Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate lovers' kale

Misha, Nika and Brian snowshoeing at Sunset Mountain
Snow is in short supply this winter where we live but we found some way up high in the mountains at 6,000 feet plus. It was a first for our pooches, Misha and Nika, who had never been in the snow. They were loving every minute.

It also was a first for me to be out snowshoeing with my people and dog buddies doing something I had to pass on for the past two winters. I used to go nordic or skate skiing every winter on a regular basis until chronic muscle pain sidelined me. 

But this time, I made it. I didn't have to cry to myself as my husband and son headed off on one of their snowshoeing adventures. I would be lying to say I had no pain, but it was within tolerable limits. It was in marked contrast to last winter when I could hardly walk out to the mailbox without doubling over in pain. I owe it all to my physical therapist and my hubby who continues the myofascial release therapy at home. I have to give myself credit as well. Every morning, you'll find me doing core conditioning exercises.

Misha carrying his water, treats in his new pack
It was the best day ever for me because of what it represented. I was able to return to something I love doing during the winter. Now, if we can just get some more snow!

Here's Misha all tired out  from snowshoeing but reunited with his buddies, Kona and Bailey
Losing the five pounds I have gained this fall and winter may not be as fun as snowsheoing was. I have been following a strict, low-glycemic diet since November. So far, only one pound has budged. I great resource for tips and recipes has been the 28-day Whole Living Action Plan http://www.wholeliving.com/136308/action-plan-week-1-detox-recipes/@center/136747/whole-living-action-plan-28-day-challenge. The best part is it's totally free and most of the recipes are ones I can eat with an occasional tweak.

Unfortunately, my weakness continues to be chocolate. I have resolved to only make chocolate recipes that utilize veggies. This week I indulged in Chocolate Lovers' Kale.

Chocolate Lovers' Kale

Ingredients:
1- 1 1/2 bunches of kale
1-2 T. cacao powder
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. sunbutter (optional)
stevia to taste
1 T. each chia seed, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Wash kale. Trim from stems and separate into small pieces. Pat the kale pieces dry with a paper towel.
  • Grind the chia, sunflower seeds and cacao nibs to a coarse grind.
  • Melt the coconut oil and combine with sunbutter, stevia, cacao powder and ground seed/nib blend to make a paste. Thin with more coconut oil if not pourable. (note: sunbutter could be omitted)
  • Working in batches pour 1-2 T. mixture over kale placed in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage in the chocolate mixture.
  • Spread the choco-covered kale pieces on a large cookie sheet, sprayed with pan spray.
  • Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until the leaves are dry but pliable.
  • Remove from oven and allow kale pieces to cool before diving in.
  • Note: I found this treat satisfying and was not tempted to eat more than a few leaves.
I'm contributing this recipe to: http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/2012/01/05/wellness-weekend-january-5-9-2012/

3 comments:

Rita & Mom said...

OK - chocolate. I really prefer spinach to kale never having tried it until recently. But the whole 'chip' thing just seemed too far out. I have some kale so I will give this a try. Thanks for sharing on Ricki's Wellness Weekend.

Sheree Welshimer said...

It really works if you grind up the chips and seeds before mixing with the coconut oil. I agree about the kale. I wasn't used to it either but now I am totally sold on it. I hope you will give it a try.

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