I’ve heard the rumors for a while now — this crazy notion that long-addicted potato chip lovers can take solace in the low-calorie, high-nutrient snack that is kale chips. The first time a girlfriend shared her bag of specialty-food store “chips” with me, she persisted I try it, remarking, “Isn’t it good? Doesn’t it make you want to give up potato chips all together?”
I nodded, smiled and tasted the completely green nibble that seemed nothing like potato chips. I’ve always avoided chips for their high salt and fat contents, and instantly loved the idea that you could get the satisfying crunch of a chip with the nutrient-power of kale in a single bite. Given kale’s abundance at our local farmers markets and produce stands, it’s a wonderfully versatile green that goes great when roasted to crispy perfection in olive oil and coarse salt.
I must admit that Kale Chips taste nothing like potato chips in the traditional sense, but a little bit better. Flavorful, green and just somewhat salty, I find this homemade snack incredibly addictive.
And, this homemade snack couldn’t be easier — simply quick roast kale’s green leaves with a little olive oil and salt and voila! An instantly healthy snack packing few calories and tons of nutrients. I ran into a woman at the Baton Rouge Farmers Market recently who complained she always burns her Kale Chips. I suggested she purchase a Silpat for this recipe. You will never burn another baking item again as the unique food-grade silicone and fiberglass nonstick baking mat prevents any dark browning at all. Don’t have a Silpat? Substitute wax paper to prevent over-browning. This is one snack you just have to try.
Helana Brigman is a food writer, photographer and author of the forthcoming cookbook, “The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round.” She can be reached with daily recipes at http://clearlydeliciousfoodblog.com or via email at email@example.com.