My three year old daughter topples into my lap most evenings, and greedily gobbles up my raw kale salad, lightly dressed with a lemon Parmesan vinaigrette. I know this is not normal behavior. Most kids’ reaction to kale follow that of my husband, though he is coming around.
While he no longer shuns my current salad addiction, I wanted to find a way to get him excited about this quite healthful winter green—just one cup fulfills almost all of your daily vitamin C needs. I’ve seen kale chips popping up in local supermarkets, and had a hunch this would be a good way to help him “go green”. Unlike potato chips which are normally fried, all you need is a hot oven, some olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and 15 minutes to make them at home. They were an instant hit.
Now that daddy’s conversion to kale was finished, it was time to tackle a recipe the kids might like. I decided to sweeten the deal and make some based on the cinnamon rice cakes they love. The irony is my youngest still prefers her mama’s kale salad to the chips. Her older sister, though, is now one step closer to broadening her veggie loving horizons.
Sweet Cinnamon Kale Chips
Serves 1 to 2
The kale of my youth was the curly variety. I prefer using lacinato, also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale. It has a more subtle flavor and the longer wrinkled-looking leaves are perfect for making these chips. This video from Michelle Stern, author of the blog What’s Cooking, shows how easy and fun it is to have the kids help remove the tough inner ribs to prep the kale before baking.
One bunch of lacinato kale, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two rimmed baking sheets with silicon liners or parchment paper.
- Toss all the ingredients in a deep bowl until well coated. Spread the kale pieces in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 9 to 11 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until crisp. Remove from oven and let rest 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and enjoy. These are best eaten the day they’re made.