Sunday, April 18, 2010

Baked Kale chips

Are you wrinkling your nose? Are you thinking, “I don’t like greens, this isn’t for me.” Would you believe me if I told you they actually taste like potato chips? They even smell like potato chips when they’re baking. I don’t know what alchemy or magic is going on here, but it’s true. These crisps come out of the oven light as air and seem to melt in your mouth after the first satisfying crunch. I can tell you I made a batch the other day and it was gone that night. My kids are addicted to them. You can use these yummy little crisps to top on soups, pasta, even popcorn.
Whether you already love greens of all kinds or it’s your new resolution to learn to like greens, or you’re cooking for someone(s) who would wrinkle their nose at any thing leafy or green, one nibble is all it will take...
baked kale chips
1 bunch kale, cleaned and dried in a cotton towel
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat oven to 425-450 degrees. Cut stems from the kale stalks. Tear leaves into 2- to 3-inch-size pieces and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, then toss the kale with your hands until all of it is lightly covered with the oil. Spread kale out on one or two large baking sheets. Don't pile them up; keep them in one layer. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper (if you want them spicy). Bake until kale is nice and crispy, 10-15 minutes.
Health benefits of Kale
Kale absolutely rich and abundant in calcium, lutein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Kale has seven times the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. Kale is rich in Vitamin C not to mention the much needed fiber so lacking in the daily diet of processed food eating Americans. The "Icing on the Kale" are the natural occurring all important phytochemicals sulforaphane and indoles which research suggests may protect against cancer. Let's not forget the all important antioxidant Vitamin E. Rest assured kale spares nothing in providing one with much needed nutrients and associated health benefits.
The naturally rich sulfur content of kale deserves a bit more discussion. Science has discovered that sulforaphane, helps boost the body's detoxification enzymes, possibly by altering gene expression. This is turn is purported to help clear carcinogenic substances in a timely manner. Sulforaphane is formed when cruciferous vegetables like kale are chopped or chewed. This somehow triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer causing chemicals, of which we all are exposed on daily basis. A recently new study in the Journal of Nutrition (2004) demonstrates that sulforaphane helps stop breast cancer cell proliferation.
Eat your greens!
xoxo CC

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