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Food As Medicine – Kale Chips

Sarica Cernohous

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables available to us. And until recently, it was relegated as a frilly garnish on a restaurant’s serving plate (amazing that the most benefit to a diner’s health can be found not in the meal itself, but in the decoration!) Thankfully, it is finally getting the good respect it deserves—more and more recipes are including and showcasing this nutrition powerhouse. Loaded with vitamins A and C, it is a rich source of antioxidants. Specifically, research has shown its benefit in helping to prevent cancer through its reduction of oxidative stress. It is also a natural source of anti-inflammatory compounds, likely due to its omega-3 and vitamin K content. Additionally, because it is so fiber-rich, it is a great food to reduce cholesterol—its fiber content binds with bile acids in the digestive tract, removing them through elimination. When this happens, the body needs to replace these bile acids, using our existing cholesterol stores as the source, thus reducing cholesterol.

Given all that is good about kale, it is great to have a tasty, easy recipe. This makes a great appetizer for a dinner party—offer these in place of a potato chip; their texture and flavor is similar, though they’re not sturdy enough for dipping. You can also try different seasonings—adding a bit of Parmesan cheese would be a great choice, or try a little garlic powder or seasoned salt. This also makes a terrific, on-the-go snack—with a few almonds or raw cheese, you will have a nutritious boost that will keep you going. And, as you’ll see in the pictures, I sometimes like to include other greens—in this case, rainbow Swiss chard.. Any thick-leafed green (turnip greens also come to mind), would be a great choice for this recipe, too. Bon appetit!

Crispy Kale Chips

• 6 cups kale, stems removed, chopped into 2″ pieces
• 2 teaspoons refined coconut oil or clarified butter, melted
• Sea salt
• ¾ teaspoon onion powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place kale in a large mixing bowl; drizzle with oil. Using hands, mix well to evenly coat leaves with oil.
3. Divide kale between two baking sheets and spread leaves in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt and onion powder.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and stir gently with wooden spoon. Return to oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until leaves are crisp and completely dry. Store in sealed container.

Makes 4 serving

Sarica Cernohous, L.Ac., MSTOM, is a licensed practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, living and practicing Japanese Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Counseling in Vistancia. She can be reached at Amy Mirate is an ACF-certified chef with 16 years’ experience and has been a Research and Development Chef for the Cheesecake Factory for 10 years. She can be reached at

The information listed above is not intended to treat, cure or prevent illness or disease.

Sarica Cernohous

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