Saturday, January 4, 2014

Slow Baked Sesame Kale Chips

I wish someone would tell my body that the holidays are over. I'm still craving butter-laden cookies, evening cocktails, and generally rich foods that are not good for my waist-line or my overall health and well-being.

These baked kale chips are an easy way for me to transition back to eating healthier foods after bingeing on nothing but junk for the past few weeks. They are crisp with a hint of salt and slightly nutty from the sesame seeds and oil. The lemon brightens it all up, and the result is a very satisfying snack.

Unlike most kale chip recipes I see, these are baked low and slow in a 200 degree oven. I prefer this method because the kale chips dry out slowly and never get burned like they occasionally did when I baked them at higher temperatures. I also love the intensely dark shade of green they take on after cooking for so long.

If you're like me and wanting to get back in the habit of eating healthy for the new year, but your taste buds are in rebellion, consider making these kale chips for a healthy yet tasty snack.

Slow Baked Sesame Kale Chips
Adapted from Whole Living

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 50-55 minutes

1 small bunch (about 8 cups) kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl drizzle kale with oils, lemon juice, and sesame seeds. Toss the kale until evenly coated, gently massaging the mixture into the kale leaves as you do so.

Transfer to a baking sheet. Season with a pinch or two of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip kale leaves over with a spatula, and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes.

Let cool completely. 

-Baked kale chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
-Go easy with the salt. The first time I made these kale chips, they ended up being way too salty since the volume of the kale leaves reduces significantly. Just remember, you can always add more salt after they're done cooking, but it doesn't work the other way around.
-Garlic is a wonderful addition! Try grating a clove or two over the leaves right before you flip the kale at the half way point.

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