Chocolate and Kale – Unusual yet phenomenal pairing!
You’ve heard the saying “having your cake and eating it, too”? Well, there’s something about being able to eat chocolate and at the same time getting your nutrients that resonates with that popular refrain.
Kale is loaded with both macro- and micronutrients and health-enhancing antioxidants. On the ANDI Scale, a measure of a particular food’s nutrient density, it boasts the highest score of all -a whopping 1,000!
The following nutrients are considered in evaluating each item: Calcium, Carotenoids: Beta Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Lutein & Zeaxanthin, Lycopene, Fiber, Folate, Glucosinolates, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, plus ORAC score X 2 (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a method of measuring the antioxidant or radical scavenging capacity of foods). Any wonder why kale tops the list?
The chocolate we’ve been brought up with is a mere shadow of “the real thing” — cacao beans are also Superfoods, it’s shining star ingredient being magnesium, which builds healthy muscles, including the tissues around the heart; magnesium also supports bone formation, muscle relaxation and brain function. Cacao is also high in tryptophan, the amino acid that assists in the production of seratonin, a natural calming agent produced by our glands.
And these kale chips just keep getting better and better…They also contain sesame seeds (tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds – you can find it easily roasted or toasted, but for best results visit your local health food store or an online superfoods store to buy a raw version.) Loaded with calcium, sesame seeds, tahini and sesame oil are prized in ayurvedic medicine as a soothing food.
Best of all, when you combine such a high nutrient green like kale with the sweetened cacao, it helps mitigate the insulin effect! Try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Chocolate-Covered Kale Chips
- 1 bunch of kale, washed and rinsed*
- 4 Tb. agave nectar (you can substitute with maple syrup or coconut nectar)
- 2 Tb. coconut oil
- 2 Tb. tahini
- pinch of celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pure cacao powder
- 2 – 3 Tb. raw hulled white sesame seeds
Directions: Dry kale and tear into mid-sized pieces, making sure to discard any rib pieces as they become tough in dehydrating. (*Curly kale is recommended for kale chips as it holds the coating better and becomes crisper.) Set kale aside.
In a glass or stainless steel bowl combine the agave, coconut oil, tahini. salt, vanilla and cacao, using a wire whisk.
Line dehydrator screens with parchment paper. Rub cacao mixture into kale and place on parchment. Sprinkle sesame seeds. You will likely need 2 trays/screens. Dry 1.5 hours at 145 degrees, then lower to 115 and dry 4-5 hours. Remove the kale from the parchment and turn onto screens. Continue drying until brittle note that with the coconut oil and tahini they may not get completely dry but they still taste great.
I haven’t tried these in a conventional oven, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, place the coated kale chips on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at a low temperature until dry and crisp. Please do post a comment and let us know your results!
These are excellent stored in the freezer, which will actually make them drier and more brittle!