Recipe Sharing: Spicy “Cheesy” Kale Chips, 100% Vegan!

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Vegans were eating lots of kale before it was “cool.”  Now that kale has become a superhero in the mainstream nutrition world, no one  has any excuse not to eat tons and ton of it, right?

Unfortunately, there are still those who haven’t warmed up to this miracle vegetable, which provides everything from vitamin K for bone health to fiber for digestive support.  (World’s Healthiest Foods has a great page on the benefits of kale!) That’s where snacks like kale chips come in, as a way to open the door to healthier eating.  Only, like many unique healthy snacks, kale chips have been hijacked by mass producers and turned into an oil-laden processed snack just like everything else.

But never fear!  You can spread the kale love by making these oil-free “chips” from Paulding & Company, a neat kitchen facility in the San Francisco Bay area that brings people together to cook and eat great food.  Not all of their recipes are vegan (alas), but when this one showed up in my inbox, I couldn’t help but share!

I mean, it’s kale.  How can you argue?  Instead of oil or actual cheese, the recipe uses cashews, bell peppers and hot peppers to make a spicy coating that’s massaged in and baked on.  I haven’t had a chance to try them yet–all the kale in my garden is still too small due to late planting this year.  But it’s one of those recipes that sounds amazing just when you read it!

I’d love to hear from some of you who try these.  When there’s more kale ready in my garden, I’m sure going to give them a go!  They’d be perfect for National Kale Day come October!

Spicy “Cheesy” Kale Chips
courtesy of Paulding & Company

spicy cheesy kale

Image courtesy of Paulding & Co.

About 12 oz chips (2 one-gallon zip bags)

  • 2 ½ cups of raw cashews
  • 1 large (Holland type) red bell pepper
  • 2-3 red Fresno peppers
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
  • 2 tsp mineralized sea salt
  • 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 3 bunches curly kale

Be sure to purchase ultra-fresh organic vegetables for this. (QV note: Like from your local farmer’s market!)

Soak the cashews in water for 3-4 hours. Combine with the stemmed and seeded peppers, lemon, salt and yeast in a blender. Puree. Taste the mixture, and if it needs it, add more salt or lemon.

Strip the stems from the kale leaves-you can do this easily by holding the end of the stem in one hand, and firmly running the other hand up the sides of it, dislodging the leaf. The tough part of the stem will come off, leaving the tenderer part intact.

In a large bowl, combine the kale with the blended mixture, using your hands to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible. Lay the leaves onto a dehydrator racks, crowding them but not stacking them. Dehydrate at 105° F for 12-16 hours, until very crisp. Store in sealed zip bags. If you don’t get them dry enough they will soften in the bag.

If you don’t have a dehydrator they can be laid out on a rack or over a pan in the oven with the temperature set as low as possible. The time to dehydrate will be greatly reduced–an hour or less.

The chips will be a tasty snack!


About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She has been a member of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce since August 2017 and is a former member of Toastmasters International, from which she was awarded a Competent Communicator designation for public speaking. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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