Obviously I’m not a vegan. But when doing, say, a Whole30, I will shy away from dairy and go “full paleo”, and that’s when this recipe REALLY comes in handy. Honestly, though, the nutritional yeast in this recipe works a little better than cheese would, so it’s perfect as a vegan “faux cheesy” snack.
I try not to, but every time I visit a place like Earth’s General Store or Planet Organic (both of which carry large product lines aimed at vegans and vegetarians, although P.O. also sells meat), I’ll end up with a $6 bag of raw dehydrated greens covered in a tasty coating, and I’ll scarf them down in a single sitting and be left wanting more. So I started making them myself, which is not actually all that much cheaper given the ingredients involved, and then with the larger volume I just eat myself sick again because they’re soooo tasty. This recipe has built-in brakes: namely, they’re really spicy, and my mouth can only take so much punishment. I recommend having them alongside a small bowl of berries in coconut milk, because the fat will really cool things down after the tasty burn of the kale chips.
When I have issues putting the brakes on my snacking on these things, I just think back to when I had the same problem with Zesty Cheese Doritos, and I feel a little better about my problems at present day.
If you don’t like spice, skip the chipotles and use one roasted bell pepper. Also delicious, but the logistics are a little more complicated. You’ll have to roast the bell pepper well beforehand so that your oven isn’t crazy hot from pepper-roasting when you go to make these chips. I’ve done it before by roasting the bell pepper the night before, but it’s a hassle unless you’re roasting peppers anyway (not a bad idea – they’re good on everything).
Anyway, here’s my recipe for addictive, snackable, spicy kale chips.
“Cheesy” Chipotle Kale Chips
1 smallish bunch of kale
1 cup cashews
1 can of chipotles in adobo (195 mL)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Before you begin, soak your cashews in water for about an hour. Preheat oven to 180F. Clean the kale, remove tough centre stems, and chop into bite-sized pieces. Put all the kale into a mixing bowl.
Drain the water off of your cashews and toss them into a blender. Add the chipotles (with sauce), nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse until it’s a relatively liquidy (although a bit chunky is fine) sauce. Then dump it all over the kale and stir to cut all the leaves.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil and lay the gooey kale bits on it in a single layer.
Pop them in the oven and make yourself comfortable, because these are going to take about 2 hours to cook. Tonight I put these in the oven before eating dinner and going to taekwondo, and took them out shortly after getting home. Post-workout snack win!
When they’re done, scrape them up with a spatula and dump them into a big bowl for snacking. Try not to eat them all by yourself…or at least not all in one sitting. Unless you really want to. Live your life 🙂