The word on everyone’s lips at the moment it seems is “Kale”. A member of the cabbage family, the beautiful and delicious leaves of the kale plant provide a rich earthy flavour and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. I normally pick up a big batch of Kale every Saturday morning from Barnes Village Farmers Market which I then use in smoothies, stir frys, salads and even on their own as crisps with some salt and spice.
There are several varieties of kale; these include curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur kale, all of which differ in taste, texture, and appearance. Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is usually deep green in colour. It’s my favourite kale for making crisps with as it has a natural lively pungent flavour with delicious strong peppery qualities. Added with some salt and paprika, these make for a most delicious, quick and easy snack. I promise, you will not be disappointed!
What you need:
*2 tsp smoked paprika
*3 tbsp olive oil
*3 pinches of sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 180°c
- Wash the kale and then dry in a salad strainer, shake them free of any extra water and then dry with a tea towel
- Remove the kale leaves from the thick inner stalk by pulling them away from the way they grow
- Place the kale in a bowel and drizzle with a large glug (about 3 tbsps) of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and paprika
- Massage the leaves until fully covered with olive oil, salt and paprika
- Spread on to a baking sheet in one layer (may have to do 2 -3 batches) with no overlapping and bake for approximately 12 minutes until crisped and slightly browned at the edges (Turn the baking sheet after about 8 minutes so that the back kale crisps don’t brown too much)
- Serve straight away or seal in an airtight container
Health benefits of kale:
ANTIOXIDANTS:Kale has thigh concentrations of the antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids which can help protect against various cancers
NUTRIENTS: Kale is full of nutrients which help protect the body from oxidative stress. One cup of kale has 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat
IRON: Per calorie, Kale has more iron than beef. Iron makes red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body- it is essential for regulating the growth of cells
VITAMIN K: Kale is high in vitamin K which can help prevent against a variety of cancers
VITAMIN A: Kale is hight in vitamin A which helps maintain healthy vision and skin as well as helping prevent against lunch and oral cavity cancers
CALCIUM: Kale’s is higher in calcium, per calorie than cows milk, which helps prevent against osteoporosis, joint flexibility and maintaining a healthy metabolism
FIBRE: Kale is very high in fiber which is great for digestion and elimination
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Kale is high in omega-3 (only 100 calories of kale provides over 350 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid (Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA) which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
HEART HEALTH: Kale provides valuable cardiovascular support in terms of its cholesterol-lowering ability
LIVER HEALTH: The detoxifying properties that kale holds help to keep your liver healthy