Ever since I noticed that Whole Foods gave kale a perfect score of 1000 on their nutrient density scale--the highest score possible based on micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities--I have wanted to eat more kale. Who am I kidding? Not more kale, just some kale. My world and kale's never touched until now. Noticing that my go-to romaine lettuce scores just above 300 on Whole Food's Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) , I figured I needed to expand my greens.
Kale, which contains at least 45 different antioxidant flavonoids and is loaded with vitamins A and K as well as a good supply of C, is a member of the cruciferous family like cabbage and broccoli. It's very impressive cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory heart benefits makes me wonder why the whole world isn't munching on this super veggie.
I am in the processing of introducing kale to my family because I am determined that my kids will grow up having it as a staple in our home along with the only other vegetables to get the top 1000 ANDI score--watercress and mustard, turnip and collard greens. So this week I started with kale chips. I dehydrated them in my oven at 115 degrees so I guess they are technically raw, preserving all of kale's amazing enzymes. However, they can be baked at 300 degrees until crispy.
These kale chips even got the two thumbs up from my 2-1/2-year-old son, who has "texture issues" with food and refuses to eat 99.5% of the veggies I put on his plate. I almost fell over when he said, "I like these, Mommy!"
People with low thyroid may want to be aware that kale, like all vegetables in the Brassica family, contain a compound known as progoitrin, which has shown to decrease thyroid hormone production. Steaming or cooking these vegetables, instead of eating them raw, is found to reduce the goitrogens to a third, according to the Weston A. Price Foundation.
I used a large bunch of red curly kale, but you can substitute two smaller bunches of the flat green kind. Additionally, you can also add 1 tsp of honey to reduce the bitterness or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a kick. I kept these chips pretty simple.
Super Veggie Kale Chip Recipe 1 large bunch of red curly kale or 2 small bunches of flat green kale 2 TBSP Olive Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp Sea Salt (if you'd like them less salty, use a bit less) Optional: 1 tsp of honey or 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
Remove kale stems, pull leaves apart into chip-size pieces. Wash and remove excess water. Put kale in large bowl and toss with oil, vinegar and sea salt. If you decide to use a bit of honey, mix it with the vinegar first before adding. Arrange coated kale leaves on parchment lined cookie sheet and dehydrate in oven at 115 degrees for approximately 5-6 hours or bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes or until crispy.
Eat this nutrient-filled chip as a snack or as an accompaniment with lunch.