Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vegan "Cheesy" Kale Chips

Yesterday I wanted kale chips so bad; I was craving a crunchy flavorful snack and kale chips seemed like just the thing.  Whole Foods had a dollar off a ridiculously expensive bag deal and on a whim, I bought it and happy munched away while running errands.  Then I had the genius idea of saving tons of money by buying my own kale and making my own chips.

The result was phenomenal.  In fact, this picture below is of my breakfast.  I may have received a few weird looks from my husband, for whom I made strawberry waffles, but I couldn't resist diving into my vegan kale snack.  

Another bonus to this recipe for this of you sensitive to nuts: it's nut-free!  Honestly, it is next to impossible to find kale chips made without cashews.  Well turns out sunflower seed butter and tahini make a great creamy nut-free option.  To make this truly raw, use a food dehydrator and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 6+ hours.  My dehydrator was buying drying organic bananas, so I used the oven at 175, and it was faster and delicious as well.

Kale crips are a great portable snack (maybe have a toothpick or floss handy though--for me at least they get in my teeth like crazy).  That aside, kale is a phenomenal source of nutrition: vitamins including Vitamin K which may help prevent cancer, antioxidants, iron, and may be anti-inflammatory, making it a great post-workout snack as well. (1)

nut-free vegan kale chips

Vegan "Cheesy" Kale Chips
yields 2 baking sheets of "cheese" snacking

crispy vegan kale chips nut-free

vegan cheese covered kale


1 large bunch or 2 small bunches kale
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons Red Ape Rasta Shake seasoning*
(OR sprinkle a mixture of pepper, salt, cinnamon, garlic powder, red chili powder and thyme, to taste)

*This is an easy, flavorful organic spice blend or you can make your own using the spices listed above.


1.  Rinse kale and pat dry.

kale and ingredients


Note about most of my ingredients: I used Coconut Secret brand raw coconut aminos, Whole Foods 365 brand Organic Tahini, MaraNatha sunflower seed butter, Spectrum organic apple cider vinegar, bulk nutritional yeast from a natural foods store, and Red Ape Cinnamon Rasta Shake spice blend!  Oh and of course, local kale!  Buy local and organic produce when you can--it not only tastes better, but will be more nutrient dense.

*By the way, I am not paid by any of these companies; I just like to promote healthy brands I trust, especially if they are a company that gives back and serves as an excellent example for other businesses.

You can find many of these ingredients at great prices online at Vitacost, which offers free one-day shipping.  Plus if you purchase through this link, you'll get $10 towards your purchase and I'll get a coupon for $10, which helps me continue to provide great free (and delicious) recipes for you!

2.  In a food processor, mix all the ingredients except the dry ripped up kale leaves.

vegan nutritional yeast cheese mix
I know, it looks gross!

3.  Toss the kale in the mixture, scrunching up the kale and making sure to coat the leaves well.

4.  Bake at 175 degrees in an oven for 3.5-5 hours or in a food dehydrator around 115 to 125 overnight until your desired texture is reached.  (I lined a baking sheet with a nonstick mat, and a second one with parchment paper, and they turned out identical).  For this batch, I baked them at 175 degrees for 3.5 hours, then 185 degrees for an hour, then let them cool fully.

5.  Once cool, store in a sealed container.

For a great article citing sources on benefits on kale, read it here!

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