie nights.
A large bag of kale really reduces in size so it is worth making lots in one go as they keep for about a week and are one of the easiest ways to add a portion of greens to your diet.
Kale has been called the most nutrient dense vegetable on the planet. I count it as a ‘super-food’ being so high in nutrients, including those often lacking in vegetarian diets such as iron. It’s very supportive to the bones, helping to protect against osteoporosis and fractures as it contains high levels of vitamin K and calcium (it has more calcium than milk). Its rich in fibre, great for digestion and elimination and my favourite quality is the sulphur content meaning kale is good for detoxification and keeping your liver healthy. On top of this it has powerful anti-cancer properties.
The flavour can be a little overpowering but it can be sneaked into all sorts of foods. I chop it really finely and add it to scrambled eggs, fish pies, mash and pasta sauces. Or why not try our delicious kale-based pesto. But perhaps the easiest and most child-friendly way to incorporate it is through kale chips which offer vastly enhanced health benefits over other snacks. Take crisps, they often have high levels of preservatives, salt, unhealthy fats and calories, not to mention the MSG. Kale chips on the other hand are lightly baked, using heart healthy oils and you’re getting high levels of vitamins, minerals and fibre and low calories, making them a virtuous treat and a delicious way to increase your greens.
The basic kale chip is made by massaging a small amount of olive oil onto kale leaves (stems removed) and dehydrating them at a low heat (around 70 degrees) for an hour. This protects nutrients such as vitamin C which are destroyed by heat. You are left with bright green, crunchy chips which are deliciously moreish.
I like to add more flavour and vary between sesame oil, soy sauce, cumin, cayenne pepper, grated ginger. But try this recipe for an addictive flavour that’s guaranteed to be warmly received by kids and adults and takes no time at all. I even struggled to get a photo of them as my five year old was hovering by the oven waiting to pounce when they were ready.
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