Kale and Chocolate Combined at Last!

 

Since starting this blog, I have been challenged to find a recipe, which combines my two favorite ingredients to form something nummy.  I am pleased to say I have done just that:
I can’t say the idea came straight from my own culinary creative mind.  Rather, I was recently inspired while perusing a cookbook published by one of my all time favorite actresses, Gwyneth Paltrow.  As it turns out she is a zealous kale fan as well (which in discovering, only increased my level of nerdy fan-ness, first nurtured by her performance in Emma).
In the book I was pleased to find a handful of kale recipes, including a simple recipe for kale chips.  I have to admit, I did a double take at the thought of this.  But at second glance,  I was pleasantly surprised with the idea: a homemade, healthy, preservative-free, chip!  This is a GREAT recipe to help cut calories that are usually wasted on normal potato chips.  The best part?  You can actually pronounce all of the ingredients in these chips, unlike 80% of packaged chips.  So give it a try.  It’s FAST, CHEAP, EASY, HEALTHY, and DELICIOUS!    Not to mention, this may be the BEST way to introduce your kids and/or spouse, to kale.  It’s something they (and perhaps you) will want to eat as opposed to have to eat.   
KALE CHIPS
Ingredients
1 bunch kale (I like curly kale. It crispifies even better, to give that authentic potato chip crunch)
1 tablespoon olive oil (don’t be too generous otherwise the leaves will become soggy.  No one likes a soggy chip!)
Sea salt, to taste  (If you’re not used to the taste of kale I’d recommend using a seasoning salt/herb mixture to match what your mind says a “chip” should taste like)
1/4 c melted dark chocolate
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2.  Remove the leaves from the thick stems  and tear into chip size pieces. Wash and completely dry the kale.
3.  Toss kale with olive oil in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
4.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp.
And now for the best part:
5.  Drizzle melted chocolate atop the kale chips. Sprinkle with additional salt, or if you’re feeling particularly spicy, a dash of chili powder.
If you opt to use seasoning salt rather than sea salt, probably best not to drizzle with chocolate.  I’d say either/or, but not both.
Try it, enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think. 
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Chocolate

 

This is what happens when I see
chocolate. I can’t help it. It’s a condition.

I can’t think of a more appropriate topic to start with, than chocolate.  I guess you can say that I’m “in” to chocolate.  I’ve got a thing for almost anything chocolate, except bacon chocolate. Throughout my endeavors to eat healthier, I have discovered two things about chocolate:

  1. If you’re a chocoholic like me, there’s no sense denying this love.  It is best to admit that you’re going to eat chocolate someday….if not every day.  Therefore, embrace this reality and stock up on healthy versions of chocolate when the bad days, break ups, and munchies take over.  Look for brands that use raw cacao and have pure ingredients.  Or better yet, buy raw cacao nibs. Although they are bit more bitter than Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, those little niblets pack a serious punch and are bound to satisfy one’s need for chocolate.  Not to mention they produce a very satisfying crunch.  A downside–or perhaps a positive, to help limit consumption–is the price.  I purchased an 8 oz. pouch of raw cacao nibs for just under $10.00.  You better believe I’m only going to eat the bare minimum to get my chocolate fix.  However, they are delicious, and positively nutritious.
  1. Chocolate, before Hersheys or Nestle get their dirty little hands on it, is one of the best superfoods in the world.  What is a superfood?  Pretty much, just what it sounds like: a potent, super-concentrated, nutrient rich food naturally found on earth.  They improve over-all health, boost the immune system, and nourish the body at the deepest possible level.  That being said,  chocolate, raw chocolate has been said to be the “highest antioxidant food on the planet…the number one source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, manganese, and chromium” (Naked Chocolate, by David Wolfe).  It can also improve cardiovascular health, and is called nature’s Prozac.  The list goes on and on, but what it comes down to, is raw chocolate is pretty amazing stuff, and most importantly adds a little spice to life.
A few tips to refining the chocolate choosing process:
          Choose dark chocolate, period.
          READ THE INGREDIENTS! The first listed ingredient should be cocoa.
          Limit yourself to a few ounces, and cut calories elsewhere to maintain caloric intake.