So, you’ve probably heard of kale chips … that crispy snack made by tossing some kale leaves in oil and baking for a few minutes. Simple, easy, somewhat nutritious. Well, kale chips have had their day in the sun. I’m here to tell you about BROCCOLI LEAF CHIPS! Yep, you heard it right … crispy chips made out of the highly nutritious leaves of the broccoli plant.
Probably the reason this snack has not made it into the ovens of vegie eaters is because you can’t buy broccoli leaves in the grocery store. You could probably buy some from your local farmers market, but you’d have to make special arrangements because who every heard of eating the leaves instead of (or as well as) the broccoli flower.
Well, I heard about the nutritional powerhouse-ness of broccoli leaves from my brother years ago when he was a hippie living in Sooke, BC, growing organic vegetables in great, bountiful quantities. When he entered a nursing program in Vancouver he tried to convince his nutrition instructor that there was more to broccoli than just leaves, but I don’t think this went over too well! Fast forward to yesterday when “Tom” and I were harvesting in our little community garden plot. Our broccoli was ready for picking and “Tom” asked if the leaves were edible. Well, I knew the answer to that one, so we collected several leaves from the plants and took them home. We tried steaming them up along with the fresh broccoli heads, but the leaves were kind of leathery and not very pleasant to chew (although the flavour was fine). Then, today, when I was preparing supper, I decided to make a batch of kale chips, but it turned out there weren’t enough kale leaves to make it worth while. I glanced at the full bag of broccoli leaves and thought, “Why not!” I prepared both kale and broccoli leaves the same way and, voila! Delicious, crispy, light chips! I was so thrilled about this culinary discovery, I had to share it immediately. (Thus the rather sub-par pictures)!
And now here’s how you can make them too:
Kale and Broccoli Leaf Chips
several leaves of kale and/or broccoli (I used about 6 to 8 leaves)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Prepare the leaves by cutting out the stems then cutting or tearing the leaves into 2 inch squares. Put the leaves into a bowl and drizzle a bit of oil in. Toss and lightly massage the oil into the leaves so that most of the surface of the leaves is covered. Add a bit more oil if you need. Sprinkle in a bit of coarse salt and toss again. Lay out the leaves on a baking pan (no need to oil the pan) and bake for 8 minutes. Pull the pan out, gently move the leave around a bit, then bake for another 2 minutes. Eat and enjoy!