Tag Archives: snack

Chipotle- Cheddar Kale Chips

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My love for kale chips borders on obsession. It’s probably illegal in most states. I’ve made several version of kale chips including plain salt and olive oil, sour cream and onion, and applewood smoked. These are my favorite yet and I just had to share!
I first started making kale chips in the oven, but after burning  them almost every time I decided to try a dehydrator. What a huge difference it makes! Now I can have kale chips that are crispy and crunchy but never burned, every time. Even when I forget about them and end up cooking them for almost 24 hours. Not only does the dehydrator save energy and preserve nutrients, but it’s also fool proof to use since it “cooks” so slowly that the amount of time doesn’t have to be exact.
But don’t let not having a dehydrator prevent you from trying these out. They are so ridiculously delicious and packed with nutrition that you will want to try them out. Kale haters have been known to fall in love with these chips. I have been known to forget to tell the husband I made these in order to keep them all for myself…

Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A,C, and K as well as a good source of minerals like calcium, iron, and manganese. Additionally, as a member of the Brassica Family (like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower), this veggie contains compounds which have been shown to inhibit cancer activity. So what are you waiting for?

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Chipotle-Cheddar Kale Chips:

- 1 bunch kale (curly varieties work best for kale chips, but lacinato will work too)

-3/4 cup raw cashews, preferably soaked for at least an hour

-1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce

-1 clove garlic, peeled

- 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (helps contribute to “cheesy flavor and is high in B vitamins)

- 1 Tablespoon olive oil

- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (lemon juice can be substituted)

- 1 teaspoon agave nectar

- scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

- 1/3 to 1/2 cup water as needed for blending

Directions:

1. Wash and dry kale. Remove the tough stems and tear into bite sized pieces, placing them in a large bowl. There should be able 6-7 cups. It will look much smalled when it is dehydrated though!

2. Combine all other ingredients except water in a high speed blender. Add about 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth, adding more water as needed.

3. Pour the sauce over the kale and mix well. Distribute evenly among the trays of your dehydrator and dehydrate about 10-12 hours. I like to do this over night so I don’t feel like I have to wait so long.  OR you can bake these at about 250F for about an hour, or until crispy.

These can be stored in jars or plastic containers (just not bags- they may crumble) and make a great on-the-go snack. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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Forgetting that we were going to have more company this week ( this means going out more and eating less meals at home), I bought too many groceries. Between our CSA and my excitement about all the fresh, cheap produce available at the grocery store, I found myself with an excess of perishables. Yesterday I noticed my zucchinis were looking… well wrinkled. I had hoped to put them on a pizza or stir fry, but decided to take immediate action and turn them into muffins. Chocolate muffins, because I can’t seem to shake the desire for chocolate lately!

I came across a recipe on Elana’s site that used coconut flour- a gluten free flour that I bought on impulse and have been trying to become acquainted with.

I tweaked the recipe only slightly, and they turned out so good. They are moist (sorry to use the m word, Erica, but they are!) and yet fluffy and not too sweet. The texture is more cake like than muffin like, and I think for a more indulgent treat they would be amazing with frosting or icing, but I haven’t been wanting overly sweet things lately so I left them as is. They taste way better when cooled. I had one warm and it didn’t compare to the cooled ones.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins:

Dry:

1/4 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup grated zucchini, not packed

Mix ins:

1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks

1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F and grease two mini muffin tins or fill with paper muffin cups.

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl, set aside. Combine wet ingredients in large bowl, slowly beat in dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips. Ladle into muffin tins, using a tablespoon for each. Bake 18-22 minutes. Makes about 20.

Enjoy!

xoxo/Nikita

Three in one Granola Recipe

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Confession: I am a granola addict. I make it every week, and when I was in India last January, it was the number one food I missed. I know, I know, the internet is full of granola recipes, but I have tried many styles and I think this way is really special! What I love about it most, besides the great flavor, is its amazing versatility. The ingredients are highly customizable to what you have on hand or prefer and it can be used to make chewy granola bars, crunchy granola bars, or crunchy loose granola. What more could you ask for? I am such a granola enthusiast that I actually like to divide the batch in half and do one pan of chewy granola bars for taking to school as snacks and one pan of crunchy crumbles to top my oatmeal with. Here is the general recipe, feel free to substitute your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.

The People’s Granola

Dry

Dry ingredients

Dry:

2 cups rolled oats (regular or gluten free)

1.5 cups chopped or sliced nuts (I used hazelnuts and almonds today)

1 cup dried fruit (I used mission figs, but cranberries are a favorite also), chopped if not already small pieces

1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut

1/2 cup puffed rice or other puffed whole grain (adds great crisp and lightness)

1/4 cup sesame, sunflower seeds, or pepitas.

Wet

Wet Ingredients

Wet:

1/3 cup each: Peanut butter (or any nut butter), honey (vegans can use agave), brown sugar *If you have coconut oil on hand, add a tablespoon and use a little less of the former three. It will take it to a whole new level!*

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt (I love the salty-sweet combo- if you are not a fan or avoid salt, you can cut it down to 1/2 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine oats and nuts (not seeds or coconut yet) on a baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes, until just barely beginning to become fragrant. Add the seeds and coconut and continue roasting about 5 minutes longer, until everything is a light golden brown and smells fragrant.

Meanwhile, chop the dried fruit if necessary and combine the wet ingredients, either in a small sauce pan or in a microwave safe glass container, such as Pyrex. The saucepan method is more accurate, because you don’t want to burn this mixture, but the microwave is a safe bet as long as you check it frequently.

When all ingredients are toasted, transfer them to a large bowl and add the puffed rice and the dried fruit. Stir to combine. Heat the wet mixture, either over medium- low heat on the stove, or in 30 second intervals in the microwave until the sugar is dissolved. Careful not to boil or burn it! A little bubbling is okay, but too much and it will dry rock hard. I like a caramel-like consistency, especially for the chewy bars.

Now you have to decide what kind of granola you want!

chewy bars

Chewy Bars

For chewy bars:

Line a baking dish with parchment  paper or coat in with cooking spray and turn the mixture out onto it. Wet hands with cold water and press the mixture down until the granola is packed and even. Stick them in the freezer or refrigerator- they can be sliced once they have cooled. They will store well in the fridge for at least two weeks, at least up to a month in the freezer. I have never had them last longer than that in this house!

For Crunchy bars:

Follow the above directions, except instead of sticking them in the freezer, put them back in the over for about 15-20 minutes longer.

Granola Crumbles in Soymilk

For Crunchy Crumbles:

Spray a pan with cooking spray and pour the granola on. Bake 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Alternately, make crunchy granola bars and just crumble half and for cereal use.

What is your favorite way to enjoy granola?