If you have visited a farmer’s market in the last several weeks, you’ve probably noticed lots and lots of KALE! And, if you are like me, you start to wonder what else you can add kale to. Generally, I use kale in soup a lot (one of my all-time favorite soup recipes is this recipe for Tuscan Zuppa). But, it’s too hot here in Michigan to eat soup this week, so I have been making a lot of kale chips! My kids (and hubby) LOVE them and they are so tasty – and a great way to eat lots of nutrient-dense kale. WebMD has this to say about kale:
One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
Wash kale and remove from stem. Pat dry, arrange on baking sheet in a single later in bite-sized pieces. Drizzle or spritz with a little olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning of choice (I use garlic salt), and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 8 minutes (or a little less if the edges start to get crispy and brown). Remove and EAT!!!
Here’s a picture of the kale chips before they went into the oven for a short 7-8 minutes:
And the finished product (oops – overcooked them just a bit, but they were still yummy!):
****UPDATE: after I wrote this post, a friend shared that in order to prevent the burned, too-crispy kale chips, she uses her food dehydrator! What a great idea!
And speaking of veggies, I just saw this great chart from Get REAL for Kids (previously known as Nourish MD) – it helps remind us the importance of pairing those yummy summer veggies and fruits with a “friendly fat”. Did you know that when you eat produce with a friendly fat it helps our bodies absorb the nutrients in the produce better? It’s also great for your brain function, neurotransmitters and hormones! You can find the chart HERE (at bottom of the post they have a download-able version to print out!)
So, go out and take advantage of all of the fresh, nutrient-dense produce that is out there at this time of year! And then come share your favorite kale recipe with me!!!
- Too Much Kale? Dehydrate it! » Real Food Eater - [...] often make kale chips and I’ve also blanched some and put it in the freezer to add to soups…