I flipped one America’s favorite food snacks (the classic potato chip) into a spicy, crispy version that’ll bump up your daily intake of leafy greens! One of the down sides of potato chips – other than they’re nutritionally bankrupt and full of fat and salt – is acrylamide. Acrylamide is produced when vegetables that contain the amino acid asparagine are heated to high heat in the presence of naturally occurring sugars in high carbohydrate/low protein sugars.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies acrylamide as a “probable human carcinogen”. The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP has classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”..

Diets high in baked or fried starchy foods (particularly if commercially cooked) will contain larger amounts of acrylamide. The major sources of acrylamide are French fries, potato chips, bread* and dark toast, pretzels, pastries and cookies, breakfast cereals*, canned black olives, prune juice, and coffee.

The acrylamide levels vary depending on the manufacturer, the cooking time, the method and temperature of the cooking process. The higher the cooking temperature + longer cooking time = more acrylamide. Reactions start at 248°F.

*NOTE: Food for Life Baking Company® makes sprouted whole grain breads, cereals and tortillas (e.g., their Ezekiel line), and they evaluate them for the presence of acrylamide and are well below the safe harbor daily levels.

What’s In It…

How It’s Made… 

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F. 
Kale & Herb Stripper

2. Remove the leaves from the thick stems (ribs). Use knife or kitchen shears or a “Kale and Herb Stripper”.

3. Cut into 1-1/2” pieces. Bigger than bite-size pieces because they will SHRINK when cooked.

4. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale using a salad spinner. Spin to dry.

5. In a large bowl, spritz kale with EVOO or hemp oil and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning.

6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay leaves on the sheet.

7. Bake until ‘crispy’ (about 20-25 min), turning leaves halfway through. Do not let the leaves burn. In my oven, it takes 25 minutes to go from soft to crisp.

To serve, sprinkle generously with Bragg® Nutritional Yeast Seasoning for a cheesy addition when serving. I also add a TINY bit of sea salt (just a couple turns of my sea salt grinder).

Makes 2 servings, but in my house, it makes one! 🙂


Karen Owoc

Karen Owoc is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. Her science-based approach to longevity, nutrition, and muscle health has made her the go-to source for health seekers and medical professionals alike. Karen's best-selling book on functional longevity, "Athletes in Aprons: The Nutrition Playbook to Break 100", and her transformative perspective have mended many minds, hearts, and spirits.

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