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Raw Queso Naranja Mexican Kale Chips

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Raw-Queso-Naranja-Mexican-Kale-Chips1Calling all kale chip lovers!  I think we need to form a support group for all of us kale chip junkies.  Oh you laugh! I stand here with a serious look on my face as I have green kale bits stuck to my teeth and a ring of orange cheese sauce around my lips.  haha Who me? I didn’t eat any kale chips!

As I was putting this recipe together I decided to add turmeric to it.  Often in the world of raw, we add turmeric to our recipes if we want to heighten the color to a rich gold, but did you know that this little spice is very healthy for you!  It is  known to be chock-full of anti-inflammatory properties for starters.  You really should Google the spice and read all the amazing things about turmeric!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hours
  • 1 1/2 cups (181 g) red or orange bell pepper, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup canned or fresh green chilis (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 head (8 oz)  curly kale

Preparation:

Kale Prep:

  1. Selecting Kale:
    • Don’t use wilted / old kale, it can have a bitter undertone.
    • I prefer Curly Kale because all of the folds really hold onto the sauce.
  2. Wash and de-stem your kale.
    • Start by washing the kale and blotting it dry.  You can also use a salad spinner if you own one.
    • Make sure you get as much excess water off of the kale as possible.  If you don’t it will make your sauce “soupy”.  Set aside.
    • Starting at the bottom strip away the leaf leaving behind only the stem.
    • Tear the remaining leaves into pieces that are a tad larger than bite-size since they tend to shrink.

Sauce Prep:

  1. After the cashews are done soaking, drain and discard the water.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, bell peppers, nutritional yeast, chilis and spices. Blend until the sauce is creamy smooth.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Create a vortex in the blender, this will help ensure that the sauce is getting fully blended into a creamy texture.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape down the sides.
    • This process can take 1-3 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm., stop the machine and let it cool, then proceed once cooled.

Assembly:

  1. Place the torn kale into a very large bowl.
  2. Pour tin the sauce and with your hands gently and evenly coat each piece of kale.
    • This is a “hands-on” job.  Stirring with a spoon just doesn’t do the trick.
    • I would suggest removing any jewelry from your fingers.  I have temporary lost a ring here and there.

Dehydrator Method:

  1. Have thedehydrator trays ready by lining them with non-stickteflex or parchment paper.
    • Don’t use wax paper because food tends to stick to it.
    • Spread all the trays out in advance because soon your hands will be covered in sauce and you don’t want to get it all over.
  2. Place the kale on the non-stick sheets.  You can do this 1 of 2 ways:
    • Lay each piece out semi-flat if you want to create individual pieces.  More time consuming and chips tend to a be a little bit more fragile.
    • Or, drop clumps of coated kale on the sheets.  This will create hardy clusters that are loaded with sauce and flavor.  This is my preference.
  3. Dehydrate at 115 degrees (F) for about 6-8 hrs or until dry.
    • I tend to pull mine out before it gets 100% dry because I like it a little chewy.
    • The dry time is just an estimate.  The climate, humidity, dehydrator and how full the machine is can all affect how long it will take to dry.
  4. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!
  5. If the kale chips start taking on some humidity from the house, you can place them back into the dehydrator for a few hours at 115 degrees (F).

Oven Method:

  1. Please use as a guide and closely monitor the kale chips as they cook.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees (F), anything higher and risk burning the chips.
  3. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the kale chips on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan and bake for another 15 minutes.
    • The bake times will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting off point!
  5. Once you pull the tray from the oven, allow the chips to cool on the baking sheet.
  6. Store in an airtight glass container and be ready to nibble non-stop till the last crumb is gone!

