Glorious Kale Chips!

Sometimes I wonder about the so-called “health food” that we encounter in health food restaurants like Fresh in Toronto.  I mean, what exactly constitutes a health food?

Are fried onion rings healthy just because they were breaded with quinoa instead of corn batter?  I am inclined to say no: fried onion rings, whether they are breaded with quinoa or corn, are still fried.  Sometimes our good intentions fail when we prepare healthy foods in the same, unhealthy way as fast foods.

I think it was Meghan Telpner of “Making Love in the Kitchen” who said that a health food is a food that promotes health, not just a food that doesn’t cause disease. Does that mean that those with a fetish for salty, crispy snacks face a lifetime of deprivation?  I assure you not! Allow me to present The Kale Chip: a salty, crunchy snack that will indeed make you healthier!  As Dr. Phil R. says, “It’s like sunshine for your cells.” (Well, maybe not, but they’re still great for you!)

Kale is a dark, leafy green, full of flavenoids (potent anti-oxidants), vitamins, minerals and fibre.  It can be cooked like spinach, used instead of lettuce in salads and, best of all, slowly baked into crispy, savoury chips, to satisfy your salty tooth!

How to make them:

The Kale

I buy a huge bundle of kale for $2.99 at Metro at Spadina and Bloor.  This bundle is good for at least two batches of kale chips.  Break up the kale leaves into chip-sized pieces, wash them thoroughly and drain out any excess water.

The Dressing

– 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

– 1 tbsp tahini

– 1 tsp garlic powder

– pinch of salt

(if you find that the dressing isn’t enough to adequately cover the kale pieces, increase the amounts in the appropriate ratios to make more).

All good chips come with seasoning (come on, when was the last time you craved plain chips?).  To make this health-promoting seasoning, add apple cider vinegar, tahini, garlic powder and salt together and mixed well to create a sauce.  Then pour the sauce over the bowl of kale pieces and toss thoroughly to cover the kale evenly.

Next, spread the dressing-covered kale pieces onto a baking sheet and set your oven on its lowest temperature: in my case, 140 degrees.

Let the kale bake for 4 hours, turning the leaves over at the midway (2 hour) mark.

After 4 hours, take them out, let them cool and, in the morning, pack these little babies into a little container to take with you to work or class.  For me, a 5-hour nutrition class goes by much more smoothly when I have a delicious, vitamin-packed snack to munch on!

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