I’m a huge fan of kale. If you follow this blog, you know that I include kale in my recipes, from soups to smoothies, all the time. It’s so very good for you, with all those bone building minerals in particular, that I just can’t help loving it.
So it’s no surprise to see kale here again.
But this recipe is a little different- it’s a kale recipe for those of you who might still be on the fence about eating kale. And it’s for kids, too. I am not promising that every child will like this, but my 10 year old and I fought over who got to finish off this plate of spicy crispy kale with lime…
My first experience with baked kale came when I made Lauren Ulm’s recipe from her book Vegan Yum Yum for my Foodbuzz 24,24,24 post in December. Lauren’s recipe uses just a touch of sesame oil and very little salt. It was so simple…yet it was also a revelation. Who knew baking kale could result in such “deliciousness”?
Soon I noticed that I was clearly not the only one to succumb to the charms of baked kale. Across the blogosphere, I saw many of my colleagues singing the praises of crispy kale, too:
Jaden’s Crispy Kale
Monica Bhide’s Chaat Masala Kale Chips
Not Derby Pie’s Kale Chips
The Kitchn’s Crispy Kale
Vegan Visitor’s Roasted Kale
So I made more. And lots of it (I’ve now made this baked kale recipe three days in a row). It’s so easy and so good! What I love most is that you can vary this recipe in so many ways. Keep it super plain, or spice it up a little with a seasoned salt, as I’ve done here.
To make the seasoned salt, I mixed 1 teaspoon of course sea salt with a pinch of ground chipotle pepper (I used Spice Islands brand). You won’t use all of this to season the kale (it would be way too salty), so you’ll have a some left over for next time. If you don’t really want your kale to be spicy, but you enjoy a smoky flavor, then you could make your salt with smoked paprika instead.
Spicy Kale Chips
*1/2-1 bunch of clean and dry organic kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces (remove any tough stems)
*1-2 Tb. olive oil
*1-2 large pinches of spicy seasoned course salt- see above
*juice from 1/2 lime (or to taste)- optional
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
2. Drizzle some oil over the kale and "massage" it into the leaves. The kale I used for this post was an unusually large bunch. I'd say I used half the bunch and 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
3. I'd like to point out here that you should go ahead and taste the raw oiled kale. It is actually pretty yummy just like this (at least I think so). Sometimes I make a salad with raw kale that's been oiled and allowed to sit for a few hours. But I'll save that for another post.
4. Next, you'll want to spread your oiled kale onto a sheet pan...And then bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Bake until the edges are just crispy, but the kale is still quite bright green. Do not overcook!
5. As soon as you take your kale chips out of the oven, sprinkle with a few pinches of the spicy salt and then squeeze on the optional lime. Enjoy your kale crispies...and remember to share with your children!
This raw chocolate banana smoothie is so sweet, creamy and rich, it’s almost hard to believe it’s good for you.
Before I get to the smoothie recipe, though, I want to tell you about my Garden of Life Giveaway!
The great people at Garden of Life are going to give one bottle of their awesome organic coconut oil and one bottle of their delicious Hawaiian raw honey to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment below, and I’d love it if you tell me about your favorite smoothie recipe.
If you want an extra entry into the giveaway, mention this post on twitter or facebook and then leave me another comment telling me you did so…
You can enter the giveaway between now and midnight of February 15th. I’ll pick a winner at random on the 16th. Make sure I have your email address so I can notify you if you win! Good luck!
Back to the smoothie…
This one is very different from the green smoothie recipe I posted the other day- both are very nourishing, but in completely different ways.
This is a higher protein smoothie. It makes a great breakfast; I also like it as a pre/post-workout snack, and I sometimes make a version of this for dessert, as well.
I’m not generally a fan of protein powders, but I did add some Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder to this smoothie. I received a jar of this as a complementary gift from the company (I told you they were great people!) and I’m very impressed with it.
Raw Protein is derived from raw organic sprouts. It’s vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free. It does not contain any artificial ingredients and it doesn’t change the flavor of the smoothie. I give it a definite “thumbs up”. If you can’t find this product or a very similar one, though, I’d probably skip the protein powder: I find most of them to be very processed and I don’t really trust what’s in them to be good for you.
If you’re not using the protein powder, though, you can still load this smoothie up with healthy protein by adding raw milk or organic plain yogurt or kefir and/or 1-2 raw eggs; if you use fresh, local, organic free-range eggs, there is very, very little risk of salmonella. I’ve been adding raw eggs to my smoothies for years and I’ve never had a problem.
