Friday, October 19, 2012

Kale chips to die for!

Well - home from a great yoga class and nothing but rain rain rain outside --- I am fantasizing about our RETREAT  in February to Puerto Rico and my scouting trip in two weeks - what to do?? light a fire, put on some tunes & start cooking - Today I made kale crisps!!

Yes, The Amee Farm is going nuts with this stuff and I just can not eat it fast enough - in salads, in juices and now finally I found a chip recipe that actually is great.  Although they may appear a little freaky (you try making baked kale look appetizing), I guarantee that these crisps are every bit as addictive as potato chips! Light, lacey, and crispy, with a hint of whatever kind of seasoning you can throw at ‘em, you will be fighting over every last crumb and wondering how you ever hated kale in the first place. Seriously.
Fine. But I feel the need to make a case for this under-appreciated leaf, because it really is all it’s cracked up to be. First of all, it packs more nutritional punch per calorie than almost any other food on the planet. Seriously. It is crazy-loaded with vitamin K, an essential vitamin for preventing bone fractures, postmenopausal bone loss, calcification of your arteries, and has even been shown to protect against liver and prostate cancer. And because kale is a member of the brassica family (think broccoli, cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts) it contains the organo - sulfur compounds that appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers.
Kale is also excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, copper, vitamin B6, and potassium. This combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients makes kale a health superstar, for real.

And besides being SOOOOO healthy, kale actually does taste good when you know how to prepare it. For the novice, I would not suggest munching on kale leaves completely raw, but trying this crisps recipe could be a good first step. As with any new food, especially when cooking for kids, ease in slowly and try lots of different preparation methods before giving up. Kale is undoubtedly a nutritional miracle and we’d all benefit from it becoming a recurring ingredient in our cooking repertoire.
Totally Addictive Kale CrispsIngredients:
•1 bunch of kale
•1/2 lemon
•1 Tbsp. maple syrup
•1 tsp. salt
•1 tsp. tamari
•2 Tbsp. olive oil
•1/4 cup sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 200 F 0R your dehydrator to 118*
2. Wash kale thoroughly and spin dry, trying to remove as much water as possible.
3. Tear kale away from stem. Each kale leaf should be torn into about 6 or eight pieces
4. Place all ingredients except for the kale into a bowl, whisk together.
5. Add the kale and mix together with your hands, gently massaging the leaves with the dressing.
6. Lay kale out on a cookie sheet ( or teflex sheet if you are drying) and place in oven (dehydrator). Set timer for 30 minutes ( or if a dehydrator longer - depending on outside humidity it may take several hours...)7. At 30 minutes ( or longer if you are dehydrating), remove from oven and gently unstick kale from pan ( teflex sheet if you are dehydrating)  if it has stuck and replace for another 10-15 minutes until kale is dry and crispy.
8. Allow to cool. Can store in fridge ( or ziploc bag) for up to a week.

This recipe is very flexible and you can use any “dressing” you like to change things up if you fancy - google kale chips and go nuts with all of the variations! I hope you give this recipe a try, especially if you have kids/friends/parents/lovers/bosses/bus drivers who hate green things, because they will become kale crisp-devouring monsters, and you a pleased, kale-love purveyor.

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