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Raw Chocolate Kale Chips (nut-free)

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Raw-Chocolate-Kale-Chips-(nut-free)1I don’t know about you, but the main criteria (outside of taste) when it comes to making kale chips is the texture… I want them heavily coated with sauce.  I don’t want no wimpy and frail chips.

A Firm Foundation

When making these chips, a person might think that my ingredient measurements were a misprint somewhere along the line.  I mean really, 3 cups of sauce to 1 head of kale?

If you want to stretch the sauce a bit further and you don’t mind a thinner chip, use 2 heads of kale (roughly 16 oz).

Through the years of making kale chips I have come to learn to few things… always bump up the flavor profile a bit stronger than expected and coat your kale with a heavy hand.  This is what separates them from the others.

All Hail the Glorious Kale

Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems.  Kale should be stored in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and also negatively affect the flavor.

The leaves should look fresh, be un-wilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be more tender and have a milder flavor than larger leaves. Kale is available throughout the year, although it is at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.

Ingredients:  yield – 3 cups sauce

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, ground to a powder
  • 3/4 cup raw coconut crystals, ground to a powder
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 bunch (8 oz) curly kale

Preparation:

Kale Prep:

  1. Selecting Kale:
    • Don’t use wilted / old kale, it can have a bitter undertone.
    • I prefer Curly Kale because all of the folds really hold onto the sauce.
  2. Wash and de-stem your kale.
    • Start by washing the kale and blotting it dry.  You can also use a salad spinner if you own one.
    • Make sure you get as much excess water off of the kale as possible.  If you don’t it will make your sauce “soupy”.  Set aside.
    • Starting at the bottom strip away the leaf leaving behind only the stem.
    • Tear the remaining leaves into pieces that are a tad larger than bite-size since they tend to shrink.

Sauce Prep:

  1. After soaking the cashews, drain and discard the water.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; ground pumpkin seeds, coconut crystals, cacao powder and butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.. Blend until the sauce is creamy smooth.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Create a vortex in the blender, this will help ensure that the sauce is getting fully blended into a creamy texture.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides.
    • This process can take 1-3 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm., stop the machine and let it cool, then proceed once cooled.

Assembly:

  1. Place the torn kale into a very large bowl.
  2. Pour tin the sauce and with your hands gently and evenly coat each piece of kale.
    • This is a “hands-on” job.  Stirring with a spoon just doesn’t do the trick.
    • I would suggest removing any jewelry from your fingers.  I have temporary lost a ring here and there.

Dehydrator Method:

  1. Have the dehydrator trays ready by lining them with non-stick teflex or parchment paper.
    • Don’t use wax paper because food tends to stick to it.
    • Spread all the trays out in advance because soon your hands will be covered in sauce and you don’t want to get it all over.
    • I made three trays worth with this batch.
  2. Place the kale on the non-stick sheets.  You can do this 1 of 2 ways:
    • Lay each piece out semi-flat if you want to create individual pieces.  More time-consuming and chips tend to a be a little bit more fragile.
    • Or, drop clumps of coated kale on the sheets.  This will create hardy clusters that are loaded with sauce and flavor.  This is my preference.
  3. Dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for about 6-8 hrs or until dry.
    • I tend to pull mine out before it gets 100% dry because I like it a little chewy.
    • The dry time is just an estimate.  The climate, humidity, dehydrator and how full the machine is can all affect how long it will take to dry.
  4. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!
  5. If the kale chips start taking on some humidity from the house, you can place them back into the dehydrator for a few hours at 115 degrees (F).

Oven Method:

  1. Please use as a guide and closely monitor the kale chips as they cook.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F), anything higher and risk burning the chips.
  3. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kale chips on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.
    • The bake times will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!
  5. Once you pull the tray from the oven, allow the chips to cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!

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9 thoughts on “Raw Chocolate Kale Chips (nut-free)

  1. GEN says:

    But, what if the bugs are putting holes in my kale out there in the garden…..does this mean I have to not use them????? :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Haha…there is a darning process where you can first patch the holes, then make your chips :P You goofball! Love and miss you Elainy

  2. Annie says:

    Hi Amie Sue!
    I am commenting in advance of making these just to let you know, these are the weirdest sounding goodies ever! I am going to give these a try only because I trust you completely and have never had anything but excellent results from your recipes. But, chocolate greens…I’ll have to let you know :-/

    • amie-sue says:

      LOL Annie…you are too cute for words. I know, I know…it does sound odd BUT thank you for trusting me on this. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. :) I took samples into a managers meeting this morning (none of these people are raw food eaters, except for what I give them) and they really liked them. In many ways, it is sort of like a smoothie. Make a smoothie loaded with greens, add a banana, sweetener and some raw cacao and it’s amazing. Raw cacao has a way of making almost anything taste yummy. :)

      Please keep me posted how they turn out for you!!!

  3. Annie says:

    And by the way…thanks for the seed based recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      You are very welcome. I am always looking for ways to substitute nuts in recipes…not that nuts are bad for you (they are very healthy) but some people are allergic to them.

  4. Lori says:

    Yet another very interesting recipe! Another must make…Thank You!!!

  5. Gina says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    Thank you for getting the website up and running again.
    I’m dehydrating the kale chips and just licked the chocolate sauce off of my hand. The sauce is YUMMY! I added a little bit of nut milk into the blender so I don’t waste the left over sauce in the blender and made chocolate milk out of it, and it was delicious! I was a bit short on the pumpkin seeds so added a quarter cup of ground sunflower seeds, and so far it seems to work out OK.
    I’m making this as a birthday gift for my mother-in-law, but I may eat this and make her a new batch :-)
    The weather here is in the 70-80s now, so much bearable than when we moved here during the summer. Hope you are enjoying the white winter weather up in Oregon.
    Thanks again!
    Gina

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Gina… It’s good to have the site up and running again… I was a bit nervous about it. Shew! Perfect way to “clean” up the blender. :) Love it! Yes, the weather should oooh so much nice this time of year for you. I bet it is a welcomed relief. :) We are loving the cooler weather as well in OR. We love all seasons. So good to hear from you! hugs, amie sue

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