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Eat Well Oct. 18. 2013
Desserts

Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chips

Oct. 18. 2013
Desserts
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder

Another fun way to add the king green kale into our diets!

Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chips. Raw, gluten-free, non-dairy, low calorie, rich in fiber, protein, and packs a punch of chocolate flavor everyone can enjoy. This is a perfect way to sneak in a healthy Halloween treat for the kids- present these kale chips without the word kale and call them something fun and creative like “bat wings”, “Frankenstein’s hair”, or “Mummy food”, whatever is going to be fun and relatable to their imaginations this Halloween. Also, I just realized without planning, this week’s recipes were all raw!

These Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chips are another way to add the king green kale into our diets, first with the Stripped Green Smoothie and now covered in delicious chocolate. These kale chips are not only perfect for a themed Halloween treat for yourself or the family, but also perfect for a year round snack, treat, or dessert. Yes, kale for dessert- I went there, could you really expect anything less from me? My mission is sneaking greens into your day, everyday; even if it takes the power of chocolate-y goodness.

Revisit and read more on why I love kale and it’s health and nutrition benefits from my favorite salad the Massaged Kale Salad recipe. The raw cocoa powder I like to use in any of my cooking, baking, and dessert recipes is the real deal: raw cocoa powder. It’s high in antioxidants, minerals, and contains the health benefits you often hear about in the media. Here’s the fine line between cocoa and chocolate.

The chocolate that is mostly consumed and familiar to those of us who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) is in the form of candy bars, milk chocolate, or highly processed forms of the chocolate. All of which are typically made with extra fat, refined sugars, dairy, and other flavorings and additives (especially if you’re consuming lower quality chocolate); pretty far from the all natural and real form of chocolate, cocoa. Stay tuned for a future post where I share some of my favorite brands of chocolate! Now, I want to move onto this delicious Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chip recipe we have here.

What makes this dish amazing is the chocolate sauce you pour over the kale and massage in with your hands (yes, it get’s messy!). I love using the addition of hazelnuts with the cashews to create a rich, nutty, and sweet flavor in the chocolate cream sauce. When I first made this chocolate coating, I was really tempted to call the recipe quits and just eat this chocolate coating out of the blender, but I controlled myself and poured this creamy chocolate-y sauce it over delicious kale. My patience paid off, these Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chips are great. A note about the flavor profile here, these kale chips aren’t meant to be extremely sweet, instead we’re using the flavor notes of chocolate in a more savory way with a hint of sweetness. Of course if you’d like to add more sweetness to this recipe, amp up the maple syrup or add stevia to the mix. This recipe is also semi-inspired by the folks at Alive & Radiant who have a delicious chocolate kale chip.

TIPS |

  • On-the-go // If packing these on-the-go, store them in a glass mason jar or air tight tupperware. This will not only help keep them fresh but also avoid crunching them. They’re delicate!
  • Crispy // If you notice the kale chips are still moist after taking out of the dehydrator or oven, put them back in immediately for further dehydrating. These sound be crisp!
  • Personalize // If you want to add a dash of cayenne or cinnamon to these, please do- it’s delicious!
  • Nut allergy // If you are allergic to hazelnuts or cashews, other alternatives that you may use are macadamia nuts, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, or sunflower seeds. Note, when changing the nut ingredient, the flavor will change- I haven’t tried using alternative nuts/seeds for this recipe.

 

Chocolate Cocoa Kale Chips
Recipe Type: dessert, snack
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Rich chocolate hazelnut covered dehydrated and raw kale chips.
Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch of organic kale, de-stemmed and washed (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 4 dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. SAUCE //
  2. Blend all ingredients except the kale into a Vitamix or high speed blender.
  3. This mixture will be the “sauce” that you will mix onto the kale.
  4. The desired result is a thick sauce, if you need more water to thin out the mixture add in 2 tablespoons at a time until it’s a nice thick consistency.
  5. KALE //
  6. De-stem and tear apart into larger than bite-sized pieces.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, pour the chocolate sauce mixture onto the kale.
  8. Mix thoroughly using your hands to run in the chocolate sauce into the kale leaves.
  9. Evenly spread the covered kale onto your dehydrator trays.
  10. Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about 5 hours.
  11. Flip the kale chips around and continue dehydrating for another 4-5 hours or until crispy.
  12. Traditional oven users // Bake in your oven at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, flip, and continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy.

What you’ll need // Ideally if you have a dehydrator, this is the best kitchen appliance to use when making kale chips. Dehydrators use very low heat settings which gradually take out the moisture in raw fruits and vegetables, leaving many of the nutrients intact because you’re avoiding high temperatures. You can still make this recipe perfectly find with your traditional oven. This is the dehydrator model I’ve used for years, a worthy investment!

