The inevitability of this recipe stems from two core qualities of my personality: 1.) My veganism. 2.) The hippie-esque lifestyle I’ve naturally adopted since shifting from health-oriented to ethical veganism. Allow me to elaborate.
Vegans eat kale. Vegans attempt to incorporate kale into just about every meal they consume. Vegans even blend kale into smoothies. Vegans often enjoy granola as a garnish for their smoothies. As a vegan, kale-philic, smoothie-blending granola fanatic, I consider this recipe as an unavoidable breakfast progression.
As for my second point, I would label myself as a hippie of sorts. Case in point: the other day I burst into tears at the sight of a particularly gorgeous tree (its leaves faded from purple to pink to orange, for goodness sake! How could you blame me?). Popular in the hippie community since the 60’s, granola has garnered an unparalleled reputation as one of the most wholesome breakfast foods available. By blending an uber-healthy leafy green into the mix, you’ve increased granola’s hippie potential at least tenfold.
Thus, veganism + hippie values = kale granola. No further explanation necessary.
Oh, except that the oven-baked bits of kale flecking the granola adopt a mysteriously smoky flavor, quite reminiscent of kale chips, that mingles gorgeously with the cocoa powder. Now please resume your sprint into the kitchen to whip up a batch of this granola.
Chocolate Kale Granola (Soy Free)
Makes about 9 cups.
5 dates, pitted and soaked for at least 10 minutes
1 apple, chopped
1 large banana (or 1 1/2 small ones), sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cocoa/cacao/carob powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large leaves of kale, chopped (no need to remove the stems)
2 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup raw buckwheat (soaked and sprouted is best)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup almonds, chopped (soaked and sprouted is best)
Preheat the oven to 275°F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dates, apple, banana, and lemon juice. Pulse into a smooth puree. Add the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Pulse until incorporated. Add the kale and pulse again until completely incorporated—hardly any flecks of kale should be visible.
In a large bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients (oats through almonds) until well combined. Pour the kale puree over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
Divide the mixture between two or three baking sheets lined with parchment paper and spread evenly over the sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, stir, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator.
Local Ingredients: Kale from Harmony Valley Farm.
Comment Provoking Questions: What’s the most hippie-ish recipe you’ve ever made? How about your most creative implementation of kale?
Until next time, Ali.