Crush the chips craving with kale

If you are truly going to embrace a hoof-to-head lifestyle that puts healthiness at the center of decisions, then you have to deal with the snack thing at some point. You gotta snack. You gotta feed the cravings. You gotta have balance.

That’s why you see some pretty damn good desserts on this site. If we’re going to have something decadent, it aint gonna be a Hostess Ding Dong.

But many cravings can be quelled in healthy ways, as I’ve finally convinced The Bride recently, who has the fiercest potato chip cravings I’ve ever witnessed. That whole “you can’t eat just one” commercial should have starred her. Open a bag, and well, goodnight now, chips!

We needed a better approach.

I’ve been pretty slow to adapt to the kale craze because much like so many of the food fads –I’m talking about you Quinoa — they tend to be overhyped and quickly commercialized. Kale is no exception, but unlike many of the other culprits of social media sensationalism, Kale is a relentless garden favorite that keeps growing all winter long. There is absolutely nothing about planing some seeds in rotation and keeping a steady crop of kale around to pluck and enjoy.

I like its heartiness in salads. I’ve juiced it in my juice experiments, but as one would expect, it doesn’t produce significant yields. All these are just fine. But in kale chips, I’ve finally found something that live up to the hype. By changing the seasoning, from chili powder, to garlic to rosemary to soy, I can get different flavors much like different bags of chips. But unlike chips, these kill it in health instead of kill you with processed crap. Olive oil, garlic and kale — all medicinal foods that together, and cooked just right, taste great.

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There’s no real magic to making them so don’t get too worked up even if the first time they become road rash to the pan. You’ll slow it down and figure it out.

Here’s a few tips:

  1. Wash the leaves and let dry well even after you’ve spun them in a spinner.
  2. Take the big part of the end of the leaf only in one big chip. Then peel the stems to add to a salad later. The little guys just ain’t worth it and they crowd the pan.
  3. Massage the oil (and if using soy sauce, this asian flavor with a dash of sesame seeds is effin delightful) on the leaves.
  4. Season richly. Strong flavors are good here.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes at 325. About 10 minutes in, I take a spatula and scoop them up from sticking to the pan. It’s like fluffing them up for the final two minutes.
  6. Serve immediately!
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