A BLESSING IN DISGUISE

Last year, 'How to Make Kale Chips' ranked as the second-most popular 'How to' when it came to New Year's Resolutions. However, Penny Ann Horowytz of Berkeley's Alive & Radiant was on the kale chip tip before it ever became trendy. (Living Maxwell calls her the 'THE inventor of kale chips'.) The idea for Kale Krunch came to Horowytz (also affectionately known as 'Blessing') through meditation and friendship. A friend gave her a taste of the homemade dehydrated kale she had been making and even though Horowytz was a health food advocate, she wasn't much a fan of kale. However, she really liked the dehydrated version, so she began whipping it up herself. Through meditation, she was inspired to add flavors and sauces into the mix. In 2004, she began selling her chips locally under the Alive & Radiant name, but when the product was picked up by Whole Foods in 2008, a kale chip revolution was born.

There are eight different flavors of A&R Kale Krunch -- from the classic Quite Cheezy to more exotic fare like Sriracha Lime and Tarragon Dijon. Products are raw and vegan, with flavors derived from spices, nuts, vegetables, and seeds. Much healthier than your everyday snack chip, Kale Krunch ingredients are soaked, instead of cooked, which allows your body to digest them slower. And because it's kale, you get all the benefits of this leafy green superfood, which is a formidable source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A & C. Plus, the chips are so good! The flavor is strong, but not overpowering, and texture is light, crunchy. Also, the chips don't shatter when you reach into the bag, which can often happen with homemade versions.

You can find Kale Krunch at Organic Avenue.