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Author Notes: Delicious chocolate with No More Guilt!
I combined my three favorite foods: cranberries (great for any day that's not Thanksgiving), chocolate, and kale (usually over-cooked). These chocolate clusters are low-sodium, packed with vitamins, and most importantly, the sewing-circle ladies loved them! - BoulderGalinTokyo
Makes 40 or so
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seed kernels
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons anise seeds
- 12 ounces dark premium chocolate (340 g.)
- 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper (cayenne)
- salt (optional)
- Kale: Wash and spin kale to dry. Divide into three piles. Pile 1. Ruffly leaves on tops and outside, torn in about 2 inch pieces. Pile 2. Thin stems less than half an inch cut out from between leaves. Pile 3. Thickest stems more than half an inch in diameter. Put #3 in bag and save in fridge for another use.
- Prepare an ice-water bath. Boil 6 cups of water in a saucepan. With water at a rolling boil, carefully add stems Pile #2, cover and wait until water reaches rolling boil again. Carefully uncover, add leaves Pile #1, cover again and wait until water reaches a rolling boil again. Leaves should be an emerald green. Drain kale. Shock in ice-water bath immediately. Should be al-dente with a crunchy bite. Drain again. Squeeze water out. Chop everything to 1/4 inch pieces by hand (food processor made pesto).
- Seeds: Toast sunflower kernels in a skillet on low heat until lightly colored and fragrant. Remove to large mixing bowl. Toast cumin seeds and anise seeds until fragrant. Put cumin and anise in mortar (spice mill) and coarsely chop. Put in same bowl as sunflower seeds.
- Add black pepper and red peppers to seeds. Add salt if you like. Stir. Add cranberries and coconut to spices. Stir. Add squeezed kale. Mix well.
- Coarsely chop chocolate so It will melt evenly. Put in a flat pan (pie plate) and microwave until chocolate is shiny. Remove, stir, and microwave more if needed to be smoothly melted. Pour over kale and seed mixture and mix quickly but thoroughly.
- Using a teaspoon mound in spoonfuls on cooking paper or foil. Cool.
- These keep only about 3 days so enjoy with friends.
- FOR KIDS: They probably won't want the extra spices. I recommend not adding spices in Step 4. Instead sprinkle on the top so kids can see which Chocolates Kale Clusters are for the adults and which are for them. (We want them to eat kale!)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chocolate & Spice