How to Get the Crunch without the Fat?

So which came to your mind first? The muffin top burn from an ab work out (aka crunches) or the real topic of the post...Kale Chips. Crunchy, Salty and only 33 calories per 1/2 cup. That is what I call a steal.

I love my job. The best thing I've found so far here in this landlocked city of Memphis, TN. The best kept secret called The Church Health Center Wellness. Each day I get to interact with a colorful arrangement of people: kids, adults, teenagers, low income, wealthy, diabetic, healthy, overweight, that all have the same constant nagging in their head that is buzzing: FOOD OBSESSED!

We all are. The kids that come at night can barely keep from sneaking a green pepper into their mouths (not realizing they most likely won't like it..only thinking hey foooooddd..) before I can finish reading the ingredients lists. The adults get squirmy if the muffins take 2 minutes longer than expect. We just can't wait for that food to be done and in our bellies.

If you are now confused. Let me back up slightly. I teach healthy cooking classes everyday all day (well 4 days a week, but long days = every day). I love my job. I love my job. I love my job. I eat, sleep, watch, blog, write, type, research and teach food. That is what I do every day and all day. And I love it.

Today we made Kale Chips and Sweet Potato Chips.

Picture: 6 cooking stations. Front three kale, back three sweet potatoes. 2 males, 18 females, 1 thirty something, 1 middle age, 18 elderly (I know someone is going to ask what is elderly..let's say 40% of the 18 are 77+ and still rockin' it at the Wellness Center). 2 teachers and 1 dietitian. 9 potatoes, 3 bushels of kale.  AND 22 skeptical faces with the mention of "kale" chips.

I had faith that they would be good, but I normally cook the recipe in advance and just didn't have time this go round. To my great relief they were outstanding. Even some of our biggest critics left with a smile and a full belly. They liked the salty crunch that was low sodium (most are diabetic or hypertensive) and low calorie. Some even went straight to Kroger to make them tonight. What a weight off my shoulders (and hopefully of their bellies). Some days it is just easier to sit back and let my other two co-workers take the heat for the strange ingredients we try and subject them to.  But they are loyal and they keep coming back. So, we seem to be do something right?

Each table got to pick a different variety. Will post recipe on recipe page. But my favorite sweet potato trick was using a peeler to peel the potato into strips making it very thin so that the chips get crunchy and crispy. Also, sweet potatoes have a higher water content that regular potatoes so it is a challenge to get them crispy. A great tip is to place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and then the potatoes on top of the cooling rack. This way air circulates and cooks the potatoes from every angle. Result = outstanding.

Best Kale Chip Combo: Salt and vinegar w/ a dash of red pepper!

Just in case you started reading the post in hopes for a good ab work out. I'll give ya one:

Starting Position: Plank on hands. Move to Side plank on right side (can drop lower leg if needed). Reach  left hand to sky and curl left arm underneath your right oblique and back up towards sky. Return to plank and 1 push up. Repeat on left. =1 repetition. Complete 12 reps! Killer ab work out!

1 comment:

  1. Looks to me like that exercise picture is sideways.