Garden Snacks, Kids and Kale
It’s mid-October and things are starting to dwindle down in our plot at the community garden. We’ve been very well nourished from all the vegetables and herbs that we have grown. We have made so many jars of tomato sauce and have dried lots of herbs for the winter months. We have also eaten countless meals from the food we have grown. Western Massachusetts has such healthy and amazing soil that the things we plant always seem to promise us a good harvest. In return, we give great appreciation…
We love to eat greens in our house and kale happens to be one of them, which is why we planted nothing but curly kale and lacinato (a.k.a. dinosaur kale) in one of our raised garden beds. Luckily, my six-year-old likes kale a lot. One of her most favorite snacks is when my partner or I make cheesy kale chips. I’ve made some of these for potlucks and they are always a hit with kids, even with kids who at first feel strongly opposed to kale. The great thing is that they are really healthy for you and taste so flavorful. I think chips of any kind are addicting, so if you’re going to eat some then you may as well go for the kind that can leave you feeling good.
If you want a new snack idea for your child (or yourself) or maybe have a child who is sometimes a little picky about greens, I would encourage you to try out this recipe. Of course, letting them be part of the process in making them with you will even push them more to try it out. Kids are always excited to try foods they help make and most likely will not turn down the invitation to help out in the kitchen.
Kale also is really beneficial for our health. It’s high in Vitamin A, C and K. It’s high in calcium, rich in iron and packed with antioxidants! There are even way more benefits to eating it, those are just a few of the reasons why we include it in a lot of our meals. We also like to have it for breakfast mixed with goat cheese, garlic, herbs and scrambled eggs. Delish!
So back to those cheesy kale chips. These are also vegan and gluten-free, which is worth mentioning. They are so good, that you’ll find it really hard to resist not eating it all at once. Here is the recipe for these yummy treats. You will need a food-processor or a speedy blender for making them.
Recipe for Cheesy Vegan Kale Chips
1 large bunch of curly kale
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
3/4 cup of cashews
1 small lemon
1 tablespoon of Bragg Liquid Amino or soy sauce(I prefer the Braggs)
dash of sea salt(optional)
- Soak your cashews overnight or at least an hour prior to making these. Soaking them will also make them creamier which makes the oils of the cashews come out. It also adds extra flavor.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200. I recommend to keep it this low, making it higher to speed up the process might just end up in burnt kale chips. This by my own experience, unfortunately.
- Tear the leaves of the kale into nice bite size pieces. It will shrink a little in the oven so you don’t want them too small.
- Throw the clove of garlic, nutritional yeast, Braggs or soy sauce and soaked cashews into the food processor. You will also add the lemon, I just take
out the seeds and scoop the entire flesh of the lemon in with everything else. If you only have a large lemon, only use half of it.
- Massage the vegan cheese blend with the kale you have.
- Spread the kale in cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. I use two cookie sheets so that the chips have more room. Try to massage them evenly but it’s also okay if some chips have bigger amounts of the cheese blend. Sprinkle a little seat salt over them if you want.
- Bake in the over for an hour in 200 degrees. You should check on them periodically. Depending on your oven it could take less time or more time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie Lynn Lucio
Leslie is from Texas but has always been drawn to New England. She lives in the town of Northampton and loves living in Western Massachusetts. She spends a lot of time with her five year old and connecting with the community. Her interest include cooking, DIY projects,writing, biking, being outdoors, photography, restoration, food preservation and social activism. She spends some of her time farming when she can and also you can spot her working with the Pedal People.