Doritos. That was Dave’s first reaction to these vegan nacho kale chips. And yes they do taste just like Doritos. So much so that they disappear in 30 minutes and are requested almost daily in our house. These vegan nacho kale chips are gluten free, paleo, allergy friendly, and have just a few simple ingredients! Oh and they are a full serving of vegetables! The perfect way to get kiddos or picky spouses to enjoy vegetables!
Dave and I have committed to increasing the number of veggies we eat everyday. But let’s be honest, I don’t want to be eating boring food. And Dave really misses being able to eat chips. So I wanted to make something that he really craved and that nourished our bodies. Regular old fashion homemade kale chips always seem to burn or lose their crunch in a day. But these vegan nacho kale chips are legit! And an added bonus is they are less expensive than what you find at the store, you can make them with the quality of ingredients that works for your house and they are easy enough that the kids can even help you!
Dave has a nut and a sesame seed allergy so he can’t eat store bought nacho kale chips since they are made with almonds, cashews or sesame seeds (more for me yay!). So I had to get creative. We have 5-6 bags of sunflower seeds on hand at all time so I whipped up a batch of sunflower seed butter and got to work trying to recreate the Cheesy Nacho Kale Chips I saw at Juiceland here in Austin TX.
So based off the ingredient list and some other recipes I’ve read in my research, I knew I wanted to use nutritional yeast (nooch) for the cheesy part of the nacho flavor. But the smoked paprika is what really makes these chips impossible to resist. They are crunchy, cheesy, smoky and healthy. The perfect combination.
I love nutritional yeast and guess what, they now carry it at Trader Joe’s (at least here in Austin). So it’s a pantry staple here, and I think you just have to try it if you haven’t. Here are some awesome health benefits of nutritional yeast:
Nutritional yeast is a complete protein meaning it has essential amino acids, which is great for vegans and non-vegans alike! It’s also full of minerals like iron, selenium, and zinc. Nutritional yeast is also a source of B vitamins which can help boost your energy (another great reason to love these chips). Nutritional yeast can add a cheesy flavor to meals and is the perfect addition to salads and soups (like this vegan broccoli cheese soup).
I won’t lie to you and say these are easy to make. They require a little attention. The coating is simple but you do want to make sure the kale isn’t clumped together on the pan. This takes a minute to flatten out all the chips. And they need to be flipped at least one time to avoid burning and get crispy on each side. But this little bit of attention pays off.
When I make these vegan nacho kale chips with curly or regular kale I have to make sure to separate any of the curly ends that clump together. You will probably notice this as you are flipping the chips and the edges are still wet. Just unstick and return to the oven. Laticino kale and collard greens are a little easier to make this recipe with as they don’t tend to clump like this.
- 1 bunch kale clean
- 3 tbs sunflower seed or almond butter
- 1 the coconut oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup water
- Additional nutritional yeast, smoked paprika and salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine the sunflower seed butter and coconut oil. Melt in microwave for 15 seconds and stir to combine.
- Add salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika nutritional yeast and mix well. Add water, stir well and let sit for 2-3 minutes while preparing kale.
- Tear the kale from the stem in large pieces. Add to the bowl of sunflower seed coconut oil mixture. Stir well to coat with the nacho mixture.
- Add parchament paper to a large baking sheet. Spray with coconut oil.
- Lay the kale chips flat on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on 1 tbs. nutritional yeast, ½ tsp. smoked paprika and pinch of salt over the kale chips.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the kale chips. Bake for another 15 minutes. Continue to flip the kale chips one or two more times over 10 additional minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool