Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Eat to Live Cookbook Project: Kale Krinkle Chips and Kale Chip Recipe Roundup

I have a confession to make. Actually, I have more than one confession.

I've only made kale chips one other time. Maybe two.

It's not that I don't love kale chips, I do. It's just that it seems like a lot of effort for something that's really just a snack. And a snack that if you don't do it right, could add up to a whole helluva lot of calories. It all depends on what's on those kale chips.

And when there is good stuff on those kale chips, like a thick, nutty, cheesy flavored coating, well I find them to be absolutely addictive. I was buying a package of cheesy kale chips at my local farmer's market every weekend and eating the whole darned thing in, like, one or two sitting. Yeah, they were that good.

Just because there is kale in them doesn't necessarily mean they are a healthy snack, at least not where I am concerned.

But when I saw a recipe in The Eat to Live Cookbook that had very little in the way of highly caloric stuff in proportion to the actual kale, I was pretty excited. So I made them.

Here's my second confession:

I added salt.

It wasn't in the recipe even. I just couldn't help myself. I didn't think they would taste good at all without at least a little salt.

So I can't give the most honest review of the recipe as it was published in The Eat to Live Cookbook itself. But I can tell you that the recipe is a good one, with some salt. There's relatively little stuff in them that's high in calories, and there's just not a lot of kale chip recipes out there that don't end up high in calories.

Here's a sampling of some of the best Kale Chip recipes around, as suggested by my peeps over on the HGK Facebook page:

Allyson Kramer's Easy Cheesy Chipotle Kale Chips have no added fat, so that makes them amazing from a nutritional standpoint.

Sharon McRae said that Your Joyologist Cheezy Pizza Kale Chips are her favorite. "This one is always a winner in our house. I have even subbed half of the cashews with cannellini beans and no one could tell!" Damn, girl, you are brave. Beans on kale chips??? I need to taste this to believe!

Fragrant Vanilla Cake's Carrot Cake Kale Chips is a very interesting recipe for kale chips. I've never seen anything quite like it, and I'm not sure that I would have paid any attention to it, but it was recommended by Amy on Facebook.

Dreena Burton's "Oven Dehydrated" Kale Chips look super easy to throw together with not a lot of fat. I might have to try these real soon.

Chef Amber Shea's Pizza Kale Chips look to be similar to the ones that I can't stop eating once I start. They might be great for a treat or when you are having guest over, but not a good idea as a regular addition to my diet at least. In fact, they look so good, that I just might make them for a little soiree that I am hosting this weekend.

Choosing Raw's Spicy Curry Kale Chips. The sound amaze-balls! I always trust Gena's food. She is so talented in the kitchen that it's hard to believe she isn't a professional chef.

Kale Krinkle Chips

from The Eat to Live Cookbook by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, p. 104

Did I like it? Yes. They are different than the heavily coated kale chips that I have been used to enjoying from the store or farmer's market. But they are still super crunchy and very tasty.

Was it easy to make with readily available ingredients? The only tricky ingredient is cashew butter. Not only is it not sold everywhere, but where I can find it, it's very expensive.

What specifically did I like about the recipe? Who doesn't love a kale chip?

What specifically didn't I like about the recipe? I just couldn't get the cashew butter, but I think I made an accommodation to the recipe that makes it even better. Instead of 1 Tbsp cashew butter, I used 2 Tbsp raw cashews and I blended up the sauce mix in my high powered blender. Now, it really helped that I was doubling the recipe (so I really used 1/4 cup of raw cashews), because tiny batches of things in a blender don't work very well. But the "sauce" for chips came out really well this way.

Did my husband like it? He took one look at the jar of kale chips and said that they look just like a jar of legalized marijuana  from Colorado. He showed no interest in actually ingesting any.

Did my teenage daughter like it? It would be unfair of me to base anything on this first batch that I made, since they were overcooked, but she did say that she liked them. She just didn't eat too many.

Would I make it again? Yes, but I'm going to try some of the other recipes that I linked to above.

Is there anything I would do to improve on it if I made it again? I would be a lot more careful when laying out the kale chips onto the baking tray. I just kind of sprinkled them on, being careful not to put them on top of each other. But I was not careful about each individual kale chip not folding and creating a double layer on top of itself. This created a problem for my kale chips and forced me to have to bake them a lot longer, causing many to be overcooked. I won't do that again!

Overall Grade (completely unscientific, I admit): A

Have you made Dr. Fuhrman's Kale Krinkle Chips? What were your impressions? Leave a comment below.

Still don't have the book? What are you waiting for? These recipes are great.

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