Kale packed with nutrients
A friend suggested I write a column that included a recipe for kale chips.
I liked this idea since kale is one of my favourite things in my garden and I’m always happy to give suggestions for how to use it.
The reason I love having kale in my garden isn’t because it’s my favourite thing to eat (although I do enjoy it), but because it’s so easy to grow.
I’m a fan of low-maintenance plants, particularly the edible variety.
Kale is rewarding to grow because it’s one of the first things ready to eat in the spring, it grows all summer through the intense Kamloops heat and is the last thing I’m picking and eating from the garden in late fall.
It actually gets sweeter-tasting after a frost.
This dark, leafy green vegetable is a member of the brassica family, which also includes collards, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli.
Kale has the reputation of being one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.
While it’s hard to single out one vegetable as the best, kale is packed with more nutrients than many others vegetables.
It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins C, K and A, manganese, copper and calcium.
It is also a great source of antioxidants, including lutein, which is thought to promote healthy eyes.
Many people avoid kale because they do not know what to do with it or they find it bitter or tough.
Kale is a hearty, leafy green and has a chewier texture than lettuce.
If eaten plain, it can taste a bit earthy or bitter.
How you prepare it is key.
For instance, if you are using it in a salad, first massage the leaves by rubbing them thoroughly with oil and a pinch of salt, then toss the kale in your favourite dressing and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
I have known a lot of people who have been converted to kale eaters after trying baked kale chips.
Try the simple recipe below for a healthy snack.
Simone Jennings is a registered dietitian in Kamloops.
1 bunch of kale
1 tbsp. olive oil (or enough to coat kale leaves)
Dash of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Tear or cut kale leaves from the thick stem and tear into large pieces (like the size of a large taco chip).
Toss in olive oil so the kale is well-coated.
Sprinkle with salt.
Place on a large cookie sheet and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes.
Kale chips are done when they are crispy throughout, but still green. They should be crisp but should not shatter when handled.
This is just a basic recipe, but you can get creative with the flavours.
For example, try using a combination of olive oil and sesame oil, use Tamari (soy sauce) instead of salt and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
The flavouring options are endless.