I’ve been going through a lot of so called ‘spring’ cleaning lately. Going through the wardrobes I found old clothes and broken hangers stuffed behind other unwanted items. The drawers had a few odd pairs of socks and old crunched up t-shirts. The garden was also in much need of weeding and tidying after the cold prolonged cruel months we had in the UK. Last year we invested in a small vegetable patch, and the only surviving crop left is plenty of kale and leeks. Determined not to waste my slightly neglected crop, I’ve been going through my collection of cookbooks, food magazines and of course many amazing food blogs for inspiration. If time allows, more of that will follow soon. It’s always good to spring clean your body too!
The first time I came across a recipe for kale crisps was 2 years ago and I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try it! This time I decided to make a large batch and get the family to try it too. With any new recipe, I tend to experiment in small batches at first, myself as the guinea-pig of course! Trust me I’ve been called a ‘weird foodie’ many times, having the ability to taste and try almost anything new.
The real verdict is when your children and my crisps loving husband (Mr A) approve. So I’m glad to announce that he did! So did my eldest, and she even asked for more. The second one spat it in the bin, and the youngest didn’t even try as the look of green leaves put her off!
I’ve always preferred sweet to savoury until recently when I’ve become aware that excess sugar and refined carbohydrates may be more harmful to your body than natural saturated fats, so these new found kale crisps seem to have hit the spot. I am hoping if the young ones see us devouring them often, maybe one day they’ll be convinced. Patience is a good virtue!
Some Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is from the brassicas family (i.e. cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), and packed with vitamin A, C and K; Vitamin K being important for blood clotting and bone health. Kale is high in soluble fibre, and filled with important phytochemicals, thought to have strong anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory action, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. In the world of ‘food fashion’ as I call it, it’s been labelled as a super-food, a good marketing scheme to get us to buy more such things. Well to be honest, many foods are super, you just have to trust your instincts!
To me kale tastes like a mixture of cabbage and rocket with a slight pleasant bitter after-taste, similar to that found in certain salad leaves.
Kale Crisps – Enough to satisfy your crisps craving
Note: Please take it easy with the salt, as the first batch I made was way too salty. I also felt the first batch was far too oily with 2 tablespoons of oil so I carefully brushed the second batch with 1 tablespoon resulting in a beautiful crispy flaky texture.
- Small bunch, approximately 25 g or 1 overfilled cup of kale
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 180°C/400°F.
Remove the thick middle stems from the kale leaves and cut into ‘crisps’ size pieces. (The leaves I got from the kale in the garden were fairly small and tender, so I skipped removing the stems)
Toss the leaves with olive oil and a slight pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Do not leave them too long otherwise they will get too bitter. Keep an eye on them, if you feel you need to bake them for a shorter duration do.
I really hope you enjoy these crisps, as we did. So you never know, maybe next time you sit to down with your family, you’ll be wishing you had made more!