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16 thoughts on “Raw Queso Naranja Mexican Kale Chips

  1. Daneen says:

    Amie Sue I just love your blog. I studied to be a raw chef at the Matthew Kenney Academy or what was once 105 Degrees in Oklahoma. I’m also a kale chip addict and adding turmeric is an awesome idea. I juice turmeric root for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Thanks for such a lovely inspiring blog!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Daneen,

      From one kale addict to another, I bow. hehe Thank you for sharing and I hope to hear more from you in the future. :) amie sue

  2. mel says:

    any suggested substitutes for cashews? I’m intolerant

  3. Sekhmet says:

    Amie, you have an awesome website and loads of great recipes for raw foods. The only problem I have when I read your recipes is that you have a tendency to use canned goods. For the life of me, I cannot understand why a person who is into raw foods would use a product that’s been canned. The whole point of raw foods is that everything should be as fresh as possible. Frozen is the next best thing to fresh but canned? Even using a product that’s been bottled or jarred may be a better choice than stored in aluminum for god knows how long. Smh! For this particular kale chips recipe I would just use fresh jalapenos, finely minced. I’m just wondering if there are other people who feel as I do about using canned goods in a raw food recipe? Other than that, keep up the good work with the information, photos, blogs, and recipes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Sekhmet,

      I appreciate that you took the time to comment and share your thoughts about my use of a canned ingredient for this recipe. I would like to make one correction though… I don’t have a tendency of using canned foods in my recipes. I have over 600 recipes that I share on my site and only a very very small percentage of them might suggest a canned item. In those cases, it might only be because of what ever I could either find or had on hand. In this case, using fresh jalapeños might be to hot compared to the canned chili flavor that I used and was aiming for. A fresh chili would probably be better. I am positive that there are others who would agree with you (even I do) and for those who are 100% raw or aiming to use the best available ingredients to them, would choose to pick an alternate ingredient. At the time, this is what I had available to me so I posted the recipe as I had made it. This canned product that I used is not canned in aluminum, it is in steel with a plastic lining. Again, not the most healthy version, I agree.

      Have a blessed evening Sekhmet…amie sue :)

  4. melissa says:

    Hello Im from costa rica, and there is no way to find nutritional yeast :( any suggestions for a subtitute?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Melissa, it is very tough to substitute nutritional yeast because it has the distinctive cheesy flavor. That is why it is used so often in raw “cheese” recipes. I will think hard on it and if I come up with something I will let you know. Sorry Melissa. amie sue

    • Krista says:

      You can buy bulk nutritional yeast on Amazon. Frontier has a one pound bag. You can get powdered or flakes. I personally like the flakes–nice texture when sprinkled on salads.:-)

      • amie-sue says:

        Thanks for sharing Krista… I am particular to Red Star Nutritional Yeast… but we all have our favorites. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  5. Sarah says:

    If you don’t have a dehydrator, what is the best temp and for how long do these cook in the oven? I’ve tried several times (just Kale chips, no cheesy sauce) and they’ve never been good.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sarah,

      I never use the oven for my kale chips so I don’t first hand experience in this. By using the oven, they no longer will be raw, so not sure if that is a priority for you or not. Since you have already attempted baking kale chips, I fear that I won’t have a better suggestion since I haven’t tested it myself. My kale chip recipes seem to have more “creamy” sauces on them then most of the bakes ones I see on-line… that could change the cook time, etc. I can only suggest to experiment. Good luck, amie sue

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! Big success myself yesterday with orange peel/carob. Making your chocolate coconut today :D

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Jen.. It is nice to hear from you, please keep in touch. I always enjoy hearing how the recipes work for others or help when needed. Have a great evening, amie sue

  7. Cheynne says:

    Have I really not commented on these?! I love these. I am dehydrating some (more) right now. I had the (mis)fortune of getting a sparse bunch of kale this time around, so I’m using the bit of leftover sauce to make a sheet of your Spicy Nori Crackers. Thanks again for sharing your genius!

    • amie-sue says:

      Awe, thanks Cheynne. It is always good to hear from you. :) I love how versatile raw foods is. Great idea with your left over sauce. :) Blessings, amie sue

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