Crunchy Kale Chips

*Pictured above - kale chips before baking.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of curly kale (make sure it's not dino or lacinato kale - it won't crisp the same!)
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Wash kale thoroughly and dry thoroughly.
2. Tear kale away from stem. Each kale piece should be chip sized.
3. Place kale, salt, olive oil and lemon into a bowl and mix together with your hands, gently massaging the kale with the oil, lemon and salt
4. Lay kale pieces flat out on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Place in oven and set timer for 15 minutes and check.
5. Remove from oven and gently unstuck kale from pan if it has stuck and if needed, place in oven for another 5 minutes until kale is dry and crispy
6. Allow to cool. Can store in fridge for up to a week.

Tips:

·       Trader Joe's now carries pre-cut and washed kale pieces which speed up this process.

·       When placing kale on baking sheets, massage oil into kale so it cooks evenly.

·       Can also substitute vinegar for lemon for a salt and vinegar chip.

·       Can also substitute garlic salt, Braggs amino acids, and various flavorings for an extra flavorful treat - ENJOY!

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Cheesy Kale Chips (or Salad) with a Kick!

Have you tried any of the delicious flavored kale chips that are now being produced commercially??

They are de-licious!! Only problem is that they're $5-6 for a tiny little bag (and yes, it makes sense that if you take a pound of kale, add in cashews and other high quality ingredients - the cost is high to produce these delicious morsels of kale goodness!) but I was inspired to try and create these myself and was very pleasantly surprised at how well they came out!

I used a dehydrator this time, so more of the nutrients were kept instead of being baked away. Best part - so quick and easy to make.

I was also surprised at how delicious this kale is RAW (no dehydrating or baking necessary), but eaten it as a salad.  The amazing, flavorful dressing makes it perfectly flavorful and have served it to others who  wouldn't have dreamed of using "kale" and "yummy" in the same sentence. But she changed her mind and asked for the recipe :) 

Ingredients:

·       1/2 cup cashews

·       3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper *(can adjust according to spiciness desired)

·       1/4 cup lemon juice

·       1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

·       2 tbsp nutritional yeast

·       1 tsp chili powder *(can adjust according to spiciness desired)

·       few dashes sea salt

·       1 bunch of kale OR Trader Joe's pre-washed & cut kale

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients together (besides kale) in food processor and blend until smooth to make the cheesy flavor "dressing." 

2. Use spatula to spoon out all dressing and mix thoroughly with kale. If using Trader Joe's bagged kale, use about 1/2 the bag.  If using a "bunch" of kale, remove stems and wash thoroughly, breaking apart kale leaves in "chip" size pieces.

I was tempted to stop here and actually HAVE eaten this just as a "kale salad" with this delicious, nourishing dressing. But if your intention is to make CHIPS - then we'll have to continue to the dehydrating step...

3. Take individual kale pieces covered in dressing and lay on dehydrator shelf.  I believe my chips dehydrated over night so they were perfectly crispy and flavor concentrated. Read the settings on your dehydrator to see what temperature and settings it recommends.

4. I found the most difficult step the SHARING part - they're SO good, it's easy to eat them all in one sitting :)

ENJOY!  

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Peanut Butter Hummus

Ingredients:

·       1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

·       4 tbsp creamy peanut butter

·       1 tbsp olive oil

·       Fresh lemon juice (squeezed from 1 lemon)

·       1/3 cup water

·       1 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor. 

OR if you'd like to include children in this process:

Place the garbanzo beans in the bottom of a large non-breakable mixing bowl.  Begin mashing the beans using a potato masher.  If making the recipe with children, allow each child to take a turn mashing the beans.  Gradually add the remaining ingredients and continue to mash until the mixture is blended and smooth.

*For dipping:

·       Celery, carrot, zucchini, cucumber, red or green peppers or jicama sticks.  Can also serve with tortillas or tortilla chips.

·        

Source: "How to Teach Nutrition to Kids" by Connie Liakos Evers, MS, RD.

Kid Favorite

Carrots make great dipping sticks

Cashew Carrot Pate

This creamy veggie dip is so delicious, you won't even miss the dairy! :)

This creamy veggie dip is so delicious, you won't even miss the dairy! :)

Ingredients:

2-3 cloves garlic, diced

1 slice of sweet onion

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup cashews

sea salt ,to taste

1/4 C. olive oil

 

Directions:

1. In a food processor, using the "S" shaped blade, blend the garlic, onion and carrots into a fine consistency.

2. Add cashews and process with the remaining ingredients. Stop periodically and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend until creamy.

3. Chill and serve.

Variation: Try using soaked almonds or sunflower seeds instead of cashews.

Replace the oil with a little water to help the ingredients blend together.

Pecan Cranberry Spice Bliss Balls

This delicious recipe has just a few whole ingredients for a nutrient-dense and tasy treat! Great for holiday gifts - including to our vegan, gluten free and dairy free friends! :)

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Ingredients:

·       1 cup raw cashews

·       1 cup roasted pecans

·       1 cup dried cranberries

·       9 dried dates

·       1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·       1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or Pumpkin Pie Spice (from Trader Joe's)

·       + 1 tablespoon cinnamon for outside coating

Directions: 

Blend all ingredients (except cinnamon) in food processor until relatively smooth "dough" is formed.

Roll "dough" into about ½ inch balls.

Sprinkle cinnamon in bowl and roll treats to cover in cinnamon. 

Simple Summer Green Smoothie

With an abundance of fresh fruits in the summertime (especially fruits like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc), it is the perfect time to blend in to a delicious green smoothie! A great way to add an extra dose of cool is to use frozen berries!

 

Ingredients:

·       2 cups leafy greens (kale or spinach are my favorites)

·       1 cup fruit (berries, pineapple, mango, etc) 

·       1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

·       3 tbsp hemp seeds or other non-dairy protein powder (If using this smoothie as a meal, make sure to include a source of protein. Can also eat nuts or seeds or eggs alongside smoothie and not blend it in).

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together and ENJOY!