Vegan “Cheese” Kale Chips


A couple of weeks ago, I tried raw kale chips coated with with a crunchy vegan “cheese” coating. I thought they were delicious (addictive, actually), so I tried to replicate them. The ingredients on the box said: kale, cashews, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, lemon juice, Himalayan salt and chickpea miso. Some of the other varieties had nutritional yeast in the ingredient list.

I did a quick search and found that I wasn’t the only one looking to replicate the coated kale chips. Using the ingredient list and some online recipes as a springboard, I experimented and came up with something pretty close to the original.

Vegan “Cheese” Kale chips
This recipe is based on some experimentation, but I found Blender Girl’s recipe on particularly helpful. I didn’t have any miso or nutritional yeast on hand, but when I do, I will experiment with using miso instead of soy sauce and with adding a couple of Tbl. of nutritional yeast.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hours in 1 cup water and then drained well
½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours in 1/2 cup water, drained
1 Tbl. Soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
juice from 1 lemon
sea salt, to taste (sprinkle more salt on top and also some ground pepper before putting in oven)
1 bunch kale leaves, washed, dried (remove the center stem)

Puree cashews, sunflower seeds, soy sauce, garlic and lemon juice (use a blender or mini food processor). You might need to add a bit of water to help get it to the correct hummus-like consistency (2-4 Tbl.). Add salt to taste. Massage the cashew hummus onto the kale leaves, lay the leaves on a baking sheet (foil or parchment lined), sprinkle with more salt and some ground pepper and bake at 170 degrees until crisp. This will take a few hours. Periodically turn over the leaves (or you could place the leaves on a wire rack set over the baking sheet so that air can circulate better around the leaves). When you start to lose patience, crank up the oven heat to 250 degrees to completely dry out the leaves.

Variation: add a half red bell pepper, minced, plus 1 Tbl. Olive oil.

Variation: use Swiss chard instead of kale.

Update: Einat Admony’s recipe for kale chips is much easier because it calls for combining lemon juice, tahina, olive oil, salt and garlic. No need to use a food processor or blender! I triple the amount she calls for: Juice 1 lemon (3 Tbl.), 3Tbl. tahina, 1 clove garlic (1 1/2 tsp. minced), 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 2 Tbl. olive oil. Bake at 275 degrees (she says a half hour, but I think it needs more time).

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3 Responses to “Vegan “Cheese” Kale Chips”

  1. CeCe Says:

    Brad’s used to only use nutritional yeast. The chickpea miso is new, and it’s definitely changed the flavor. They used to be my favorite, but now every flavor has the same, tangy after taste that I’ve attributed to the use of chickpea miso. They were amazing with the nutritional yeast.

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Thanks for sharing that. Very interesting! I just bought some nutritional yeast, and I will experiment a bit. I wonder whether they nixed the nutritional yeast because they advertise that the kale is “raw” and nutritional yeast is heat treated (pasteurized) and maybe not considered really a raw food?

  2. Garlicy Cashew Green Beans or Broccoli | Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] There is a popular recipe for Spicy, Garlicy Cashew Chicken that appeared in the NYT.  Basically, the recipe calls for marinating and then grilling chicken in a paste of cashews, lime, jalapeno pepper, oil, garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. I made the recipe (using boneless dark meat chicken), and the cashew paste very much reminded me of coated kale chips. […]

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