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Mexican Cheese Kale Chips (nut-free)

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Mexican Cheese Kale Chips (nut-free)

After reading through the ingredient list here, you might think that I might have fallen off my rocker.  Five lines down in the list you will find quinoa! Yep, it’s true, I used quinoa as my base to create this kale chip.  My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts.   I just so happened to have some cooked quinoa in the fridge so I pulled it out and used it up.  The end result… it’s a WIN!  No one would ever guess.  Qinuoa is a great superfood that provides great nutrients in the cooked or sprouted form. However I have only tried this recipe with the cooked grain.  If you try the sprouted version in your recipe, please post your results. :)

Quinoa grows on magenta stalks three to nine feet tall, with large seedheads that can be almost any color, from red, purple and orange to green, black or yellow. The seedheads are prolific: a half pound of seed can plant a full acre, yielding 1200-2000 pounds of new seeds per acre. Since nutrient-rich quinoa is also drought resistant, and grows well on poor soils without irrigation or fertilizer, it’s been designated a “super crop” by the United Nations, for its potential to feed the hungry poor of the world.  Quinoa has a subtle nutty taste that marries well with all kinds of ingredients. But make sure you rinse it well before cooking: quinoa grows with a bitter coating, called saponin, that fends off pests and makes quinoa easy to grow without chemical pesticides. While most quinoa sold today has had this bitter coating removed, an extra rinse is a good idea to remove any residue.



  1. Blend red peppers, lemon juice and water until the peppers are broken down.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until nice and creamy.  Set aside while you prepare the kale.
  3. Wash and destem the kale.  Be sure to dry the kale well so the water off it doesn’t dilute the cheesy sauce.  Tear into medium-sized pieces. (chip size)
  4. Place kale in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it.  Toss with your hands until each piece is nicely coated.
  5. Spread kale out on the teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator.  I use the Excalibur 9 tray.
  6. Dehydrate on 105 degrees for about 6 hours.  I like my kale chips a bit on the chewy side so I take them out before they are completely dry.
  7. Store in an air tight glass container.

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30 thoughts on “Mexican Cheese Kale Chips (nut-free)

  1. I’m so excited to try this! What a great idea to use quinoa. I always shy away from the nut sauces because of the high fat content.

    • amie-sue says:

      Me too Seemichellecook,

      My husband looked at me a bit cross eyed when I told him that I was going to try the quninoa….but taking those chances lead to a wonderful alternative. :) Let me know if you try it!

  2. Pia says:

    That looks so yummy. It is on my list to try on the weekend. I’m still a bit new to the raw food idea and are just getting my head around it. A lot is still discovered with a big Ohhhh… I love your page and like to thank you for sharing your recipes with us. You may like to know that you have a new follower from New Zealand. Thanks Amie-Sue

    • amie-sue says:

      Wow Pia…New Zealand. I love it! I read this to my husband and he wants to know when we can come visit. haha I haven’t been there but he loves it there! If you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions that you want to run past me, please feel free to. I know what it like starting off on a new adventure. I am passionate about raw and healthy foods so I would love to help in any way possible! Many blessings, amie sue

  3. Lakapati says:

    I am looking for a recipe that didn’t use nuts and thank you for coming up with this! I live in the Philippines which means kale does not grow here due to the tropical weather but I usually substitute kailan (Chinese kale/Chinese broccoli leaves) or our native bok choy (we call it pechay) or kangkong. I have two of the latter stashed in my fridge.

    My dehydrator just arrived from the US so this is all in perfect timing. I will try making a version using cooked millet and see how it works. Will let you know. Thank you! :)

    Another raw foodie friend is going to be on stage tomorrow as lead and I want to give her a batch of these things as a congratulatory gift. Woot!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Lakapati,

      It is so wonderful to hear from you. I love that you have found some great alternatives to use! I bet millet will work too, please keep us posted. Good luck and many blessings, amie sue

  4. I made this today and loved it! I used 1/2 of the sauce for the kale (yum) and saved the other 1/2 to pour over roasted brussel sprouts and grilled tofu. I’ve never thought of using grains to thicken a vegetable sauce but you’ve now given me so many ideas and I can’t wait to start experimenting.

