I tend to read a lot of books on nutrition and the food industry. The more I read, the more manipulated I feel by our big box stores and shopping malls.
More recently, however, I became suspicious of myself and how my body manipulates ME to do what IT wants, rather than the other way around. Sure, this is a result of outside influence, but in the end, it is MY body and it will damn well do what I tell it to!
Within reason, of course. 😉
So, yeah, Dopamine, that little chemical in our brains that is responsible for many things, including happiness, pleasure and reward. When we are rewarded in any way, our brains release dopamine. As we get rewarded over and over again for something, we learn deep in our dopamine saturated brains that we should keep doing whatever it is, and it’s hard to unlearn those behaviors. (This is obviously a simplified explanation…there’s much more that could be said)
I recently read that Dopamine is also released when we simply *think* about those learned rewards…in my case, Zesty Cheese Doritos! You know those evenings where you suddenly get a craving and you are willing to go out and truck through thigh high snow, uphill, both ways to satisfy it?
Admit it! I’m not the only one here!
Yeah…dopamine has taken over. (I can’t remember where I read this now…but when I find the article, I will update this entry)
So, upon reading that, I thought-….Well, actually I didn’t think. First I had an amazing craving for chips since I had thought about them constantly while reading the article…..THEN I thought, “Wait a minute, my dopamine levels are spiking…I’m craving those chips because I know how good that first bite will be…and I’m damn well NOT going to indulge!”
My dopamine receptors were NOT going to take me for a walk!
Instead, I brainstormed snack options. I scavenged the kitchen, looking for ideas and came across a wilted bunch of kale. Many friends had told me that kale chips are great, but I had never had the opportunity to try them, so I decided to investigate the kale possibilities.
First off, I want to stress that wilted kale works out brilliantly as chips! It’s a perfect way to use up the greens that you aren’t likely to put into your salad.
Secondly, my friends weren’t lying…kale chips are AWESOME!
I removed the leaves from the larger stems to start and ripped them up. Size didn’t really matter all that much…bite-sized pieces are good, possibly even a little larger since they shrink a bit as they cook.
The flavouring is left up to your imagination! If you google kale chips, you find everything from plain salt to cheesy…so you can spice them up however you please.
- sesame oil
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- sesame seeds
Preheat your oven to 350
Create one layer on a baking sheet and bake until crispy. I kept checking mine as they baked and they took 10-15 minutes.
The end product was an awesome unique kind of chip. Delicate, thin…almost melt in your mouth…and the cayenne gave them a little bit of bite. Delicious!
As good as Doritos…in a completely different way.
And one day, I’ll convince my dopamine obsessed brain of that too! 😉