Kale chips: have you tried them yet?

Words and photo by Charlotte Cretney (aka Little Hepburn / @littlehepburnnz)

If you’re looking for a healthy and tasty snacks for your family, kale chips are always a hit in our family. Making kale chips with my easy recipe below, is a great way of retaining all the nutritional value of the kale, creating a low-calorie, nutrient-dense snack that is beneficial for your families health.

Benefits:

Excellent eyesight
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse when it comes to supporting eyesight. One cup contains 206 percent of your vitamin A needs in the form of beta-carotene, which helps protect the surface of the eye. In addition, a 2011 study from the National Eye Institute found that beta-carotene, in combination with other nutrients, helped reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration. Kale is also one of the best food sources of lutein and zeaxathin, two carotenoids that are highly concentrated in the retina of the eye. Your body does not make these carotenoids, so you must get them through the foods you eat.

Heart Health
Kale contains no cholesterol and no unhealthy saturated or trans fats making it a good choice for cardiovascular health. The olive oil you use in making the kale chips is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. When monounsaturated fats are consumed in place of saturated fats or refined carbohydrates, they can help to lower your LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol and raise your HDL — or “good” — cholesterol. Olive oil also contains phenolic compounds, a source of antioxidants that researchers believe have protective effects against cardiovascular disease.

Nutrient Dense
In addition to the nutrients that help with eyesight and heart health, kale chips contain a variety of other important nutrients. In 1 cup of kale chips, you’ll consume 134 percent of your daily vitamin C needs to support immune function and more than 600 percent of your daily vitamin K requirements for proper blood clotting. The olive oil used to make the chips also contains 10 percent of the daily value for vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties.

Recipe

  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner.
  • Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt (Paprika is another of my favourite seasonings on these).
  • Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

So delicious, healthy and a good way to get greens into your kids! Enjoy!


Nutritional information sourced from:
Chrissy Carroll, a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine 

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