I know, I know. I’ve totally lost it, but it’s not my fault. Josh at the Grant Family Farms CSA keeps plying me with kale. What’s a girl to do when her touch and glide crisper drawer is filled to the brim with bunches of dark green leafy things? Simply shutting the drawer has become an effort in futility. I’ve dehydrated, sautéed, and steamed my way through plenty of hearty greens lately, so I thought it was time to try something new.
Chips. Healthy chips. And what packs more nutritional punch than kale? Seriously, kale is over-the-top with healthy vitamins and minerals.
But before I launch into all that, did you know that LAY’S brand is America’s favorite snack food?
Well, the website states that the country’s most popular potato chip is now more irresistible than ever before! Oh, great, just what we need. More moderately addicting, hard-to-resist, nutritionally-void, artificially flavored, calorie-laden snack food. And get this, the website lists 57 different flavors of potato chips! Fifty-seven? What’s that about?
They offer everything from LAY’S Loaded Potato Skins Flavored Potato Chips to LAY’S Crab Spice Flavored Potato Chips. Ugh — crab spice? And what the heck are loaded potato skins flavored potato chips? What does that even mean? I looked up the nutritional facts and ingredient list on the loaded version and found it difficult to sift through. Included in the long list of ingredients were 5 different artificial colorings. That’s not real food. Do we really need to feed our kids yellow 6 lake, yellow 5, red 40, yellow 6, or blue 1?
Here’s a healthy alternative and you can rest assured that kale does not contain gluten, which is always a concern with prepackaged foods containing hard-to-decipher ingredient lists.
Mineral-rich kale chips
1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, and cut into 4 inch pieces (thereabouts)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (don’t over-oil them)
sea salt or your preferred spice mix
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in middle of oven.
• Toss kale with olive oil and spread out on large cookie sheet.
• Sprinkle with sea salt or spices.
• Bake in oven for 7-8 minutes. Stir once and bake for 5-7 more minutes.
• Enjoy immediately. These do not save well.
The charming butcher at my local Whole Foods gave me some of his super-secret sassy rub that I used as the spice for my version of kale chips. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t tell me what was in the mix and I didn’t have a sassy decoder ring to figure it out. After thoughtfully sniffing, tasting, and playing with the stuff, I decided it contained red chile pepper flakes, sesame seeds, ground pepper, garlic salt, and sea salt. I tossed my prepared kale in olive oil, spread it out on a baking sheet, sprinkled the sassy rub on it, and baked it. YUM! Be careful though, these chips are hard to resist and border on being addicting!
Kale is part of the cruciferous family and is a descendent of the wild cabbage. Cruciferous veggies and their sulfur-containing phytonutrients are thought to be protective against cancer. Kale also contains high amounts of the eye-protective carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances help the eyes filter out damaging ultraviolet light and provide protection against cataracts. Think of kale as a plant version of polarized sunglasses. Full of anitoxidants, kale also helps boost immune function and protects our cells against oxidative damage. One cup of kale contains only 36 calories and is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C, manganese, fiber, — even calcium, so throw some in your shopping cart and enjoy the benefits.
*Kale contains goitrogens and oxalates, which may be of concern to some people. Goitrogens are natural substances that, in large amounts, may interfere with thyroid function. Oxalates are part of a naturally occurring group of molecules called organic acids and are found in plants and animals (people included). Our bodies convert other substances into oxalates. We also obtain them from the foods we eat. In some rare health conditions, oxalate intake should be restricted. Check with your doctor if you have concerns about this.
In good health,
P.S. I will be heading off into the wild blue yonder to add some more segments to my Colorado Trail journey, so if I don’t respond to comments immediately, I will when I return. Onward . . .