Cheezy Kale Crackers

by Susan on November 25, 2012

If I don’t have a batch of raw crackers or flat bread around, I am at extreme risk of snack attacks. You know what I am talking about. The attacks that an apple or an orange can’t curb. The attacks that find me riffling through the cabinets for something crunchy and satisfying. The attacks that can lead me to less than desirable food.

Raw crackers are tasty and nutritious. Best of all, just a few quickly satisfy that craving and are so filling I never over-eat them. I also know that I am getting great nutrients, not just empty calories when I eat them. 

For this recipe, I wanted to use incorporate kale as I am a huge kale fan. I have also been a little obsessed with making a raw cheese cracker so out came the nutritional yeast (great for a cheesy flavor).

To top it off, I decided to do an experiment. I pulled a bit of dough out and baked it in the oven. Why? Because I am often asked how to make raw recipes (that require dehydration) in the oven and I can’t answer the question. Since this is raw blog, my recipes are developed to be eaten raw. I do not test them for baking times but I decided to experiment with this one just to see what would happen. The rules for dehydration and baking are different (see the FAQ page).  

The baked version.

Please know that baking raw recipes destroys a lot of nutrients. Since these recipes are made with healthy, whole, pure ingredients instead of traditional unhealthy ingredients, I realize people want to try them whether they have a dehydrator or not. Plus they are gluten free. 

What happened when I baked a tray? They did bake. (Please note, some things that are intended to be dehydrated won’t bake correctly.) I baked them 25 minutes at 200 degrees on the convection setting, flipping once. The result? The taste, when compared to the dehydrated raw crackers was seriously lacking the lovely fresh, intense flavor of the dehydrated crackers.

I had friends try both versions, and the consensus was always the same. The baked crackers lost some flavor (not to mention nutrients). And the kale, instead of tasting like vibrant, fresh kale, tasted, well … baked. 

It is interesting to note that I photograph food in many top restaurants. Increasingly I have been seeing dehydrators in quite a few of the kitchens. As chefs search for ways to coax the best flavors out of food, they are increasingly turning to methods like dehydrating.

It makes sense that the dehydrated crackers have more flavor.  But, if you don’t have a dehydrator, and it is not important to you that the crackers are raw, you can experiment with the recipe. Just put your oven on the lowest temp (using convection helps) and keep an eye on it until it looks crisp and done. You will probably need to flip it once for proper drying. If you didn’t have the dehydrated crackers to compare them to, they are definitely passable. 

For this recipe, I decided to include a little photo tutorial that covers the process of making these crackers. You will see one of my methods rolling and cutting the crackers.

 

“Cheezy” Kale Crackers (recipe follows pictures)  

To prepare the kale, strip the leaves from the stems.

A salad spinner is a great way to rinse and dry the leaves.

Chop the almonds until fine in food processor.

Add nutritional yeast, coconut flour and spices. Stir to combine.

Finely chop kale and add to almond mixture and stir well.

Mix in the flax/water mixture. I often do this by hand. SO much easier.

Form 1/3 of the “dough” into a rectangle on a non-stick dehydrator sheet. You can also use parchment paper.

Place another non-stick sheet over the “dough” and roll out 1/4-inch thick.

Peel off the top non-stick sheet.

Cut into strips. This is my favorite cutter. You can find it here: Pastry Cutter

Trim off the excess and set aside to roll out with the next sheet.

 Cheezy Kale Almond Crackers

  • 1 cup ground golden flax
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups almonds, soaked over night, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 cup Raw Coconut Flour
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp chipotle
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix together ground flax and water. Set aside.

2. Place almonds in food processor and process until finely chopped. Remove to large bowl.

3. Finely chop kale. I do this in the food processor, also.

4. Add nutritional yeast, coconut flour, smoked paprika and chipotle to the chopped almonds. Mix well.

5. Stir in kale.

6. Add flax/water mixture. Blend well. I use my hands at this point.

7. Spread 1/4-inch thick on non-stick sheet (see above for my method). Score into cracker sized pieces and dehydrate at 145 for 30 minutes. Decrease heat to 118 and continue to dehydrate until done (approximately 8 hours*) turning once or moving to screens halfway through dehydration. You want these very dry.

*Dehydration times can vary widely due to different dehydrators and humidity. Read about why we start dehydration at 145 here: FAQ. Yes, it stays raw.

 

 

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Raw Chef Dosa November 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Hi
I sat here eating raw dehydrated veggie chips I keep around the house…..as I read your opening paragraph and had a good chuckle for myself…yes, I do know what you mean!

Nice Recipe and photos. I’ll have to give this one a try.

Thanks
Raw Chef Dosa

Lynnda November 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Is there any substitution for coconut flour? Perhaps leftover almond pulp that has been dehydrated and processed into flour?

janet @ the taste space November 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I am loving your step by step photos! That cutter looks really awesome. :)

Christina November 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I have the same question as Lynnda … what do you suggest as a substitute for coconut flour? I have not been able to locate a source of raw coconut flour. I have attempted making my own by processing dried coconut flakes in both my food processor & Vitamix dry blade container with no success in reaching the desired texture. I have also used dehydrated, almond pulp and have never been happy with the texture of the end product, finding it too dry & tasteless. Consider this a call of HELP! lol

Susan November 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I have put a link to raw coconut flour in the post. If you don’t want to use it you can omit but you will have to adjust the liquid as it sucks up a lot of water. Cheers!

