Kale Crackers

WARNING:  These kale chips are CRACK(ers)!

Homemade spicy hummus, fresh salsa and pretty much anything spicy has been on our eating repertoire these days.  Just the other day, the hubs and I were making our latest batch of spicy kale chips and we kicked it up double the spicy level.  I’ve always loved playing with fire!  Thought we’d put a different spin on things and make kale crackers.  OH MY!  They were to die for!  So crisp, so flavorful and so addicting!  ALL GONE!  :-)

Kale chips are my new “popcorn.”  Since going raw, it was a long time coming to find a replacement for my movie snack.  Had to be crunchy, savory and of course, healthy!  When I’m in the mood for something cheezy, I go for my Zesty Cheezy Kale Chips.  Kale chips are light, low in calories (unlike movie popcorn), and green – not to mention full of vitamins!  No guilt here!

The love affair begins with the motto “I’ll massage you, if you massage me.”  As easily as I’m roped into massaging the kale leaves for a healthy, hardy salad or soon-to-be crispy, crunchy kale chips; these vitamin packed stalks of YUM return the favor (freely) by rewarding my taste buds and health with such satisfaction.  Woo me, kale!

Make sure to remove the ropy stems and wash the leaves in at least two changes of water (speaking from experience), as organic kale can be very attractive to aphids.  Aphids won’t hurt you, but it might take a few rinses to clean them off the leaves.

Kale is one of nature’s best sources of vitamins A, C and K and a very good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.  The flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates are believed to have antioxidant properties, as are two other compounds that kale delivers, zeaxanthin and lutein, both thought to play a role in protecting the eyes.  Providing 2 grams of protein, kale contains 5% of the recommended daily intake of fiber in just one serving.  Did you know that kale has more iron than beef?  Kale also contains more calcium per calorie than milk and is better absorbed by the body than dairy.  Incredibly effective as an anti-inflammatory, potentially preventing and even reversing illnesses.  Need I say I more?  Oh how I love thee, my precious kale!  It is one food you should have on your table at least 3 times a week.

Two of the most common types of kale found in domestic grocery stores are Curly kale and Lacinato kale.  Curly kale being the most common is sweet and mild, and of course, curly!  Lacinato kale, aka Dinosaur kale, has tall narrow leaves and a wrinkled texture; this variety will also continue to grow over the winter months very well.  I have made kale chips out of both varieties, it’s all in what texture you want …  I love ’em both!   There are many other varieties of kale out there, these two are the few that are better known.  I will say, “I never have met a kale I didn’t like!”

How do you enjoy your kale?  Have you tried kale chips?  Please share your kale tales!


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