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Kale chips to beat emotional cravings

Have you ever finished an extra-long day with a kind of sad and lethargic feeling? Then suddenly you find yourself standing in front of the fridge or pantry gobbling down the entirety of its contents. Often this includes the foods we shouldn’t be eating in copious amounts like chocolate, potato chips, cookies or chocolate.

We often tuck into these foods because they give us temporary emotional highs. They make us feel good and keep us wanting more.

Science plays a bigger role in our cravings than we might realise. Those “melt in your mouth” foods, like chocolate and marshmallows, give you a happy sensation when you eat them and then you tend to crave them more. This feeling signals to your brain that you’re not eating as much as you actually are and keeps you wanting more and more and … So when you eat these foods, they literally tell your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating lots of calories.

But what if there was a way to satisfy those cravings without succumbing to the pitfalls of unhealthy snacking? Enter kale chips, the guilt-free snack that could be the antidote to your emotional cravings.

6 reasons why kale chips are the snack you didn’t know you needed:

  • Nutrition: Kale chips are nutritious, with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish your body instead of depleting it. They offer a wide array of essential nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium and more, promoting overall health.
  • Low in calories: Unlike those calorie-laden, guilt- inducing snacks, kale chips are remarkably low in calories. You can munch on them without worrying about excess calorie consumption.
  • Crunchy satisfaction: Kale chips deliver the satisfying crunch that so many of us crave in snack foods. This texture can be deeply comforting and enjoyable, making them a viable alternative to traditional snacks.
  • Customisable flavours: Just like your favourite junk foods, kale chips are highly customisable. You can experiment with different seasonings and flavours to match your cravings.
  • No empty calories: Kale chips are not empty calories; they provide essential nutrients that support your body’s functions. You can snack without guilt, knowing that you’re nourishing yourself.
  • Guilt-free snacking: Kale chips offer the perfect compromise between satisfying your cravings and staying committed to a healthy lifestyle. You can enjoy them while avoiding the post-indulgence guilt and fatigue.

So next time you find yourself in front of the fridge with those emotional cravings, consider reaching for a batch of homemade kale chips. They might just be the snack you never knew you needed to conquer those cravings and take a step towards a healthier, more satisfying relationship with food.

Supercharged Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1⁄4 tsp cumin powder
1⁄2 tsp garlic powder Pinch cayenne pepper Fine sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 175°C. While the oven is preheating, thoroughly rinse the kale leaves and dry them completely. Using a salad spinner is recommended to ensure the kale is as dry as possible. Next, remove and discard the stems and tough centre ribs from the kale and cut it into large, chip-sized pieces.

Place the prepared kale pieces in a single layer on a baking tin. Drizzle them lightly with avocado oil.

Sprinkle the kale liberally with nutritional yeast flakes, cumin powder, garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick and fine sea salt to taste. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your preferences.

Slide the baking sheet or tin into the preheated oven and roast the kale chips for 12–15 mins. Keep a close eye on them, as they can go from perfectly crispy to slightly burnt in a matter of minutes. The chips are ready when they become crisp and golden, but not browned.

Once out of the oven, let the kale chips cool. This allows them to become even crispier. After they’ve cooled, transfer them to an airtightcontainer for storage. Place a piece of parchment paper or a paper towel at the bottom of the container to absorb any excess moisture.

Article featured in WellBeing 208

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

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