Okay okay. Before you all freak out (which I invite you to do in moderation, since, yes, this is a weird concept), HEAR ME OUT. Please. I beg you. Okay hi, now that I have your attention: I know this granola is green…and that it is made from a vegetable. And that vegetables and granola are not usually/ever paired together. But green can also be delicious! Especially in this case. Still skeptical? Don’t lie to me. I can feel the skepticism all the way from wherever you are. Let me tell you more:
So, if you are like me at all, ordering food is sometimes a very stressful experience. Stressful in a there-are-so-many-delicious-options-I-couldn’t-possibly-choose-just-one kind of way. From time to time, it gets to the point where I am so indecisive that I have to just blurt something out and hope for the best. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes it’s perfect. My roommate cleverly calls this “blackout ordering”. It just so happens my first run-in with kale granola happened this way. I was at a lovely grain-free food-lover’s heaven called Hu Kitchen on a breakfast date when I couldn’t decide for my LIFE what I should get. (“You mean…EVERYTHING is gluten free? I can eat…ANYTHING HERE?” An indecisive, dietary-restriction-plagued girl’s nightmare. Commence panic attack.) So, I ended up “blackout ordering” a bowl of “sweet kale crunch” with almond milk. I could not even begin to understand why, of all things, I’d order a bowl of cereal made out of KALE at a restaurant, but I did–and, lo and behold, I loved it.
So, long story short, the metaphorical seed for my kale granola experiment was planted and this recipe was born. Think sweet kale chips, in a bowl, with milk or yogurt. 100% healthy, grain and gluten free “cereal”. Crunchy, delicious happiness. Need I say more?
1 bunch kale, shredded into little pieces
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
Preheat your oven to 200° F (or, if you’re lucky enough to have a dehydrator, you can obviously use that). Lightly grease a large baking sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper and set aside. Put your coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds until just melted, then stir in the maple syrup. Let this cool for a bit–we wouldn’t want to wilt the kale! Put your little granola-bite-sized kale pieces into a bowl and pour the coconut oil and maple syrup on top, stirring to evenly coat. Add all your mix-ins (seeds, coconut, cinnamon) and the coconut sugar and toss to make sure it’s all mixed together. Try to not think of this as a salad–you will be tempted. Dump your kale and all of the other goodies onto the baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Bake for 1.5-2 hours at this low temperature (to avoid burning and for optimal crispiness!), making sure to check every half hour or so just in case. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through to make sure all sides get evenly toasted. When you’ve decided your granola is just about done, turn off the oven and let it cool inside. Store in an airtight container (but not until it’s completely cool, guys!) and brag to your friends about how weird and amazing your new creation is.
I, personally, cannot wait to force feed this to my reluctant non-kale-enthusiast lovers and friends. I also cannot wait to eat breakfast tomorrow. But what else is new.