“At 20 calories per (1-1/2 cup) serving, these collard chips crush the potato variety on virtually all nutritional fronts.”
Reading that in the Wednesday food section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I was all over this recipe because, at 20 calories with no fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 2 grams each of fiber and protein, that’s a Weight Watchers® zero PointsPlus snack.
(FYI on “veggie chips” in the grocery store: Not so great. When you calculate the points, you’d do just as well to eat Baked! Lay’s® Potato Crisps.)
Making Collard Chips is incredibly easy. All you need is…
- 1 bunch collard green leaves (10-11 leaves)
- Cooking spray
- Sea salt, to taste
What could go wrong, right?
Well, I’m sharing my second attempt because the first one turned out so badly, I figured I must have screwed up. Fool me once…
Backstory: I never heard of collard greens until I moved to the South. Which is not to say I’m a greens snob. My Italian grandmother used to speak lovingly of dandelion greens, although I never actually saw her pick and eat any.
But dandelion greens are sheer lace next to collards, which are large, thick, and tough…
The recipe says to preheat the oven to 375°. Wash the collards (it neglects to tell you to dry them, a CRUCIAL step), then remove the center stem and rip the leaves into “chip-size” pieces. Next, “coat” each piece with cooking spray.
I discovered the hard way that you don’t “coat” the leaves, but toss them with the merest spritz or they go soggy. The first time, I also over-salted. It doesn’t take much.
This time I tried adding some some onion powder for flavor. Big mistake: it burns.
The recipe says to “mist a baking sheet with cooking spray.” But again, too much spray equals soggy mess. This time, I lined the sheet with foil and no spray. Arrange the collards in a single layer.
Bake for 8-9 minutes “until slightly brown and crisp.” Go put a good movie into the DVD, pour your favorite beverage, and get ready to nosh.
Bottom line: It doesn’t matter if you follow the recipe to the letter or not, the result is the same. If your house burned to the ground and scorched all the trees in your yard, collard chips are like what you’d find in your driveway the next day. Just add salt.
They turn surprisingly thin and delicate so they crumble in your mouth, but they still taste like torched weeds.
I’m still looking for that elusive low-point chip snack food. But I’ve learned one thing…
Any damned idiot can get a recipe published in the paper.