Be Adventurous! / Be Creative! / Be Prepared! / Food/Cooking / Health/Fitness

Healthy Holiday Eating: Recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato Chips

Healthy Eating Weight Loss

Healthy eating for the holidays.

I do *not* think about dieting during the holiday season. I count neither carbs nor calories, and I pack on the pounds as well as the next person. Some people are drawn to sweets, some to salt, but I crave both, in quantity, and the holidays are the World’s Best Excuse for eating in abundance.

Still, given the volume of unhealthy holiday food I tend to enjoy, there’s more than a few opportunities to improve the quality of my choices, and, of course, there’s a badge task for that.

BADGE WORK UPDATE: LET’S GET COOKING

This task is simple and straightforward: find a recipe — and make it healthier.

My core recipe was for home made potato chips which require deep frying in cheap oil and lots of salt. Can you feel your arteries clogging and your blood pressure rising? No, I can’t either — they taste so amazing that my heart doesn’t have a chance — but a task is a task is a task.

So here’s my recipe for holiday veggie chips, made from kale and sweet potatoes.

What makes the “holiday” themed? The colors, of course. Kale for green, and sweet potato for… orange. Okay, most sweet potatoes aren’t red, but if you can find the “garnet” variety, you’re gonna get really close to a good red color. 

Healthy eating, sweet potato chips

Red (garnet) sweet potatos. Okay, these are technically yams.

Both types of chips are super easy to make, and they follow pretty much the same steps for prep, but in experimenting with different recipes, I discovered a real need for different baking temperatures. Here are my own versions, based on what worked best in my kitchen.

KALE CHIPS:

  • 1 bunch of organic kale* 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
* Kale is one of those veggies that can hold on to pesticides pretty firmly, so it’s worth springing for organic here.

Preheat your oven to 275. Wash your kale and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces (not too small — they’ll shrink in the oven). Toss the torn kale with the oil and salt. Spread leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (better baking and easy clean up), and pop into the oven. After about 10-12 minutes, remove and flip the leaves over. Pop ’em back in the oven for another 10 minutes — less if your oven runs hot and they’re crispy sooner. If they’re still not crispy, turn off the oven and let them continue to sit in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. 

I saw all kinds of temperatures recommended for kale chips — as high as 375 degrees — but the lower heat will help keep those edges from burning and improve consistent dehydration of the kale making those chips crispy. Crispy good, burnt bad.

SWEET POTATO CHIPS:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
Healthy eating, sweet potato chips

Healthy eating, sweet potato chips. Delicious!

As with the kale chips, if you’re not getting the crisp at the end of baking time, turn off the heat and let them hang out a few minutes more. I found a few recipes that called for a 400 degree oven, but again, I found that a lower temperature for a longer time made for a better chip.

* Never heard of a mandoline? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either. Turns out it’s the fancy official name for the kind of slicer we used to see sold on wacky commercials when we were kids. You know what I’m talking about — the sort of stuff in the “As Seen On TV” section in your local Bed, Bath & Beyond. Anyway, this thing is handy as all get out. Change the blades out to slice, dice, or Julienne those fries! I laughed myself silly when Charles bought ours a couple of years ago, but I’m not laughing now. It worked, and my fingers are still intact.

So there you have it — a healthy, colorful, baked alternative to the standard deep-fried potato chip. And, btw, these things were killer good and gone in about a day. After all, it’s the holidays, people, and that’s how I roll.


Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Healthy Holiday Eating: Recipe for Kale and Sweet Potato Chips

  1. I just tried the sweet potato chips and they were delicious! My 3-year-old even ate them and said she liked them. Definitely doing this again. Must get a mandoline.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s