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Apr 11 2012

Kale Chips: A Surprising Hit with Preschoolers

By at 9:33 am
kale chips

A preschooler snagging thirds!

Last week, my sweet boy turned 5 and we celebrated by hosting his preschool class at our farm for a treasure hunt, pony rides with a neighbor, and lunch. He originally requested a party at one of those indoor bouncy centers, so I was very happy that we were able to coax, sell, and redirect him toward a homespun farm party.

The day before the party, my husband brought in a large bag of tender baby kale from the farm–the first of the spring new growth. When I asked my son what we should serve as a snack for the party, he completely surprised me by suggesting kale chips. I laughed and wondered how they would go over with his class that is used to much more standard preschool fare.

We served lunch in our sukkah which is still standing on the edge of one of our fields, now dressed up with balloons and crepe paper. The children were hungry when they sat down and the first thing I put out was the kale chips. Only one child made a face and said, “I don’t like those, they are green.” But all the other children reached in to try them. And they were a huge hit! The children grabbed seconds and thirds and moments later the bowl was empty.

Maybe you want to try this for your next preschool or grown-up gathering. I promise you, if you have never tried them you will be amazed by how good they are. Plus, they are kosher for Passover! Here is how to make them:

1. Gather one large bunch of young tender kale from your garden, farmers market, or grocery store. Note, they shrink a lot in this recipe, so start with more than you think you need.

2. Wash well and drain or dry leaves.

3. Put kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste, stirring to get an even coating of salt and oil on the leaves.

4. Lay kale in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Flip kale and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes. Watch them closely; they should crisp up nicely. The edges will brown a bit but should not turn black.

5. That’s it, cool and serve.


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