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 Food.com 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).