I know that as a nutritionist I’m expected to LOVE kale… and I do enjoy it in some applications (like my roasted veggie + kale salad), but it’s certainly not my favorite leafy green. I do, however, love kale chips because I’m a snacker, and rather than mow down a box of Cheez-Its, these are my go-to because I know all I really want is something crispy and salty to mindlessly munch on—and you can never have too many veggies!
There are a bunch of ways to flavor them, but I wanted to share the basic recipe so you could experiment from there. You can go with just salt and pepper, but I like to add lemon juice for a little more tang and some gut-healthy nutritional yeast to add some Vitamin B12 and, more importantly, CHEESY flavor.
Speaking of cheese, did you know kale has more than 2x the calcium as dairy? It also has anti-cancer properties, helping to reduce oxidative stress (thanks to its antioxidants) and break down and destroy cancer-causing agents with a phytonutrient it contains known as sulforaphane.
You may be saying, “All sounds good, but kale makes me bloat.” I feel you. This is often due to a sugar that cruciferous vegetables contain called raffinose, which produces extra gas as it breaks down and can make you feel bloated. This comes with the territory, unfortunately, but the stronger your gut health, the less bloating you will feel, so it may just take some time getting used to having this type of vegetable in your diet if you’re not used to it already.
One more thing before I lose you—for those dealing with thyroid issues, roasting up some kale chips is a good way to get in crucifers. While crucifers are super healthy, detoxifying foods, those with thyroid issues are often instructed to avoid them. Cooking kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other similar veggies, however, reduces the goitrogenic substances that you want to avoid.
And now I’ll leave you be to enjoy this healthy snack:
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Tear kale leaves off of stems into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over leaves. If using, add lemon juice here as well. Massage the ingredients into the kale with your hands to ensure the leaves are coated.
- Lay out on a baking sheet in a single layer (I like putting the leaves face down). Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top, if using, then bake 8-9 minutes. Your oven may vary and they burn quickly so keep an eye out starting at 8 minutes.