A Kale Chip Off

I love kale chips because they are a fun and crunchy way to get in your dark leafy greens, and a great way to make these cancer-fighting veggies fun to snack on. 

A couple of weekends ago I held a cooking demo for Urban Greens members. Urban Greens is a Providence grocery coop that is building towards having a physical location. My demo focused on health(ier) snacks and so I decided to sample some recipes for kale chips, roasted chickpeas, and popcorn. All three were fun and delicious, but I learned the most about kale chips, so I'll discuss the pluses and minuses of the three recipes I made. Each recipe used a different kind of kale: regular kale, curly kale and tuscan kale, also known as dinosaur or lacinto kale. 

While dinosaur kale wins the "coolest kale name" contest hands down, I also liked the recipe using this variety the best for more practical reasons. It was quickest, used the simplest ingredients, and looks the most beautiful when finished. It can stand up in a tall glass, and so makes an eye catching and tasty snack.

The trouble with curly and regular kale is that the leaves of both varieties are smaller, and therefore it takes much longer to remove the center stem. The large tuscan kale can be de-stemmed quickly and easily. The other varieties of kale are also more difficult to dry, and drying the kale thoroughly before cooking is important if you want to end up with crunchy chips. All the curls in curly kale trap the moisture, making thorough drying difficult. For regular and curly kale, I would recommend using a salad spinner to dry them out, while the tuscan kale can be patted dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. 

So if you're looking for a new and healthy snacks for folks of all ages, give these awesome tuscan kale chips a try. You can also check out all of the recipes I sampled, including fun popcorn flavors and roasted chickpeas.

Posted on April 21, 2014 .