Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crispy Kale Chips

I have a need to snack and do it often. I think it is because my stomach is fairly small and so I need to eat every few hours. At least that is what I tell myself! I really don't eat very much at one time and, I don't want to eat too much junk when I am snacking. It is all too easy to eat things that are too fatty, salty or sweet. So, when you make your own snacks, you have control over such things. I have had packaged Kale chips before, but didn't like the yeast powder that was sprinkled on them so I finally decided to make my own.

Now, you have to know that I am not crazy about boiled or steamed Kale. I don't mind it stir fried, but I still don't love it. Yes, I know it is very good for you - it is full of vitamins and it builds blood, which I need more of. I do love raw kale - specifically in the Emerald City Salad from PCC Natural Market near my home that is made with kale, wild rice, green onions, red pepper and fennel. The dressing is olive oil and lemon juice. So, I decided to make my Kale Chips with a little bit of that flavor.

You lose some of the bitterness when you bake the Kale and I wanted to do more then just add salt. So, I mixed a bit of lemon juice with the olive oil and tossed the kale with some sea salt and then added a sprinkle of garlic powder too. After 1/2 an hour in the oven, they were done and I had a healthy, crunchy snack that was a bowlful of crispy goodness! I have to admit I ate it all by myself in one sitting, which wouldn't happen if it was boiled or steamed. So, I've found a new way to love kale. And, it's so easy. You've got to try this!

Crispy Kale Chips

1 bunch curly Kale, washed and dried in a salad spinner
2 Tbsps Olive Oi
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pull curly part of the leaf off the ribs of the kale and then tear them into medium sized pieces. Put the leaves into a bowl and pour in olive oil and lemon juice and toss to coat. Put onto a cookie sheet and spread out so that each leaf has space (use 2 pans if necessary). Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Put the trays into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and turn the leaves. Put trays back in for another 15 minutes. Kale Chips are done when you shake the pan and you hear the rattle of crispy chips. Take off all the crispy ones and put pan back in if necessary to crisp up the remaining chips. This may take another 5 minutes or longer if you like it really crispy. Serve on a plate or they will break.

Five Element Analysis

Kale is a Wood Element vegetable and is therefore very good for your liver. The added olive oil and lemon makes it even more Wood and your liver will thank you. The salt adds a touch of the Water Element and the garlic powder brings in just a bit of the Metal Element, but not enough to . So consider this a Wood food contribution during your daily quest for culinary balance.

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