Kale: Fresh Talk
Need a healthy alternative to potato chips? Would you believe me if I told you that kale is a great option (and it’s a seasonal star). Give Crispy Kale with Lemon Yogurt Dipping Sauce a try and I think you may be a convert.
Kale, a dark, leafy green, is touted as one of the healthiest vegetables on earth, and it’s not hard to see why. Check out these impressive stats:
One cup of kale has 35 calories, 5g of fiber, and 0g of fat;
- One serving provides 200% of your daily value of vitamin C, and 1020% of vitamin K, which helps keeps bones strong;
- Kale is extremely rich in antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids, known to reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Simply put, kale is a nutritional powerhouse. And it’s available year-round in nearly every grocery store or farmers’ market across the country, but is especially sweet and tender in the wintertime.
Look for kale with deeply colored firm leaves and thin yet hardy stems. To use it, wash and pat dry the leaves, then cut them off the stem (or fold the kale leaves in half with the vein side out, then pull up on the stems). Chop and serve as a side dish, as in Kale with Currants, Lemon, and Olives (pictured above), or add to soups, stews, and salads. Or do as I do and bake ’em!
Baking kale produces a crunchy, ultra-addictive snack that rivals any potato chip on the market. My favorite baked kale recipe, Crispy Kale with Lemon Dipping Sauce, combines chopped kale with heart-healthy olive oil, aromatic, antioxidant-rich garlic slices, and a sprinkling of salt before baking for 15 minutes in the oven.
The result is an audibly crunchy kale chip with a texture and flavor that will simply astound you. The crispy kale only gets better when dipped in the tangy Lemon Yogurt Dip, which combines thick Greek yogurt and bright lemon juice. Serve them to guests as a game-day snack or an appetizer that’s sure to get the party started. But be advised: you’ll need a big batch because, just like a potato chips, you can’t eat just one!
Looking for more creative uses for kale? Give these recipes a try: