Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips :: A few days ago, I dusted off my dehydrator and made a recipe that I had forgotten about for the last few years. Because I love kale so much, I thought it was time to revisit my Cheesy Kale Chips and they are exactly what I remember. Addicting!
When I called these Cheesy, I meant it!
Why I Love Kale…
If you are new to the world of kale, Welcome!! It is my most favorite and used green leafy vegetable. I love it wilted in a soup, sautéed, braised, in a smoothie, massaged with avocado & lemon AND as chips!
The reason kale gets such a bad rap is it really doesn’t taste all that great by itself.
You need to dress it up!
What you may have not be aware of is kale is a powerhouse of nutrition. It is considered a cruciferous vegetable–in the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and collard greens. There are many types of kale with the MOST common being curly kale. I also see Red Kale and Lacinato (Dinosaur Kale) quite often. Each of them have a slightly different taste and texture than the other.
Kale is a GREAT source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
And also includes:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Beta CaroteneOmega-3 Fatty Acid (alpha linolenic-acid)
Fun Nutrition Fact: A cup of raw kale contains more Vitamin C than an orange.
Once I started eating a vegan diet, the most asked question was, “where do you get your protein?” What some do not realize, is that protein isn’t of any concern as long as you are eating a well-rounded diet. The question they should have been asking is, “where do you get your vitamin B12?” since this is the only vitamin those that do not eat meat or take in dairy are not getting.
According to Mayo Clinic, B12 is found in fish, shellfish, meat and dairy products–from other research I’ve done–primarily red meat. Vegetarians and vegans do need to be more conscious of finding other means to have enough of this vitamin. If not, B12 deficiency can cause anemia and nervous system damage.
Nutritional Yeast(which is in this recipe and what gives the cheesy taste) is a great source of vitamin B12. Make sure the label says it has B12 in it though. I am currently using Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning. 1 Tablespoon has 40% of your total daily requirements and over 100% of vitamins, B2, B6 and B1. 70% of vitamin B3.
You can also look for foods fortified with B12, like plant milks, some soy(organic to ensure GMO free) products and breakfast cereals. Read the label!
When in doubt, you can always take a vitamin. I like the company My Kind Organics for vegan vitamins.
…now on to the recipe!
You will need a food processor or high speed blender, dehydrator (or use the oven directions in the recipe notes), large bowl and salad spinner (can do with out salad spinner—it’s just easier & quicker to clean your greens) for these Vegan Cheesy Kale Chips.
Vegan Cheesy Kale ChipsCourse: SnacksDifficulty: Easy
These kale chips are made with cashews, nutritional yeast and spices. Warning: They are Addicting!
fresh curly kale, 8 cups roughly torn off stem & cleaned
- Cheese Sauce
raw cashews, 1/2 cup soaked for at least 30 minutes to overnight; then rinsed
water, 1/4 cup
nutritional yeast, 3 tbsp
garlic powder, 1/2 tsp
onion powder, 1/2 tsp
- Add nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, rinsed cashews and water to food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth.
- Transfer kale to a large bowl. Pour in cashew mixture.
- Make sure your dehydrator and trays are ready to go. Wash your hands because it’s about to get messy.
- Using your hands, scrunch the kale to ensure cashew mixture covers every piece.
- Pick up by the handful and spread over your dehydrator sheet. Kale will clump together—try to spread a bit—but don’t stress about it.
- Dehydrate for 8-12 hours at 118 degrees.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Oven Directions: Preheat Oven to 275 degrees. Place the kale leaves onto 2 cookie sheet pans covered with parchment paper. Be sure the leaves are not overlapping, otherwise they will cook unevenly. Depending on the size of your sheet pans, you may have to cook the kale in multiple batches. Bake for about 45 minutes or until crispy. Turn the leaves over halfway through cooking to ensure they bake evenly.
- Soaking your cashews: You can use the shorter soak time IF you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix.
If you’re looking for other easy vegan snacks, I love my Chicken-Less Chickpea Salad. You can serve it as a sandwich, as a dip for veggies or on top of crackers. It’s a good one!