I love leafy greens. Seriously. Spinach, Mustard, Turnip, Kale…love love love! My garden was loaded with greens this year and my only wish is that we had more to enjoy!
It surprises and somewhat saddens me that many people look at greens and freeze up; clueless as to how to add these striking gems to their plate. Uses for these healthy, nutrient packed, cancer-fighting delights are endless.
Use them in soup, sauté them for a delightful side dish, hyper-drive your salad by replacing iceberg lettuce with them, mix them in your smoothie, use them for wraps…there are countless ways to incorporate healthy greens into your life.
For those of you who need reasons to eat your greens, I love this list from www.leafy-greens.org: Top 10 Reasons To Eat Your Greens (trust me, your mom wants you to read this!).
Let’s face it though; most kids (and husbands) are not thrilled about eating vegetables of any sort. I am blessed with children (and a husband) who will eat most anything I throw at them, sometimes even really like what I have made (even if it is nothing but vegetables), but very rarely will they ask me to make anything strictly vegi-like just for the sake of eating that dish.
Then I happened upon a phenomena known as kale chips. Some of my favorite bloggers like Elana from Elana’s Pantry, and Shauna from Gluten-Free Girl have shared their own version of these delightful snack-like veggies; so when the opportunity to play with my own kale recipe came about through the Ingredient-Challenge Monday, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with mine!
My kids have enjoyed this snack so much that I have been asked to make these chips over and over; my dairy free/gluten free daughter even requested some for her school lunch today.
Any recipe this healthy that receives multiple requests from my children deserves being shared.
Because I wanted a crisper version than what the short-baking process reflected in other blogs offered, I did some playing with the recipe until I felt it was just-right.
To my surprise though, I received mixed reviews from my family regarding the end result of each method. Some preferred the quicker, not as crunchy variety, some preferred the easier to tote, made for finger snacking variety.
So, while the recipe remains the same, I am going to share with you two different methods to prepare these chips.
The first method creates a tender but slightly crispy dish that is great for use as a side dish but is not quite finger-snacking quality. It is, however, very quick and a great way to fill those between-meal snacking needs without throwing your (or your children’s) nutritional needs out the window.
The second method produces a very crispy chip that is easier to package for on-the-go snacking or school lunch needs. This method takes a long time but is still flavorful, just as beautiful and well worth the wait.
Whichever method you choose, I hope your family finds as many reasons to enjoy this happy healthy snack as we have.
Vegan Garlic Kale Chips
1 Bunch Kale (washed and dried thoroughly)
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Minced Garlic
¼ tsp Sea Salt
Method 1 (Quick and tender): Heat oven to 350f. Make sure kale is very very dry. Use your salad spinner to remove all water after cleaning and allow leaves to lay on paper towels , dabbing with additional towels to ensure all excess water has been removed. Chop kale into ½ inch pieces; remove any thick or tough stems. Place kale into large mixing bowl. Add in olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt. Use hands to massage oil, garlic and sea salt evenly onto each piece. On parchment lined baking sheet, spread prepared kale into one even layer.
Bake at 350f for 10-15 minutes until kale is dark green and crisp to your liking (somewhere between 12-15 minutes seemed just right to me). Cool and serve.
Method 2 (Crisp and easy to transport): Set oven to lowest setting. Use your salad spinner to remove excess water from cleaning/prep stage. Leaving leaves slightly damp is actually preferable for this method, so do not go through the additional drying steps mentioned in Method 1. Chop kale into ½ inch pieces; remove any thick or tough stems. Place kale into large mixing bowl. Add in olive oil, minced garlic and sprinkle with sea salt. Use hands to massage oil, garlic and sea salt evenly onto each piece. On parchment lined baking sheet, spread prepared kale into one even layer.
Bake at lowest setting for 8-10 hours until kale is dark green and completely dehydrated (mine was perfect at 10 hours on a setting of 170f). Cool and serve.
Method 2 also works in a dehydrator and is a great option if you are on a raw diet or trying to incorporate more raw methods of preparation into your lifestyle.
Again, I hope your family enjoys these as kale chips as well as we have.
Be sure to visit the other ladies participating in the Ingredient-Challenge Monday for other great ways to incorporate kale into your life this year.
Happy Monday to you all!