Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting Around the High Cost of Kale Chips

Most of us folks who are eating to heal are trying to get as many super greens into our diets as possible.  However, I have to confess that I am less than excited by kale.  Yes, I know, some of you really like it.  I've been adding it to my morning green smoothies, eating it sauted with garlic and olive oil and adding it to interesting salads.  It's okay.  However, I have to say that it is much more than just okay when it's in the form of chips.

It seems like only a year or so ago, kale chips were everywhere in stores.  I still see them, although not in quite as many options.  Most people who've tasted kale chips respond positively, so the fall-off in availability must be due to the relatively high cost of store-bought kale chips.

It's too bad, because chips made from the super green, kale, are a tasty snack.  And how often can the two phrases "tasty snack" and "super green" be used in the same sentence?

One issue with the commercially available kale chips is that so many brands contain soy oil.   Some people avoid soy because of allergy problems, GMO concerns or omega-6/omega-3 imbalance issues (soy has both but more of the omega-6's and we want less of those and more omega-3's).

Make Your Own Chips

Kale chips can be made in a snap by simply coating cut up pieces of kale with olive oil, sea salt and lemon pepper seasoning.  Lay them on a cookie sheet covered in a Silpat and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until they are crispy and starting to brown.  For even further convenience, buy your kale pre-cut, washed and bagged from your local supermarket. Once the chips are roasted, store them in an air-tight container.

What to Do With Them?

Kale chips can be eaten like any other chip as a simple snack.  However, you can also use them as toppings for soups or other soft textured foods.  If you're eating grain-free or gluten-free like so many of us, you have fewer crouton options than the rest of the world.  Kale chips are a colorful crispy alternative to bread croutons.  They're also great for adding extra excitement as a topping to mashed potatoes, or any mashed or pureed vegetable such as cauliflower or turnips. In addition, try sprinkling kale chips on creamy risottos and pasta dishes.   The bright green color, the crisp texture and the salty taste add delicious interest to these dishes as well as super-nutrition.

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