AS RECOUNTED HERE, I first discovered kale on a trip to the USA back in 2011. When it comes to health, kale is the king of veggies, sitting right at the top of the ANDI scale (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). I pigged out on kale every chance I got, most notably at every Whole Foods Market I visited, where I’d load up at the salad bar with massive, kale heavy meals.
It was only when I happened to try some raw kale chips at a sampling stand in a Whole Foods in Atlanta that I knew I was hooked for life. Deliciously healthy dream food – thy name is kale chips! My host in LA had a dehydrator and she whipped up a massive batch for me with organic kale from the local farmers market. Suffice to say that I was in heaven.
Upon returning to NZ, I vowed to get a dehydrator of my own, but life got in the way and time passed. I recently noticed some raw kale chips on the shelves at my local health store, but the price! Lawdy Miss Claudy, they must make these chips by burning $100 bills to fire up the industrial dehydrators. Fortunately, a savvy friend pointed out that you could of course make kale chips in the oven. Cue a stunned mullet look on my face – sometimes the obvious isn’t all that obvious.
So today, to test this theory, I bought two big bags of organic kale, hit the internet to dig up a plan, and I fired up the oven. The results were, dare I say it, utterly amazeballs (yep, that good).
I checked out a few recipes but this simple version is foolproof:
Lots of kale
1. Rinse the kale (organic) or wash the heck out of it (non-organic).
2. Tear or cut the leaves away from the stems.
3. Break the leaves into smaller pieces around three to six cm across
4. In a large mixing bowl, coat the leaves with a dash of olive oil and soy sauce. You’ll want to mix it around well to make sure they get seriously coated. Don’t go too heavy on the soy sauce because it can easily overwhelm the delicate taste of the kale.
5. Place neatly on a baking tray or baking paper – the kale won’t stick because of the oil – and bake in a preheated 150 degree oven for around five to eight minutes. Check for crispness after about five minutes. Once the leaves are breaking or crunching under your fingers, it’s done.
6. Place in a bowl and enjoy. I’ve made four batches today and not one of them actually made it out of the kitchen – just too tasty to wait.
It’s worth noting that a dehydrator is definitely a better bet than oven baking because of the lower temperatures involved in dehydration, but then again, I just inhaled a huge amount of ultra healthy kale and it cost me a couple of bucks and a bit of electricity and very little time or preparation. Not bad at all, although I’ll be looking for an unwanted Xmas present on Trade Me later today. ASHLEY KRAMER