Baked Kale Chips – Full of Heart-Healthy Benefits

kale-chipsKale has grown in popularity over the past few years, rising to superfood status. This nutritious leafy green hasn’t earned this without reason; kale has unique health benefits that set it apart from other raw vegetables. Here are a few amazing benefits that make kale such a superstar:

  1. Kale is full of antioxidants, particularly carotenoids and flavonoids, which help fight cancer. It also has anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which can stop the development of arthritis and high blood pressure.
  2. Kale has high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which help boost the immune system. Vitamin A helps fight the production of DNA in cancerous cells, while Vitamin C helps prevent cardiovascular disease, eye disease, skin aging and prenatal health problems.
  3. Kale is also loaded with Vitamin K. This vitamin has been shown to help blood clot, and assists in several body functions like bone and eye health. It also can help prevent liver cancer.
  4. Kale is a good source of the nutrients calcium and iron. It actually contains more calcium than milk, calorie for calorie, and more iron than beef! Calcium and iron help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis, while maintaining a healthy metabolism and muscle and brain function.

 
To maximize these benefits the next time you feel peckish, try making this fast and easy recipe for Baked Kale Chips:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  •  ½ teaspoon of salt

 
*Yields 4-6 servings

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Rinse the kale well, and spin in a salad spinner. Make sure the leaves are dry by blotting them with paper towels or a clean dishtowel.
  • Remove the stems and tougher ribs of the leaves and cut/tear into large pieces.
  • Place these pieces in a large bowl and drizzle the tablespoon of olive oil over them. Massage the oil into the leaves, making sure they are completely covered. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Scatter the kale onto a baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes, or till the leaves are crisp to the touch but still dark green. They turn bitter when browned.


Nutritional Data Per Serving:

Calories: 55
Fat: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 5 g
Protein: 2 g
Sodium: 312 mg

*Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Girl and Smitten Kitchen by Kip Hardy, Food and Nutrition Services

Related Links:

Top Health Benefits of Kale, the Ultimate Superfood
Superfoods for a Super Diet!

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