Eating Healthy: Crispy Collard Chips

Once again, this week's healthy summer recipe is brought to us by Sunie:

Crispy Collard Chips
Serves 10-12
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Now that we're deep into summer, ‘tis the season for greens. Time to cut down the veggies growing in the garden, visit your local farmer's market, or even visit your local farmer and get cooking! Why not start with collard greens? Collards are a cruciferous vegetable most known for their ability to lower cholesterol. They outshine almost every other leafy green in nutrients, are chock-full of antioxidants, and can aid in digestion.

You cannot go wrong by adding collards or any other dark leafy greens to your diet 2-3 times per week. Greens are the best grocery purchase you can make and act as an insurance policy for your health. Leafy greens tend to scare people away simply because of their look, but they are delicious and actually really easy to prepare--easier than carrots which have to be peeled, or red peppers which have to be de-seeded. 

This particular recipe provides a simple way to bring health into a very American snack; chips!  If you’re looking to entertain and wanting to impress, bake collard chips and serve with your favorite tasty dip.  Adding a healthy item can go a long way!

2 bunches of Collard Greens (about 20 leaves)
3-4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 pinches of sea salt
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 pinch of Cumin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash Collards. Shake dry.
3. On cutting board, de-stem collards by cutting along the stem up one direction and down the other. 
4. Place 4-5 leaves on top of one another on a cutting board, slice into large triangles (the size of a chip).
5. Place collard triangles in a large bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and spices.  Use your hands to toss to really make sure each triangle is lightly covered in oil.
6. Place collard triangles in a single layer on a pan lined with parchment.
7. Cook in oven for 7 minutes, flip and cook another 5 minutes.
8. Remove the crispy chips into a large bowl, collards that are still limp, cook an additional 2 minutes or so.
9. Serve immediately.

Health Benefit: 
Collard Greens are the strongest cancer fighting greens on the planet.

-If you don’t care for the “chip” effect, try this recipe with kale.  Delicious! 
-Add a little nutritional yeast to your crispy greens for your B vitamins and cheesy flavor.
-If you’re watching your waistline, collards are just as tasty steamed and go wonderfully as a side dish to your protein and whole grains.

Beginners Tips:
-Be careful not to overcook greens.  The longer you cook the greens the more bitter and the less nutritious they get.
-Leafy greens are the best vegetable you can eat, try spinach, swiss chard and kale to mix things up.

Enjoy! You can read more from Sunie on her blog.

Image source: Krossbow on Flickr.

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