One of my absolute favorite snacks are kale chips, and particularly cheezy kale chips. I’ve always purchased them from the store pre-made in the past, but they are extremely expensive for the small amount you get. I had always thought of making them for myself, and when I saw some beautiful kale at a neighborhood farmer’s market this past weekend, I knew it was time to try out making some of that cheezy goodness on my own!
Notice that “z” in “cheeZy”? That means there’s no real cheese in these. They are completely vegan. And not only that, because I made them in a food dehydrator where the temperature was kept low, they are also completely raw. The cheezy-ness comes, mostly, from the nutritional yeast. If you haven’t ever tried nutritional yeast, it’s basically yellow flakes or powder that you can usually ind in the bulk bins of a natural market like Whole Foods. It’s a deactivated yeast that is actually a complete protein, It tastes pretty cheese, which is why it is often substituted for cheese. It’s also a bit nutty, and an all-around strong flavor.
All of the many (but necessary!) ingredients found in the cheeze sauce that cover the kale come together to produce a really tasty topping that is savory, slightly sweet, spicy, salty, and “cheezy”! I really love these chips, and these actually came pretty close to replicating the ones I used to buy in the store. I prefer these, in fact, and they are far more cost effective! I would even be willing to say that these kale chips could stand up to any potato chip in terms of taste and crunch. That’s right, you get the crunch factor with these, and it’s oh-so-satisfying.
These chips have a spicy bite to them, and while it’s not too strong, if you are no a spicy person (like me!), I would suggest removing the seeds from the peppers before adding them to the blender.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator, it is possible to make these in an oven set to between 200 and 275 degrees for about an hour, though your chips won’t actually be raw if you use this method, and they probably won’t be as delightfully crispy (though it is a much quicker process!).
Oh, and just FYI, these are insanely addictive and I guarantee that you’ll be eating them by the double handful (but I mean really, they’re kale and a bunch of other healthy ingredients; you’ll survive a binge of these babies and come out on top :P).
Spicy-Cheezy Kale Chips
recipe from here
- 3 bunches organic kale, woody stems removed, and torn into pieces
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed and sliced in quarters
- 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 jalapeno, stem removed and halved
- 1 fresno chile, stem removed and halved
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy)
- 1 cup soaked raw cashews, water drained
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash and dry your kale thoroughly. Set aside.
- Add all of the ingredients, aside from the kale, to a blender, and blend until smooth (a few chunks here and there are really no big deal). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the dry kale to a very large bowl and pour the blended sauce overtop. Toss the kale with tongs until thoroughly coated.
- Place the coated kale pieces, in a single layer, into the trays of your dehydrator, and dehydrate at 135 degrees for 2 hours, then lower it to 115 and dehydrate overnight, or until dried (this can take as little as 6 hours, and up to about 12 hours depending on how you coated your kale).