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Raw Cacao Kale Crunch

For a while now I have been fairly disappointed in the quality of raw snacks available in stores. Too often, I find myself getting tricked by cute packaging or enticing flavor combos. Cocoa Mole? BBQ? Thai Curry? Yes, please! I’ll spend the $10 per bag hoping that it is going to be a new trusted travel, office or roadtrip snack for those times when I cannot make it myself. But, I have to side with the skeptics on this one, in that most of this stuff, sadly, does taste like tree bark. Of course, I wish this wasn’t the case, but I have to be honest. There is a lot of room for improvement. Raw snacks should be just as delicious, if not more so, than the non-raw snacks in the grocery aisles. Uncle Joe, who loves him some BBQ ribs, should love raw snacks as much as your hippie cousin. Good snacks are good snacks, period.

There is hope! The folks at Blue Mountain Organics are responsible for the most delicious raw food snacks that I’ve ever tasted. I ate the whole bag of their Chocolate Kale Chips in one sitting—wispy yet crunchy, chocolate-y magical goodness. I believe that I shed a tear when the bag was emptied, shamelessly, upside down into my mouth. They have made me a believer again. But what’s a girl to do when she has eaten all of the Chocolate Kale Chips and she has a roadtrip with her best gal coming up this weekend? Well, she better hack her way into making a batch for herself!

Thank you Blue Mountain Organics for the inspiration for this recipe and for your quality, flavorful and long overdue goodies. You have a fan for life.

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Makes:
approx. 3-4 cups
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Dehydration Time: 6-8 hrs
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Tools:
Dehydrator*
Silicone spatula
Knife

 *YU can bake the kale at the lowest temp in the oven until dry (1-2 hours), just note that it won’t be a raw recipe if it is prepared over 110°F.

Ingredients:
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.
1 head organic kale
2 tbsp raw cacao butter, melted at temp under 110°F
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Seeds from one organic vanilla bean
3 tbsp mesquite powder
1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (can substitute sucanat)
1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup pure water
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup raw, shredded coconut
Dash pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt

Let’s Get Started:
Chop and melt your cacao butter and pour into a large mixing bowl. Open up your vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add to the mixing bowl. Soak your chia seeds in the pure water for about 2 minutes and then add to the mixing bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the kale, and using a flexible spatula, mix it all together well. It will become a firm dough-like texture (bottom, right).

Wash and remove stems from kale. Chop and add to mixing bowl. Now, I used my hands to thoroughly mix the cacao “dough” into the leaves but you can try a flexible spatula. I recommend the hand method for uniform coating.

Place your mix on a dehydrator screen and place in a dehydrator set to a temp of 110°F and dehydrate for 6-8 hours or until as crunchy as you’d like.

Remove and enjoy! Keep in an airtight glass container in your pantry for up to 8 weeks.

SUBSTITUTIONS/IDEAS
1. Add a dash of cayenne and or cinnamon to the mix. Maybe cardamom?
2. Substitute sucanat for coconut palm sugar.
3. Add 1 tsp spirulina crystal flakes.
4. Add hemp seed to the recipe.
5. Add cacao nibs. Try them chopped them real fine or processed in a coffee grinder.

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  1. wow… what an unusual combination. my list of To Make this weekend is getting longer with each of your posts lol … great stuff.. thank you!

  2. Robin R.

    Just finished a batch of this, and it exceeded my expectations! I didn’t have cocoa butter on hand, just used coconut oil instead and omitted the additional 2 tsp. of it. I used a small food processor to get the cashews pretty fine.

    I make my own vanilla extract (cut open vanilla bean + booze in a jar) so I just tossed that empty vanilla pod right in the jar with it. Of course my dog eats the kale stems so nothing goes to waste over here… ha!

    Thanks, again!

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