Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips with Chocolate!

 

pumpkin handsWe’re all about pumpkins over here, and while I tried to make a true pumpkin spice kale chip recipe, my daughter simple could not bare the thought of me hacking into, slaughtering, and eating any member of our pumpkin family. Yes, they all have names and roles! Many of them were covered in sequins and glitter anyway.

cinderella pumpkin

Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage

 

So I reached for what I thought would be the next best thing — BUTTERNUT squash! The result was better than pumpkin, bursting with so much more true fall flavor. No worries, you can still substitute pumpkin puree in a pinch.

And, of course, I had to slide chocolate in there somehow. Cacao butter is my secret ingredient! It makes everything Mo Betta 😉

 

kale lots

These are so sweet that you’ll find yourself calling them CANDY KALE! A word of warning… kids TOTALLY love these so hide some for yourself.

Spiced Butternut Squash Kale Chips

Ingredients

3 or more bundles of kale, torn with stems/spines removed

 

Sauce ingredients 

1 cup butternut squash, insides scooped out, seeds removed and diced

1 apple, cored and sliced

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked

1/4 cup melted cacao butter

2 TBSP cup Lakanta Sugar* (optional)

2 TBSP maple syrup*

2 TBSP lucuma powder* (optional)

1 tsp pumpkin spice

Pinch mineral salt

 

*To make these low glycemic, simply omit the maple syrup and use the Lakanto/Lucuma combination. Likewise, if you don’t have Lakanto or Lucuma, increase the maple syrup by a few tablespoons.

 

First, make the batter…

kale sauce

 

In a high speed blender, puree butternut squash and apple. Next, add in remaining sauce ingredients and buzz until well incorporated.

Consistency should be like a thick salad dressing. Add a little more water to thin out if needed.

 

 

 

 

kale marinate

Next, Get yo hands in it…

Use freshly picked kale! Wilted kale can be bitter. Also, young leaves are tender and they have a sweeter, milder flavor.

Massage the sauce into the kale. The thicker the sauce, the better it will stick. I put mine on very heavy so I get lots of “candy” in each bite!

 

Now, get that crunch goin’ on…

Dehydrate at 115 degrees overnight. Turning them over in the morning. Restrain yourself to not eat them all at this point! Dehydrate for another 6 hours or until crispy.

PERK: Since this recipe has cacao butter, you’ll find they have more of a crunch rather than a crispy flakey texture that disintegrates in your mouth.

Keep the moisture out…

Store in an airtight container with a moisture pack or paper towel.

carnival squash seeds

Don’t toss those Pumpkin seeds!

Check out this awesome recipe for PURRfectly roasted crunchy seeds!

CLICK HERE.

Crunchy Munchy Chickpeas

chickpea

Crunchy Munchy Chickpeas

If you’ve ever spent any time at all in the south, you know that HOT boiled peanut stands are a dime a dozen. Here’s a healthy alternative that’s much easier for road trips. You can season them any ‘ole way your sweet heart desires.

You can also toss them on salads for added protein. Kids love them in lunchboxes, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

chickpeas in pie pan

Technique

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Whisk the oil, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, mineral salt, and paprika together in a small bowl; add the chickpeas and toss to coat. Spread into a single layer – I like to use a greased pie pan because it is the perfect size.
  3. Roast in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned and crispy, about 35 minutes.

 

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Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars with Chocolate Chips and Walnuts 

breakfast bars main

AND, YES!!! They are Gluten Free! I wanted a grab & go treat for busy mornings that was softer than a granola bar yet denser than bread. I couldn’t find one that I loved anywhere so I crafted my own. First attempt. Nailed it! (At least I think so anyway)

  • 2 cups quick cook oats – certified gluten free
  • 1 cup gluten free multi purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped small
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon or dessert spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup pureed apple
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – or scrape seeds from 1 bean
  • 2 large bananas, smashed
  • dab of butter for pans
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly coat two bread pans with real butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, gluten free flour, chocolate chips, walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the milk, apple puree, banana puree, egg, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir to combine. The batter will stiff but moist.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until thickened and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool, cut into bars, and serve.

Makes 10 bars or 20 squares for tiny hands.

WANT TO LEARN HOW TO TIE THESE RECIPES

IN WITH A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?

CHECK OUT KRISTEN’S “LIFE REBOOT PROGRAM”.

Begins September 9th.

Grab the Early Bird price by signing up today.

 

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Call it dessert by spreading some chocolate on top 😉

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ALMOND MILK, CLICK HERE!

breakfast bars chocolate

 

Smoky Eggplant Bacon

eggplant rollup

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING A RAW COLLARD GREEN AS A WRAP, CLICK HERE!

When I had my health food deli, this was the one recipe everyone begged for. We sold it on our sandwiches and in wraps but people wanted to buy BAGS of it to take home. Over the years, I have morphed it through many different versions. Today, I’m sharing the recipe and technique I love best.

I will also tell you that making perfect bacon-like strips for sandwiches and wraps is easy by using a simple handheld veggie mandoline, but I eventually started just slicing them in rounds like chips because that’s exactly how I eat them. In fact, be forewarned, I have been known to eat three eggplants worth of chips before I even took them out of the dehydrator.

This is exactly why I’m giving you a recipe that requires three eggplants as a base. They shrink up and they’re also addicting so if you make any less, you are only going to want more.

If you haven’t yet read my disclosure about dried out, dehydrated foods, please CLICK HERE. I certainly don’t market them as “health foods”, but dang, they sure are satisfying and sooo freakin’ delicious! Wrap it in a raw, juicy, chlorophyll-abundant collard leaf and you simply can’t go wrong!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar or Kombucha
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Grade B Maple Syrup
  • Blend your favorite spices to taste: smoked paprika, cayenne, chilli spices
  • 3 medium eggplant (about 3 pounds)

TECHNIQUE

eggplant mandolin

Remove the skin of the eggplants with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the ends of each one. These can be spiky so be careful.

I like to use a handheld mandoline for convenience. My personal preference is the middle setting because it isn’t too thin or too thick! Cutting them lengthwise will give bacon-like strips as where slicing the width of them makes convenient snack size “chips”.

eggplant marinade bags

 

Next, prepare your marinade by mixing all ingredients together in either a bowl with a secure fitting lid or a large gallon size zipper-resealable bag. *While I typically prefer a reusable glass bowl over plastic throw away bags, the bags are best in this recipe because it lets me get in there and massage the eggplant flesh with the marinade. It totally makes a difference as it offers so much more flavor and speeds up marinating time. If you choose to use a bowl, you’ll need to do this with your hands and then shake it often. The more vigorous you “agitate” it, the more flavor it will soak up. It will also lose a lot of those tiny seeds this way – which is a definite perk!

Allow to sit and soak at least a few hours.

eggplant on dehydrator trays

 

Set your dehydrator’s temp to 115 and get it going!

People say this can be done in an oven on low heat. I’ve never done this so I’m going to only give the dehydrating instructions. I’ve used the Excalibur 9 tray for well over ten years. It comes with mesh and Teflex liners. You’ll need both for this perfectly suited technique but doing your own thing works, too.

Start out with the teflex liner on top of the mesh liner. Lay out all of the eggplant pieces in one layer, some overlaps of edges are okay as they break apart easily but no big globs.

Dehydrate overnight and when you flip them in the morning, remove the teflex liner, transferring them only to the mesh liner this time. They should only require a few more hours of dehydrating. At this point it is all about personal preference of crunchiness. If you are going to crumble them over salads like bacon bits, you’ll want them extra crispy and brittle.

eggplant bacon

 

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