Comment below on how you enjoyed this recipe! I hope you all enjoy these chocolatey kale chips as much as I do!

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 6

Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of organic kale, de-stemmed and washed (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 4 dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. SAUCE //
  2. Blend all ingredients except the kale into a Vitamix or high speed blender.
  3. This mixture will be the “sauce” that you will mix onto the kale.
  4. The desired result is a thick sauce, if you need more water to thin out the mixture add in 2 tablespoons at a time until it’s a nice thick consistency.
  5. KALE //
  6. De-stem and tear apart into larger than bite-sized pieces.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, pour the chocolate sauce mixture onto the kale.
  8. Mix thoroughly using your hands to run in the chocolate sauce into the kale leaves.
  9. Evenly spread the covered kale onto your dehydrator trays.
  10. Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about 5 hours.
  11. Flip the kale chips around and continue dehydrating for another 4-5 hours or until crispy.
  12. Traditional oven users // Bake in your oven at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, flip, and continue to bake for about 20 minutes or until crispy.

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Wow, I would have never thought to combine chocolate and kale (other than in a green smoothie!) but I am so intrigued by these that I think I’ll need to try them. Happy Friday! 🙂

  • I knew EA wouldn’t steer me wrong- beautiful blog. I’ll admit, I make kale chips but often purchase the sweeter ones, I’ll give these a go.

    • Thank you for stopping by Lauren, it’s good to have you here and thank you for the sweet compliment! 🙂

  • Belinda

    Hi Mckel:)) I am new to your. Blog and I loveeee everything I have seen. I get excited to see what you are going to post next . I have got to try this recipe because it sounds amazzing . I have to use my oven because I don’t have a dehydrator yet. On your instructions you stated bake at 300 F for 20 minutes flipping and continue. To bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. So is that. 20 minutes total or. 20 minutes first.and then flip them then 20 more minutes?? Sorry I want to make sure I’m understanding correctly .. Thnx in advance.

    • Hi Belinda! Thank you so much, I’m glad you like the blog! No apologies needed, I changed the wording to make it easier to understand (others may be wondering the same!). Bake for 20 minutes, flip, bake for another 20 minutes. I hope you enjoy these, let me know how you like them and come back soon 🙂

  • I saw these on your instagram account and immediately came to check out your blog. It’s beautiful! I just tried chocolate kale chips from the store an am determined to make them myself. Can’t wait to try these!

    • Thank you so much Alexandra, I really appreciate that. I hope you love them, they’re awesome and so fun. let me know how you like them or show me on Instagram!

      • Absolutely! Can’t wait to try 🙂 I’ve included the recipe in my round-up of favorite recipe pins on my “Friday Favorites” post. Thanks!

  • Ash

    Hi, may I know what’s the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder? And which is healthier?

  • Hi there,

    I am writing a piece for Live Better America on chocolate in surprising recipes. I’d love to include these. I do need to get permission to use your photo (it would be photo and link only, not full recipe). Thanks!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Yes you may include the picture with a direct link, please don’t use the recipe though. Thank you!

  • Sarah Anderson

    Hi there

    Great recipe idea 🙂 I wanted to ask which do you think uses more energy, dehydrating food or baking it for much less time? A friend and I are in debate!

    Thanks
    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah,
      Great question with a lot of answer possibilities haha! Feel free to get a Ask the RD consult from me where we can debate and chat about some of these questions, even have your friend tag along in the conversation 😉 Contact me at [email protected] or click the ask the rd on the services page. Looking forward to hearing from you!

  • Nick

    I found this while searching for a good chocolate kale chip recipe. I’ve been making “spicy” kale chips for a while and wanted to try something different. Your chocolate sauce is absolutely devine!! My only advice would be to go generous with the sauce. My first tray I tried to be conservative and they burned (should have taken them out earlier, or it maybe it’s time to invest in a dehydrator). The following trays I slathered it on, turned the oven down to 275, and they turned out fantastic! I don’t mind them being a little chewy where it’s thicker, it is chocolate we’re talking about. I’m thinking that sauce can be used for other other things as well – it’s really, really good! Love your site btw!

    • Thank you Nick! Yes, that chocolate sauce is where it’s at! Ovens can be tricky when it comes to dehydrating, like you shared you had to learn to turn them over before burning which I’ve had happen a dozen times before I had a dehydrator. I’m glad you enjoyed them and thanks for joining us all here 🙂

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