Sunday, February 25, 2007

Crispy Kale, anyone?

I have no recipe of my own to post today, instead, the title links to The Cleaner Plate Club site where you can learn how to make kale chips. Kale what? Chips. Very tasty, what few I could wrest away from my toddler and greedily munch. She was pretty possessive of the entire bowl. Imagine that, vegetables as snacks.

I struggled with the snack meal. Little toddler bellies need to eat more often, I've noticed, but I had to wrestle with the concept of snack and what could be snack. Perhaps it is conditioning, but the very word "snack" conjures up chips, crackers, cookies, all those processed, packaged items in the center aisles of the store.

I've had to redefine snack in our world. And, thanks to recipes like kale chips, (Thanks Allison!) I can keep the variety going even as I try to put out healthy items. Here are the things I love to make for snack most; fresh fruit, cheese, milk, wholegrain (no trans fat) crackers low salt, edamame (soy beans either shelled or in the pods for extra fun), dried fruits, nuts (if your kiddo does not have allergies), yogurt with fresh fruit, cottage cheese.

These are the things I am okay with serving once in a while; wholegrain pretzels, a small bit of dark chocolate (hey, I am not completely mean!), soy crisps, wholegrain bread with fruit spread, 100-percent juice cut with water.

And, now, kale chips! I'll keep looking for new recipes like this, and I will try hard to create some. Many thanks to The Cleaner Plate Club's Allison for posting this!


Frugal Mom said...

Love your new look! I, too, have a struggle with what kinds of things to have for snacks. I dont like to use all the processed foods. I have a 10 mo old and he seems to have an aversion to certain textures. Like cottage cheese...I keep trying and he keeps spitting! The older kids are a a little easier. I just need to make a list and hang it on the cupboard of things to fix...maybe that will help me remember my options.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Snacks are tough! It's so hard to break the mentality that they should be less a sweet treat than a nutritionous small meal. I was afraid I would un-do all the good I was trying to do at mealtime if I gave in and did processed snacks. I also got a jolt in the head when I saw the kiddo recognizing packages instead of food types. Let me know how things go for you!

Toby said...

I want so badly to serve my children the kale chips, but I'm doing something so, so wrong with them. They're limp, chewy, yet burnt on the edges. Any suggestions??

The Expatriate Chef said...

Toby, I had luck with the oven set to 350 and for about 12 minutes. A few tips I tried would be to be sure the kale is dried after washing. Tear it into bite-sized pieces and lay them out in one, well-spaced layer on the tray. I oiled and salted the kale before roasting, making sure the baking sheet was oiled a bit, too. I also "turned" the kale part way through cooking to make sure it all got crisp. As some pieces got done, I removed them from the oven, leaving the others to get more even heat and finish crisping. I hope that helps!

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