If you are not used to eating greens, kale can be intimidating. Like arugula, dandelion or mustard greens, it has a bit of a bite that I love. But many people haven't developed a taste for this kind of superfood. A friend massages it with olive oil until it’s a tender salad, but I Iike to bake it into kale chips. Baking it on a cookie tray transforms this vegetable from the holy-healthy-obligation-weird food to a mild, light and crispy chip that you take by the handful. And like any kind of delicious crispy chips, you can’t stop at a little—which is a good thing with kale chips because it retains lots of the nutrients.
I’ve even won over picky toddlers and squeamish teens with kale chips. How? Because they don’t care how nutritious something is. But taste and texture are important. Chips, even kale chips, register as yummy.
I like this simple recipe from Cornell Cooperative Extension Schenectady County’s Facebook page:
1 bunch kale
1Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears, carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces.
3. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner or paper towels.
4. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
5. Bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, 10-15 minutes.
6. Eat right away for best results.
The only tricky part is to make sure you dry it very well. Otherwise it steams and wilts. The variations are endless. I like it with chipotle...or toss with a little lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar, or add a tablespoon of sesame seed before baking. You can crumble the kale chips and add it to fresh popcorn with parmesan cheese. Keep it simple or experiment until you find your favorite.
Thrifty tip: I freeze the stems along with other veggie pieces until I have enough to make a broth.