Nacho Cheese Dilemma
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for nacho chips. There’s just something about the spicy, tangy flavor that makes you want to eat the whole bag! But traditional chips are full of genetically modified corn, questionable vegetable oils, MSG, corn syrup solids, unpronounceable preservatives and cheez-with-a-Z. They also have absolutely zero nutritional value, which combined with the MSG leaves you feeling hungrier after you eat them than before you started.
Super-Kale to the Rescue
Here’s a fun solution to the nacho-cheese dilemma: Nacho Cheese Kale Chips. Kale is packed full of nutrients like calcium, vitamin K, and potassium. It bakes into a light, crispy chip that’s satisfying and fun to eat. And, these nacho cheese kale chips do share one thing in common with many traditional chips: There’s no actual cheese in them, so if you’re dairy-free you can eat them with impunity.
Nacho Cheese Flavored Kale Chips
I adapted this recipe from the original, which called for cashew nuts instead of pumpkin seeds, because we have a nut allergy in our family. You may substitute cashews for the seeds it you’d like.
2 large bunches organic kale
2 cups organic, raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove peeled garlic
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast (like this)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Wash kale well. Tear leaves off of the tough stems, and separate into bite-sized pieces. Spin kale in a salad spinner to dry (or spread it out on a clean dish towel and allow it to air dry).
2. In a food processor, puree pumpkin seeds, bell pepper, and garlic. Add the lime juice, olive oil, yeast and seasonings and puree until creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is the consistency of thick salad dressing.
3. Toss the pieces of kale with the nacho mixture in a large bowl. Continue to mix until the cheese mixture is evenly distributed on the kale.
4. Cover 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the kale in a single layer on the paper, being careful not to let the pieces overlap.
5. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, then flip them and bake another 10 minutes. Turn off oven and allow to rest for several hours, until completely dry. Or, place on trays in a food dehydrator and dehydrate on low for 10 hours.
Store these in an airtight container or large zip lock bag, and enjoy guilt-free snacking!
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Do you have a favorite guilty-pleasure snack food? Have you found a healthy version of it?