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Time for a tasty and super-healthy snack!
Kale is, hands down, one of the most amazing superfoods on the planet.
It’s loaded with Vitamin C, chlorophyll, fiber, iron, calcium, and more antioxidants and minerals than even spinach and chard.
It’s essentially the best of the dark leafy greens, which makes it one of the best veggies around.
You might not be a fan of kale in your salad or stir fry, but you can still get plenty of nutrition from kale chips, a snack that is both nutritious and surprisingly delicious.
Below, we’ll walk you through the process of creating the perfect kale chips every time!
Benefits of Kale Chips
Kale is one of the most nutrient-rich members of the veggie family. In fact, it has a higher nutrient density than most leafy greens, as well as pretty much every other vegetable on the planet. The assortment of nutrients ranges from fiber to vital minerals to antioxidants to chlorophyll, all of which combine to make it an incredibly healthy food.
When you make your own kale chips, you preserve the nutrients in the kale while still being able to enjoy a healthy snack. Here are some of the most amazing benefits your homemade kale chips will provide:
Loaded with vitamins and minerals. A single cup of kale contains more than 200% of your daily Vitamin A value, 680% of your daily Vitamin K value, 134% of your daily Vitamin C value, 26% of your daily manganese value, 10% of your daily copper value, and 9% each of your daily Vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium value.
Rich in antioxidants. Kale contains a host of antioxidants like kaempferol, quercetin, Vitamin C, and beta-carotene, to name a few. It’s rich in polyphenols and flavonoids that can help to counteract the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Fights cancer. Kale is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and other antioxidants that can help to fight cancer, but there’s one in particular you need to know about: sulforaphane. This substance can not only help to prevent the spread of cancer, but can inhibit the development of cancer on a molecular level.
Lowers cholesterol. The Vitamin C in kale will help to prevent cholesterol from being turned into the plaque that hardens on your arterial walls and increases your risk of heart problems. Kale also contains bile acid sequestrants, which can bind bile acids in your digestive system and stop your body from reabsorbing them, thereby lowering your cholesterol levels.
Vital for healthy circulation. Kale contains massive amounts of Vitamin K, a nutrient that plays a role in blood clotting by activating proteins in your blood that allows them to bind calcium. Just one cup of kale gives you seven times the daily dose of Vitamin K your body needs!
Great for your eyes. The high beta-carotene content of kale means your body has a lot of the antioxidants needed to produce Vitamin A, which is vital for healthy eyes. There’s also a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin in kale, and these two antioxidants play a critical role in protecting your eyes from degeneration.
As you can see, there are a lot of important nutrients in kale, along with some pretty amazing health benefits. If you’ve been hesitant to try it, now’s the time!
How to Make the Perfect Kale Chips
Don’t think preparing kale chips has to be tricky or requires a lot of specialized equipment like dehydrators or air fryers. In fact, you’ll find that they’re one of the simplest snacks you can make, and all you’ll need is the basic equipment you’ve already got in your kitchen.
Here is our quick and painless process to make the perfect kale chips:
Step 1: Prepare the kale leaves. You’ll want to cut the leaves away from the stems, as the stems have the bitterest flavor of the leaf. You can also simply rip the leaves off the stem, then rip them into large pieces. Wash the kale leaves and use a salad spinner to make sure they are as dry as possible. If there’s any water on the leaves, it will steam the leaves, preventing them from dehydrating and turning into chips.
Step 2: Add oil and flavor. You want to add enough oil that all of the leaves have at least a light sprinkling of oil, but not so much that they’re drenched. Toss the leaves in the oil to make sure you get an even coating. Add a bit of salt, pepper, lemon pepper, chili powder, cumin, or whatever spices you want, but make sure it’s very light. At this stage, you want just the leaves and oil!
Step 3: Spread out the leaves on a baking tray. Line a metal baking tray with parchment paper, and lay out the leaves on the parchment one by one. It’s a bit more time-consuming, but it guarantees even cooking rather than a soggy mess.
Step 4: Bake low and slow. With the heat too high, you run the risk of burning the kale leaves. Instead, set the oven to 300 F, and go for a total of 25 minutes of baking time. 10 minutes for the first bake, flip the leaves over, and bake for another 15 minutes. Once they’re done, let them cool on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, and you’ll find they’re crispy and ready to eat.
Bonus: If you’re going to add liquid flavorings—such as lemon juice or vinegar—make sure to use a spray bottle or mister. You want to avoid excessive liquid, as that will just make the kale chips soggy. A very fine mist is all you need to flavor the outside of the kale chips.
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