Normally my kids wouldn’t touch kale with a ten foot pole. But recently I found a way to get them to eat it - without hiding it, begging or threats! I was super excited because it’s sooooo easy, tasty and healthy too.
When my friend told me about how her two kids gobble up kale chips, I thought ‘no way, she’s got to be dreaming!’. But what have I got to lose?
So off to the shops I went and bought a bunch of kale – the common curly green type. A few hours later, to my amazement, my kale chips had disappeared - completely, they ate all of them without any prompting, prodding or begging whatsoever. I'm still not sure exactly what happened...
What's so good about kale?
Kale is full of lots of nutrients including:
- vitamins K, A and C
- calcium, and
Did you know there are many varieties of kale? Like the common curly green kale, Tuscan kale (or Cavolo Nero on fancy restaurant menus), Red Russian kale, Chinese kale (or Chinese broccoli), Siberian kale and Redbor kale to name a few.
Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae) family of veggies, and is related to cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and bok choy.
Is spinach healthier than kale?
Did you also know that spinach is usually cheaper and higher in all the above nutrients except vitamin C. It has more than three times the amount of iron and nearly twice as much folate, fibre and protein. Kale, however, does make better chips.
Try this recipe with your kids and let us know how you go. If you needed more incentive to give this a go, see our research here showing that only 3.5% of Yarra Ranges residents are eating enough fruit and vegetables.
- Curly green kale - I filled an oven tray with half a bunch of kale leaves
- Olive oil – I found the oil in the spray can was the easiest to use if you have it (see the health benefits of olive oil here)
- Ground sweet paprika or dried thyme or other dried herbs
- Optional – Salt or chicken salt
1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcius.
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Remove the leafy part of your kale leaves from the thick stem. You can use kitchen scissors or just tear with your own hands. Tear your kale leaves into potato chip size pieces.
4. Wash, drain and dry the kale. Drying the kale well is really important for crunchy chips. Too much water on the leaves will mean soggy chips. Use a salad spinner if you have one. Or dry the leaves between two clean tea towels or paper towels.
5. Lay the kale leaves on your baking tray in one layer. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and toss them to coat (or spray them thinly with olive oil).
6. Sprinkle the kale with the herbs or spices.
My friend has a neat trick. She puts a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the herbs and spices in to a big zip lock bag, then fills the bag with kale leaves, zips the bag up and gives it a good shake to coat the leaves.
8. Bake the kale until the edges are slightly brown but not burnt. This should take about 10 minutes. The leaves should still look green. If they start to look brown they will taste burnt.
9. Serve on their own, or with hummus or tzatziki dip (home made). The chips are also a great and tasty decoration on top of a bowl of soup, a salad or baked vegetables!
My kids now like to help make the chips. Tearing up the leaves and using the salad spinner are their favourite jobs (after eating the chips of course).
Hope yours enjoy this recipe too.
Sprinkle some kale chips on your home made soup. Try one of these home made dietitian approved soups:
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