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Monday, December 19, 2011

Deck the Halls With Kale?

The holidays historically represent a time of family, friends, merriment, and of course delicious, sugar packed  treats.  It wouldn't be Christmas at our house without my Mom's peanut butter fudge, homemade cinnamon rolls, whoopie pies.....a time for indulging in all of our favorite treats we otherwise work so diligently to avoid the rest of the year.

I am the first to admit being a repeat offender of such indulgences.  Every year for as long as I have had a kitchen of my own, I would bake for hours knowing full well I would regret it in January.  Chocolate, real butter. sugar, sugar and more sugar.  It seems the holidays are the perfect excuse for consuming all to much of all things so temptingly divine.

Enter the first holiday season with a 6-month-old in the house and suddenly it is December 19th and I have yet to bake a single thing, sprinkle anything with sugar or roll out any dough.  I haven't even finished (and in some cases, started) my Christmas shopping.  My former pre-baby self would be horrified.  My former pre-baby self (who had her Christmas shopping done shortly after Thanksgiving and her baking completed soon thereafter) would wonder what happened to the energy-filled, holiday loving woman she once knew.  Christmas parties? Yes, please.  Holiday dinners and nights out celebrating with friends over a glass (or several bottles) of wine? Absolutely, but this woman is foreign to me now.

Instead of wallowing in the joys of Christmas past, I have decided to find comfort in the new traditions.  Bedtime Christmas stories with our little one, the wonder we see through her eyes when she looks at our Christmas tree all lit up and decorated, the Christmas outfits and pictures with Santa - all new experiences and all better than anything I can remember doing before.  Sure, I miss the nights out, the baking, the celebrations with friends;  however, I am also incredibly thankful for the new traditions, the new memories.  The cookies, parties and traditions of years past (I've realized) were just place holders reserving the space in my heart now completely consumed by the love I have for my precious baby girl.

SO...instead of offering a sugar coated, naughty, calorie-dense holiday recipe for you to add to your list of indulgences....I have decided to provide you with a delicious, crave-conquering, nutrient packed, low-calorie snack, instead.

Kale Chips are just the treat to munch on before hitting up your next holiday party or pack them to go in your suitcase or travel bag.  A few of these delicious, crispy treats will keep you feeling satisfied and keep your digestive system on track when you indulge in one too many holiday treats or glasses of wine.  Kale is packed full of nutrients such as: antioxidants, beta-carotene, folic acid, Vitamin B6, and fiber, to name just a few.

I know what you're thinking.......but I promise, you will be amazed by how much you will love this crunchy snack and you will thank me for it come January.  The recipe couldn't be easier if it came prepackaged on a shelf somewhere near you.  Try it, give it a whirl!  Everyone could use a little more "green" in their diets this holiday season and this is a great place to start.

To my readers....wishing you a joyous holiday season and a very happy, healthy New Year.  I will not be blogging next week but will see you again in 2012.

KALE CHIPS


1 Large Bunch Organic Kale
2 Tablespoons Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Season Salt
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Wash Kale and remove leaves from heavy stalks.  Break into bite sized pieces and dry using a salad spinner
  • Lightly spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray

  • Lay Kale out evenly on the prepared cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle Kale evenly with season and sea salts
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until edges are just brown
  • Remove from oven  
  • Use a spatula to remove Kale from cookie sheet, place on a paper towel and cool for 5 minutes

  • Enjoy!

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