Anyone who has been around me since I started on this journey of eating well, knows that I can’t say enough about Kale! Full of vitamins, iron, fiber and able to play well in all kinds of situations aka recipes; raw, cooked, steamed, souped, dried, marinated you name it. One of the first successful and coveted kale dishes I made is a Marinated Kale Salad. It has been a hit every time for veg heads and carnivore’s alike. I will share that sometime soon, today it’s about the “chip.” I have made kale chips in so many flavors they never taste the same. These are pretty much a hit every time I serve them, and have become the new “it chip” a mere 6 oz. bag can cost you $7.99! I still have yet to win over my ever picky nephew Zane but I have won the taste buds of this little face!
However when I read on one of my favorite blogs: www.choosingraw.com/ by Gena that she had made chocolate covered kale chips I just wasn’t so sure. I could imagine this! I was actually talking to my Mom on the phone and we both thought the same thing, really? Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that chocolate is completely acceptable and even encouraged in a good healthy eating plan, but these two favorites together?
As I was out on my run I had flashbacks of the old Reese’s cup commercials, you know, chocolate meets peanut butter? I digress and also “date myself” but this was the vision: one person walking around munching on kale chips another eating some chocolate pudding or something and BAM! Love in the making… okay, maybe not that extreme, but hey on a run your mind goes crazy places sometimes! I realized I had all the ingredients and a little time, so I needed to give this little duo a chance!
I sat the laptop on the “safe” counter to consult the recipe. I first stripped the kale off the stalks, washed and contemplated this craziness.
I can’t leave a recipe alone, so you might notice that there is cayenne and cinnamon in this picture. I have found I like a little kick to my chocolate sometimes. This little duo of chocolate and kale seemed to say; “spice me up!”
Everything went into the vitamix and the chocolate sauce came together easy peasy! (recipe is at the end, don’t worry) I poured this yummy sauce over the clean, dried kale, then it was like playing in the mud as I massaged the sauce into the kale. Yes I said massage, that’s what you have to do, you can’t just mix it with a spoon, get over the messy hands thing and connect with your food… plus you get to lick your fingers after your done!
At this point even though the sauce was most delicious I was having serious doubts about this union! All the while that silly Reese’s commercial playing in my head! I was praying that I hadn’t just ruined a beautiful head of kale!
So the waiting began. I was truly tempted to skip using the dehydrator and popping these muddy looking leaves in the oven, but patience won out. I was off to bed to dream of kale and chocolate bumping into each other in some field of flowers or on a busy sidewalk!
I wandered out to the sun room the next morning, slid out a tray from the dehydrator and popped a piece in my mouth… hmmm, oh my, what was that taste? insert pleasant smile and happy dance and then another wow as the chocolate and cayenne kicked in! I was most pleasantly pleased with this little treat.
WOW! who would have thought, really that these two would be so happy together and create such wonderful flavor fun in your mouth!
So no matter what you are thinking right now if you like these two flavors or just learning about eating better, try these!
I packed up a bowl pronto to take to girls hang time Saturday and all enjoyed a little taste test of this duo!
My friend Greg even shared them with our waiter Saturday night, who liked them, at least he said so, I don’t think he was just being polite, I didn’t see him go spit it out! Oh by the way, I couldn’t talk Zane into trying them though… one of these days!
So here is the recipe originally taken from Gena’s blog. Any changes I made are in italics.
Chocolate-Covered Kale Chips (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)
Makes 3-4 Snackable Servings
1 bunch curly kale, stems removed, washed, and thoroughly dried
1/2 cup cashews (you can soak these for an hour beforehand, but it’s not necessary, I didn’t soak
4-5 large pitted dates
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (substitute regular cocoa powder, if you need to)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water (you may want to use a little less if you soak the dates; start with 1/3 cup and add until you have a thick mixture that resembles chocolate sauce)
1) Tear kale into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
2) Blend cashews, dates, cacao, vanilla, sea salt, and water in a blender till smooth.
3) Pour sauce over kale, and mix with hands until kale is well coated.
4) Transfer kale to 2 Teflex-lined dehydrator (I just did mine on the regular mesh sheets without a problem) sheets and dehydrate at 115 for about 5 hours. Flip kale chips (or just shuffle them around) and dehydrate for another 4-5 hours, or until very crispy. Get snacking. (If you don’t put them on the teflex, you don’t really need to shuffle or anything)
Oven option: As always, you are welcome to make this recipe without the dehydrator! Bake chips at 300 degrees Farenheit for about 20 minutes. Flip chips, and bake for another 15. If they’re still “wet,” allow them to crisp up further, but if they start burning before your 15 minutes are done, take them out. Kitchen intuition, folks!
Debbie’s notes in italic, of course I can’t leave a recipe alone! I added some cinnamon and of course a little cayenne for a kick. I was skeptical, but these are most yummy!
So won’t you give this dynamic duo a chance? I promise you won’t be disappointed. As always add your own twist of flavors to make this treat your own.
I’m off to munch now!