    • amie-sue says:

      I am always looking for ways to replace nuts so this was a goldmine to create! And using it as a sauce over other foods is great. I can just taste it now poured over zucchini noodles as well. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  5. WOW WOW WOW — all I can say is that I am on my third batch of these. I keep wanting to take them for lunch, but am eating them way too fast. Amie Sue, incredible recipe!!!!

  6. Natalyn :) says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. SOOOOOOOOO delicious.

    I used the leftover cheeze sauce as hummus (it tastes just like roasted red pepper hummus to me!). I dipped bread in it, and I even dipped the kale chips in it – it was like nachos!!!

    You have a new fan. :) Thanks for sharing.

    • amie-sue says:

      That is so wonderful Natalyn!! I think I would eat a dish towel dipped in it! lol Ok, maybe not but close. :) I appreciate you taking the time to give me feed-back. BE blessed and keep in touch, amie sue

  7. Dee says:

    Amie Sue you are a genius! I have been craving kale chips but I am on a candida cleanse so staying away from heavy nuts and oils right now..This is perfect. I am going to try this now and let you know how it comes out..Also, how do you think zucchini would work as a cashew replacement when making cheese sauces?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Dee. Thank you :)

      Good luck on your candida cleanse! If I can support you through your cleanse, please let me know. I have used zucchini in raw cheese sauces which are perfect for spiralized noodles, dipping sauce but I wouldn’t dehydrate with it. Zucchini is high in water content and I don’t think it would fair well as a “coating” BUT if you test it out, please let me know. This recipe uses quinoa which works great, but a person could try spouted and dehydrated buckwheat groats (ground to a powder) sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, hmmm I will keep thinking. Have a blessed day Dee and keep in touch. amie sue

  8. Cocoholic says:

    You don’t have to cook the quinoa. It’s better to use it raw. It will sprout easily after 24 hours and you can make a savoury joghurt base after blending it with water and some probiotic. I think this quinoa yoghurt (or just the blended cream without fermenting) would work in your recipe as well…

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Cocoholic. I find that I digest it better cooked, right now that is. There are always options since our bodies respond so differently. Have a wonderful weekend and I appreciate your input. amie sue

  9. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the
    blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Robin says:

    Hi Amiesue ….the mexican spice where do you get it or what ingredients go in it…I love your site and use it often ..Thanks !!

  11. Annie says:

    Hi Amie Sue, you are such a blessing! Thank you for sharing your joy of discoveries in rawfood creations. I am an avid fan of yours. One question for me, the red pepper, is it bell pepper? I can’t wait to try it hoping it’s not spicy, my stomach cannot handle anything with spice or heat at all. God bless you in all you do. Annie

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Annie,

      Thank you so much for your sweet words. A great way to start my day. :) Yes it is red BELL pepper, hehe Shew. That would be a hot chip if not. I added the word “bell” just in case anyone else questions that. Thank you for pointing that out. Have a wonderful and blessed day. amie sue

  12. Emmanuelle says:

    great recipes… if you had to substitute the bell peppers with another vegetable…wich one would you choose?


    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Emmanuelle,

      I might use tomatoes that have been seeded, removing the moistness from the center of them so they don’t water down my sauce. Have a great weekend, amie sue

  13. Holly says:

    Awesome recipe! However, it is not seed-free. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. As such this recipe would be nut-free but not seed-free.

    Just thought you’d want to know.

    Can’t wait to try it, regardless!

    • amie-sue says:

      The recipe reads “nut-free”. :) I am confused. Have a wonderful evening Holly. amie sue

      • Holly says:

        Sorry, I could’ve sworn the line that says “My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts.” had read “My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts or seeds.”

        I must have had two recipes open at once and gotten confused.

        My apologies.

        • amie-sue says:

          Morning Holly… When I first read your comment, I thought you were referring to the title, so I responded to that. A bit later, right before I was ready to close down the computer for the evening, I spotted that sentence within the write up ““My goal was to find a way to make a cheesy sauce that didn’t involve nuts or seeds.” It was then, I realized what you were most likely referring to, so I quickly fixed it and then had to shut down to leave. Confusion upon confusion. lol Glad that we got that figured out. Have a great day, amie sue

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