How To Cash In On The Kale Craze

kale chips in a wooden bowl

Hey…want to get rich?

It’s easy to get started.

All you need are these simple ingredients: some kale, olive oil and seasonings. Doesn’t sound too hard, now, does it?

And it really works, because as they say, “health is wealth.”

Okay, before you think I just tricked you into reading this, stick with me here. Because kale is one nutritional powerhouse. Just one cup of this curly, green veggie will give you over 200% of your daily vitamin A, over 100% of your C and a gigantic measure of vitamin K – almost 700%!

Now, kale was one of those forgotten vegetables. It doesn’t taste too good cooked, it’s kind of tough to eat raw, and while its high nutritional value was always there, people just didn’t like it that much.

But then, along came those high-speed, veggie blenders. And people started “drinking” kale by the gallon. I started blending kale drinks, too.

But one day I tasted a kale “chip,” and I was hooked. “This is the way to eat kale,” I thought, “Why, I’ll eat this every day!”

But those delicious kale chips are mighty expensive. Considering how light they are, they must cost a zillion dollars a pound. So I decided to make my own. And here’s how I did it (read to the bottom for some lessons from my kale experiments):

  • 1 large bunch of kale – not the “baby” kind
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper and any other spices you like, from hot peppers to spice blends
  • Optional – fresh grated ginger, sesame seeds

Pick or cut off bite-size pieces of kale from each stem. Try to avoid using the stems as they are tough and take too long to cook. Wash and thoroughly dry your kale pieces and place them in a large bowl. A salad “spinner” comes in very handy here to dry them with as the drier they are, the better.

Sprinkle your olive oil over the kale, add spices and mix well.

Place on a single layer on a flat cooking sheet (I use a clay one) and bake at 300 for around 20 minutes. Turn the cooking sheet around after ten minutes, and also check your kale chips before the 20 minutes are up to make sure they’re not overdone. The goal is to cook them till just crispy. Unless you’re just making a tiny amount, you’ll have to make them in several batches.

Lessons from my “kale kitchen”

In the first batches I made, I used 3 tablespoons of olive oil, which, while still delicious, made them a bit greasy. I cut that down to 2, or even 1 if I don’t have that much kale, and it worked just great.

You also really want to mix the kale, seasonings and oil well. I ended up using my hands, which really does the job. But it does take several hand washings to (finally) get the oil off.

Also, when you’re making kale chips, go for quantity. What started out as a giant bag of kale got reduced to a large bowl of chips.

And finally, I got so into making these kale chips that I started adding all sorts of extras. Things like grated ginger, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and a spice blend for fish that has rosemary, lemon and coriander in it. So you can really use anything you like to spice them up, as long as it doesn’t make them soggy (like cheese would.)

If you have any leftovers, store them in a airtight bag, and if they get soggy, a minute in the oven at 300 will crisp them up again.

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