Monday, February 4, 2013

Sesame and Garlic Kale Chips (With Raw Option)

I do a lot of driving. With three children, how can I not? School, extra-curricular activities, shopping, outings, you name it – it seems like I spend more time in my car than out of it. I don’t mind it, though. When I’m alone in the car, I get to catch up on phone calls, conduct business and sometimes even savor the luxury of just letting my mind wander.

It was on one of these occasions that a thought occurred to me – I know that seeds grow into plants, but I couldn’t figure out if I’d ever seen a sesame seed plant. So, I did some reading. It turns out that this tiny seed was domesticated about 5000 years ago and exists in thousands of varieties, most of them wild. You may be familiar with sesame seeds as a topping for breads and hamburger buns, but they are used in numerous ways pretty much all around the world. I even learned that the leaves of the sesame plant are edible and can be cooked or eaten raw. I will definitely be on the hunt for some sesame plants and recipes to use them in!

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed, and because of its naturally occurring antioxidants, it is one of the most stable vegetable oils, with a long shelf life. Sesame seed oil is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids and protein.

Remembering that I had a bottle of sesame oil in my kitchen, I decided to put it to use. I made a batch of kale chips with garlic and sesame oil, and, boy, was my family happy! It seemed that as soon as I had taken the chips out of the oven, they were gone. Thankfully, they are easy to make and take hardly any prep time at all, so I can crank them out often enough to keep even my eager troop satisfied.

I highly recommend these chips as a much healthier alternative to other salty snacks like potato chips and cheese puffs. If you want directions on how to make Sesame and Garlic Kale Chips, just keep reading.

Spread the kale on a baking sheet.
Sesame and Garlic Kale Chips

Several stalks of kale
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Dash of salt
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional, for a spicier taste)

Preheat oven to 350o F.
Wash and dry the kale, then tear it into medium sized pieces. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cooking brings out kale’s natural saltiness, so go easy on the salt. Add the kale chunks to the bowl and mix them around until well coated with the oil and garlic.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional) and spread the kale on it. Make sure that you leave space in between the pieces so that the kale can cook evenly. Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes, and keep a close eye on it. Ovens vary and it’s easy for the kale to quickly overcook if you’re not careful. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes and you have delicious kale chips to enjoy.  


Follow directions as above, but use only HALF the amount of oils. Coat the kale evenly then dehydrate at 115o F until dry and crispy.

If your family is anything like mine, be ready to make another batch because they won’t last long!


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