Chili-lime kale chips rank #1

July 23, 2010

Chili Lime Kale Chips

Do you have a small love affair going on with kale? If so, I’m not surprised. It’s in full blown season right now, with big, beautiful, leafy bunches for sale everywhere I look. I got my hands on some kale this week and turned it into a new version of kale chips that I couldn’t stop bragging about for days. You know how it is when you really nail a recipe and it turns out amazing and you do a little happy dance and proceed to eat all of it immediately? It was like that.

I’ve noticed that kale delivers one of those ah-ha moments for a lot of people. You know, the “Oh my god this is healthy and I really like how it tastes!” moments.

But how healthy is it?

Well, it’s hard core rocking Vitamins A, K, and C. And it’s delivering a fine dose of fiber, iron, calcium and protein. Not to mention it’s totally low in calories and full of bright green chlorophyll – that means you are practically eating the sun’s radiant energy! How awesome does that feel?

But let’s sum it up. Eat Right America has developed a scoring system for foods based on nutritional density. (You may have seen these ANDI scores at your local Whole Foods.) The scale is 1-1000.

You know what kale is rated at? 1000. Yup, perfect score. #1.

According to these ANDI ratings, kale is twice as nutrient dense as arugula, 10 times as nutrient dense as lentils, and 20 times as nutrient dense as pumpkin seeds. Man.

If you haven’t tried the deliciousness known as kale chips, now is the time. But today I’m bringing you an amped up recipe that will blow your damn mind. Serious.

Chili-lime Kale Chips
1 head of green curly kale
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbl. olive oil
1/2 cup cashews, ground to a powder
2 Tbl. chili powder
1 Tbl. salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse kale leaves and shake dry. Tear leaves into chip-sized pieces. Reserve the stems for another use, like vegetable stock.

2. In a large bowl, combine kale with all other ingredients. Mix with your hands until kale looks wet and seasoning is evenly distributed.

3. On two large cookie sheets, spread out kale leaves so they are flat and not overlapping the best you can.

4. Bake for about 8 minutes. Flip and move chips around to cook evenly. Bake another 8 minutes or so. When they are done they should be absolutely crispy. Once crisp they tend to burn quickly so check on them every minute or so towards the end!

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