Toddler Approved Veggies: Roasted Kale Chips
After months of great skepticism of vegetables, particularly those that are green, BabyC has recently started to be a little more adventurous at mealtime. I think there are a few things going on. For one, we’re getting lots of fresh-from-the-farm veggies from our CSA, and fresh veggies really do taste better. I also think that our no-pressure, child-led yet adult-structured attitude about toddler feeding is starting to pay off. Finally, BabyC may be going through a growth spurt, as she just seems more interested in food in general these days.
I try to be laid-back at mealtime and let BabyC decide what and how much to eat from the food on the table. Still, when she chooses veggies and eats them enthusiastically, it is hard to keep my heart from swelling with pride just a little. This week, I’m going to share 3 veggie recipes that BabyC has been eating with gusto, starting with the biggest hit of all:
Roasted Kale Chips
I know that kale chips have been all the rage of the food blogosphere for a few years now, but I had to include them here. This is pretty much the only way that I’ve seen BabyC eat dark leafy greens, and Husband and I love them, too. If you haven’t tried kale chips yet, now is the time.
I’ve tested a few kale chips recipes from around the Internet to come up with my own fool-proof method. I use a lower oven temperature, because I have found that a higher temperature can quickly burn an entire batch. I am also a big fan of seasoned rice vinegar – no surprise since it is seasoned with sugar and salt. If sugar on greens seems like sacrilege to you, remember that a little sugar will offset the natural bitterness of the kale and make it more palatable to bitter-averse toddlers and adults alike.
- One bunch of kale – I’ve tried both the flat and curly leaf types with great results
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- About 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar (I say “about” because I usually eyeball these ingredients)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 275°F.
- Cut away the tough stem from the kale leaves. Wash and dry the leaves thoroughly. I usually dry in a salad spinner with several spins and a little time to sit on the counter. If any water remains after that process, I dry the leaves manually with a clean towel. Chop the leaves into chip-size pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss the kale with the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt to taste. The kale should glisten with this dressing!
- Spread kale leaves in a single layer onto 2 cookie sheets. The single layer part is important. If the kale is crowded, it will get soggy rather than crispy.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Kale should be crispy but still bright green in color (not burnt) when you pull it from the oven.
Eat and enjoy right out of the oven. Our little family can eat a whole batch of these in one sitting, but they do store well in a ziplock bag at room temperature.
Have you tried kale chips yet? I have yet to meet someone who has and doesn’t like them.
And dear readers, would you please share your family’s favorite veggie recipes here in the comments? Today is my meal planning/food shopping day, and I’m uninspired. Help me!