Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweet Baby Kale vs. The green leafy sort

Ok, so our sweet baby nephew Kale is much more awesome than that weird leafy stuff that is used as a garnish on main dishes at restaurants, however kale (not Kale, mind you) is an unsung hero in the world of nutrition and the world of hippie granola tendencies.

I have a friend that says she makes a kale, frozen fruit and water smoothie for her kids each morning to knock out a serving of veggies at the beginning of the day. They actually drink it, if you can believe it. So in the spirit of our dear, ridiculously fit, lean and mean, leg wrestling champion, Shocks, I decided to try my own family on it. So far, with enough honey and yogurt, my kids tolerate it and Justin said no way. So I have some tweaking to do on that.

However, I was online doing my research this week (Heaven forbid you drink something like kale for 20 years only to find out it contributes nothing nutritionally to your body) and I found some interesting info on that crazy bunch of green in the produce aisle. I read :

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium.

And after a few other sites that confirmed it, not to mention it cancer fighting capabilities, I was convinced I wasn't incorporating this strange veggie into our diets for nothing.

All that to say, I found a recipe that I think is worth trying (if for no other reason than to entertain yourself with a kitchen experiment). As far as I'm concerned, most anything with olive oil and salt is delicious. So the next time you need a salt fix do the following:

Crispy Kale "Chips"

Bunch of kale
Olive oil
Season salt

1. Remove the leafy parts of kale from the tough ribs.
2. Tear into bite-sized pieces.
3. Rinse with cold water really well.
4. Dry completely on a paper towel.
5. Toss dry kale with a couple tsp of olive oil and a sprinkle of season salt (I use Spike seasoning)
6. Spread on a baking sheet into one layer.
7. Bake at 350 for 6-10 min.
8. Watch carefully. They should darken but not turn brown.

They basically taste like salty olive oil but with a melt in your mouth crispiness that's somewhat addicting. Granted too much oil or salt isn't all that good for you so go light and in the end it's just got to be better than potato chips for sure!

DISCLAIMER: I haven't actually tried these on the family. I managed to eat the whole bunch all by myself before they had a chance.


  1. Anna, I find this post very amuzing. You are the one that has screamed ALL of your life that you do not eat greens of any sort and on occasion has gagged by even tasting the things and now you are making kale smoothies and kale chips. You just won't do.

  2. I know, I know. In fact, the boys have actually done the same thing over red peppers on occasion. And I can totally relate to them. If they respond that way, I know they truly don't like it. I still don't like anything green, leafy and cooked like collards, spinach, or turnip greens. I think I can honestly say I hate the taste and there's no talking me out of it. However, I have had kholrabi (although not exactly green but strange all the same) and I've had wilted swiss chard and managed to like it. SO watch out!

  3. Ha ha! You two are funny.
    I love your disclaimer!

  4. UPDATE: Tried this on the family. Justin said, "Not bad, actually," while he helped me eat them. The kids were curious and came back for refills once they realized caterpillars like to eat leaves and they could eat them while pretending to be one.

  5. cuuuute! might have to try it!

  6. Alright, Fuller.... I made these tonight to enjoy with a movie while landon is out climbing with some guy he met online. These are weird.

  7. I knew you would come through and try them. Thanks Hannah! And yes they are weird. But did you think they were good? We actually had them tonight and everyone ate some. The boys only like the really crispy ones so I've got to be sure to bake them long enough without burning them.

  8. I think I put too much salt on mine - fine salt would be better than sea salt. and i just sprayed them with olive oil spray. they just sort of tasted like popcorn to me. they weren't gross or anything, but nothing too delicious. very easy to make, though. and i managed to make them with only about 3 pieces being a little burned. I like them crispier too!

  9. I remembered making this soup last winter that had kale in it. It was quite delish, however, I think you would absolutely have to have the sausage. We used a free-range variety, I'm sure ;)