I’ve never done much with kale before. I know I’ve eaten it before, maybe boiled, maybe mixed in with something at a restaurant, I even featured it in a smoothie recipe a while ago (another recipe can be found below as well). But check out what Wikipedia says about this power vegetable:
Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.
Did you see the “potent anti-cancer properties” part? Maybe we should all start carrying bunches of kale around to eat like we would an apple?!
Recently I’ve discovered something pretty amazing to do with this pretty amazing vegetable….baked kale chips. I’ve heard about them from several people and read about them in a magazine and decided to give it a shot. I’ve made them twice now and the first time they were overcooked, resulting in a little too much brown on the edges. The second time I think I overpacked them on the baking sheet, didn’t dry them completely, and didn’t cook them quite long enough, so they were a little on the soft side. Hopefully third time is the charm for me. But you must try this healthy snack out on your family. Even my picky kids ate them!
Baked Kale Chips
- 1 bunch kale
- olive oil
- seasoned salt, to taste
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner and place in a single layer on cookie sheet. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
- Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes (watch carefully).
I found that one bunch of kale was too much for one cookie sheet, so instead of baking two batches, I saved some for a breakfast smoothie this morning. It is similar to the recipe I featured before. I am actually drinking it right now as I type, and I must say, it is delicious and satisfying. This is a great breakfast to take on the go.
Green Energy Smoothie
Blend 1 cup milk of your choice (regular, soy, almond, etc), 1 banana, 2 cups loosely packed chopped kale, and 1/4 cup ice cubes until smooth. I added a little agave and a scoop of whey protein powder as well to sweeten it up a bit. Delicious!
I’ll definitely be buying this leafy green much more often now.
Happy Meat Free Monday!