This smoothie also contains organic coconut oil, a healthy fat that I love (more about organic coconut oil)…
…as well as raw cacao (aka raw chocolate) powder.
I can not say enough good things about raw cacao/chocolate powder. It’s high in magnesium, iron, fiber, and anti-oxidants and I absolutely love it. I used Divine Organics Sacred Cacao this time, which I found at my local natural foods store (unfortunately I don’t it see available online). I’ve also used and love Navitas Naturals Dark Chocolate Powder/Organic Cacao Power, which might be easier to find (more about healthy chocolate).
Healthy Chocolate Smoothie Recipe
*1 cup organic plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (or 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup organic coconut milk or 1 cup coconut milk for a dairy-free smoothie)
*1 cup filtered water (or use more liquid(s) above)
*1 1/2 organic bananas, previously peeled, cut into chunks, and frozen
*1-2 Tb. Garden of Life or similar organic raw protein powder
*1-2 organic, free-range eggs- optional
*1-2 Tb. organic raw cacao powder (use the larger amount if you really like chocolate)
*1-2 tsp. organic freeze-dried coffee (regular or decaf; I use Mount Hagen brand)- optional, for a mocha flavor
*1 Tb. organic coconut oil
*1 Tb. organic flax oil or ground flax seeds- optional
*1 Tb. raw honey or stevia to taste- optional
*pinch of Himalayan or sea salt- optional
Blend all ingredients well, adding ice or additional water to produce desired consistency. Serves 1.
This post is linked to the February 5th edition of Fight Back Friday. Head over to Food Renegade to see all the other Real Food submissions this week!
p.s. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who linked to my healthy breakfast recipe carnival to help Haiti. I think I was just short of a combined 50 links/comments, but I’ll round up and send $50 to Haiti. I am also donating my January ad revenue to Haiti. If you are interested in doing the same in the coming months, contact Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes at Blog Away Hunger/Help Haiti.
When my friend Holly Shelowitz posted her favorite healthy green smoothie recipe on Facebook, I wanted to try it immediately. I did…and I loved it.
Holly is a holistic nutritionist. We only just met a few months ago, but we have so much in common that it feels like I’ve known her much longer. She and I share a love for high quality nutrient dense food, and I’ve been wanting her to do a guest post for a while. So without further ado, here’s Holly and her green smoothie recipe!
I eat greens every day, both cooked and in salads, but I was craving something more. The color green is associated with refreshing, vital energy and nutritionally, dark leafy greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. One cup of most dark, leafy green vegetables supplies the daily requirement of beta carotene, as well as vitamins C, E and K. Dark leafy greens are also high in fiber, folic acid, and dozens of trace minerals and nutrients.
For the nutrients to be most available for our bodies, greens should to be enjoyed with good quality fat like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil or ghee. Good fats help to transport the minerals into our bodies in a way that can be easily absorbed; a lack of good fats is one of the reasons low fat diets can be harmful!
Eating dark, leafy greens can benefit your body in a number of ways:
• chlorophyll helps to purify and build the blood
• improved immune system function
• promotion of healthy intestinal flora and better digestion
• improved liver and kidney function
• the clearing of congestion, especially in the lungs and intestines
So while you can buy all those green powders, there’s just nothing like live greens. You can really feel the vitality as you drink it. Green smoothies are truly nourishing and uplifting; they can improve your energy levels, lift your spirits and help you fight depression too.
The key here is to taste the smoothie after you blend but before you pour it so you can adjust the ingredients, if necessary. Greens can be strong, especially if you are not used to having them in a smoothie. So taste and fuss with the levels of the ginger/apple/lemon accordingly. I suggest not going overboard with the lemon, but increasing the apple, in particular, makes this sweeter and more palatable for just about anyone.
Holly's Green Smoothie Recipe
Yield: Serves 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
I recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible.
*1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
*1/4 lemon, skin and all
*1-2 cored apples
*5 stalks kale (stems removed)
*flesh from 1 avocado
*pinch of celtic sea salt
*dash of water
Using a high speed blender (I love my Blendtec), blend until super smooth. Eat with a spoon.
Check out Holly’s Website and blog for more information about her nutritional counseling practice, her cooking classes, and her recipes. She also makes her own line of Nourishing Wisdom Skincare Products, so be sure to check those out, too!
This post is linked to this week’s edition of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday!