Crispy Kale Chips

Now I know that these have been quite the rage amongst the healthy folk of North American in the past few years, but let me tell you a bit about the role of kale in the Scottish diet…’cuz we like own kale babe.

For a quick refresher, kale is a member of the cabbage family but is also very closely related to broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprout & collard greens.  Kale is often classed according to leaf shape and size but for us of the short & curly variety we favour Scots Kale.

Kale has been a tremendously important part of the Scottish diet, and is usually served in soups or as a hot side dish.  It is also great as a salad but that is not so traditional in the cold and misty climate.  It grows best in the winter months with a good bit of frost (of which we have a-plenty) it provided an essential link between the autumn harvest and spring vegetables. It was so prevalent that the name for a kitchen garden in Scotland is the ‘kale-yard’ and the word is often synonymous with the word for food, as in ‘to be off one’s kale’.  It also lent its name to a school of writers in the early 20th century  know as the ‘kaleyard school’ which included Scottish writers such as J M Barrie of Peter Pan fame.

Kale as seen 'in the wild'

One of the celebrated ‘superfoods’ of recent health claims this lovely packs a serious punch nutritionally in essential vitamins A, B & K, whilst providing major doses minerals including iron & calcium and a whole host of anti-oxidants and cancer fighting flavonoids.  For those who want to know even more, you can check out some more benefits here

Washed & Cut Kale from Tesco 206 g

For those looking for a tasty & healthy alternative to potato chips/crisps, this is how you might find kale in your local shop.  You can just take this bag home, whack the oven to 180 C/ 350 F get a baking sheet or two and spread the leaves out.  Drizzle with a teaspoon or two of olive oil and (I have had luck with a sprinkling of soy sauce OR balsamic for a bit of extra taste) a sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and after about 20 minutes you have the crispy, yummy, dried leaves in autumn sounding pile of goodness.  Upon my first batch of making these crisps I must have been a bit low on my green & leafies as I stood over the baking trays and proceeded to polish off about a kilo of the stuff!

Big on flavour, low if fat – I like ’em, my husband likes ’em and even my picky vegetarian and dairy-free children like ’em, so they are now a staple in our household.

Hopefully this fun and easy modern twist on yet another of Scotland’s fantastic ancient staples will bring some yummy and super-nutritious nibbles to your everyday life!


Comments (8)

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  1. Margy says:

    Yum Jean! Good to see the great posts on Alba Living

  2. Stefanie Zadravec says:

    I need to give you my Kale Salad recipe. We eat it for dinner twice a week. (the salad being the whole dinner)


    • Jean says:

      Post away Stef, would love to hear of more ways to justify my shameless addiction! 🙂

      • Stefanie Zadravec says:

        Kale Salad:
        Head of curly leaf Kale
        Lots of Parmesan
        1 lemon
        olive oil
        sea salt
        pepitas (raw unsalted)
        walnuts (raw unsalted)

        1.Rinse Kale and rip leaves from their spines. (sounds good and violent, no?) Chop the leaves into small pieces, place in salad bowl and add olive oil and sea salt. Massage oil and salt into the leaves (this is the sensual part) . Place this in the fringe for about 2 hours to soften the leaves.

        Note: You do NOT have to worry about this salad wilting. In fact a fully dressed salad you have for dinner is perfect for lunch the next day, so make extra

        2. Toast walnuts and pepitas together in a cast iron or other stovetop pan. Shave a half cup or more of parmesan.

        3. Take salad from fridge, add juice from one lemon and freshly ground pepper. Add toasted nuts and parmesan and enjoy.

        • Jean says:

          Oooooo, sounds delish, will try this tomorrow! PS Happy Birthday!

          • Stefanie Zadravec says:

            Use lots of Fresh shaved parm. It should kind of look snowy. And the warm nuts are so good with it. Way better than the ritz crackers with canned cheese we dined on at camp.

  3. jess says:

    good one Jean! i did kale chips in one of my cooking classes – lime and chili, also “cheesy” w/nutritional yeast. way better than it sounds! and they are oddly a kid hit around here, too. and i love the history – Scotland: the land that never ceases to amaze!!

    • Jean says:

      The lime and chili sounds fantastic, must try them tonight. The “cheesy”…well I will take your word for it – would I use Marmite (brewers yeast syrup/spread) on them? Is there anything else that makes them cheesy or are they still dairy-free?

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