Kale has always been a challenging vegetable for kids to eat, let alone like. I’ll be honest, Kale wasn’t even on my radar for years. Now I see piles of different varieties of this beautiful vegetable at the farmers market and my fingers itch to bring them all home to my family. There is Tuscan Kale (also known as Dinosaur Kale or Cavolo Nero), Curly Kale and even a variety with vibrant purple edges.
But—my kids wouldn’t touch Kale with a ten-foot pole. Enter the “Kale Chip”. Once I decided to bake the Kale and call it “Olive Oil Crisps” (the first key to our kid-friendly Kale introduction) – our lives around Kale changed forever. Presenting a large bowl full of the delicate “Crisps” to hungry kids before dinner was also helpful. I watched as they tentatively picked up a crisp, eyed it skeptically and slowly placed it in their mouth. Then I left the room and watched from afar (the final key to successful Kale acceptance). Thinking I was no longer paying attention, they polished off the entire bowl, apparently enjoying every bite.
Without much fanfare, I later mentioned that the olive oil crisps were made with Kale. The hard part was over. They tried them – and liked them – so hearing the term “Kale” didn’t phase them. The next time, I simply called them Kale Crisps – and the rest is history.
Olive Oil (Kale) Crisps
Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: a couple of hungry kids
Special Equipment: Baking sheet lined with foil
- 3 cups roughly torn Kale (any variety, tough stem removed)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wash Kale and dry well. (the drier the Kale, the quicker the cook time)
- Place torn Kale on foil lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake until crisp (the length of time will vary based on the dryness of the Kale. (Begin checking at 12 minutes and continue every 2-4 minutes)
Next week we’ll transition Kale from snack to kid-friendly meal with a recipe sure to please even the youngest family members. Until next week…
© 2012, kimgerber. All rights reserved.