Maria November 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Great recipe and photos as well. Definitely going to try it.
Before I got my Excalibur, I used the oven to dry. I did not make any compromise with the taste or with the nutrients, just because I set the temperature control at no more than 50 C (122 F) with convector. Yes, the oven consumes more energy and is not so convenient for drying, but it works if you want to try some recipes that requires dehydrator and you still do not have one.

joanna November 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

This is a perfect recipe with perfect timing :) I have been feeling sorry for my nearly brand new Excalibur and I think I may actually have all the ingredients on hand! Thanks for the inspiration :)

Kellie November 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

First let me say, I love your website!! I’m on a yeast-free diet including nutritional yeast.
What can be substituted for yeast?

Susan November 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Since nutritional yeast is a main ingredient in this recipe, I would suggest trying one of the other cracker recipes that doesn’t contain nutritional yeast. http://www.rawmazing.com/rawmazing-recipes/crackers-flat-breads-bars/

Joe November 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Kale is simply so delicious. The biggest problem I have is that I eat every batch within 2 hours of making them! Would love to figure out a way to store the kale chips in large batches. Ideas?

Susan November 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

These crackers are much heartier than kale chips. Believe me, you won’t eat them all in 2 hours. As far as storage, you want to keep them as air-tight as possible. You can always throw them in the dehydrator for a bit to dry them out again if they have gotten soft. Cheers!

Carol November 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Susan,
I currently live in Florida and wholeheartedly agree with you about climate—give me crisp temperatures and snow in winter!
These crackers sound so yummy, but I am one of your readers who does not have a dehydrator—yet, so I’ll try the oven method. I love kale, and like you need to have something healthy when I get a craving or I’ll eat “ugly” stuff!!
Thanks for sharing :-)

Sandy November 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Is Brewer’s Yeast a nutritional yeast ? Excuse my ignorance. Thanks. Sandy

Susan November 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Sandy, no, it isn’t the same thing. See: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-food-and-nutritional-yeast/

Debs November 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Mmm these look delicious – can’t wait to try them! Question though – how big is a ‘bunch’ of kale? I can only get kale ready-chopped in plastic sealed bags at the supermarket, with each bag weighing about 200g. How many of these bags would I need? Thanks! x

Lou November 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

They look so good. As always, love to try your recipes. Thank you.

Tisha Bryant November 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I am still on the fence a bit re: nutritional yeast. I am wondering what your thoughts are regarding using Engevita Yeast? I haven’t used either but am curious as to the difference and whether you have tried.
Many thanks.

Susan November 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Engevita Yeast is nutritional yeast.

Carol November 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Mmmmmmmm…… :-)

Deb Kohlwey November 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm

A friend just sent me your recipe and info as I am sitting here snacking on raw onion bread and nutri-yummy dip, I was just craving something crunchy. (All the organic celery disappeared over Thanksgiving, and I need something to crunch!) Thank you for the recipe, I am starting it as soon as I’m done here! Sounds right up my alley, as I already have everything on hand! Cheers!

Michal November 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I love the colors of all of your photographs – beautiful! I also really like how you included the feedback for the raaw vs. cooked method. When I did a lot of work cooking and teaching demo’s with raw food classes, I would get the same question a lot and I never really had an answer which satisfied myself or the questioner.

Lou November 28, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Sorry Susan. I want to know how to have nutritional yeast stay on pumkin seeds. I tried olive oil but I felt it was to oily, do I need to add less oil and try again?

Droolin' Fool =9 November 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

These look phenomenal! I love the step-by-step photos. Every time I come to this site, I drool on my keyboard!

I’ve got me some Cranberry Walnut Crackers in the dehydrator. Had to drive halfway across the state to get young coconuts so I could make the cheese. =D Can’t wait till tomorrow! I’ll be pigging out! Oink! Oink! =9

Thanks, Susan, for all your Rawmazing recipes!

Susan November 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Lou…I think you have inspired me to do a recipe. Will get back to you.

Lou November 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Susan I am so glad… I look forward to trying it. The flavor is wonderful together, I think.

Natalie Rodreguez (@NRodreguez) November 30, 2012 at 5:29 am

Hiya Susan,
thanks so much for creating and posting such an awesome recipe! Ive just placed my first batch in my dehydrator and cant wait to try them!!!
… namaste

Sue Burley November 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm

So has anyone else tried this? Is there a liquid missing? Mine were very dry and tasted dusty for lack of a better word. I am pretty much done with dehydrator recipes other than kale chips as I am sick of throwing food away. (not just from this site but any ones I’ve tried – some have even tasted OK on first bite but after a couple bites – meh) Wonder if its just me?

Jennifer Pederson November 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hello,
Just wondering if you could clarify for me (sorry if you already have) does the recipe call for 1 C of flax, ground or 1 C of ground flax.

Thanks,
Jenn

Anna Marie December 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

I ordered the book of Rawmazing. I love your book. I already ordered the dehydrator last week. I hope to get it today. I cant wait :)

SARAH December 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hi Susan!!! Thank you for the step by step pictures….They’re just great! I live in the Caribbean so coconut is a staple food for me. Never thought of using it to make crackers…. I’m pulling out my Vitamix to ground the coconuts… Thanks for a delicious recipe

Kristen December 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Susan Burley, I just finished mixing up my first batch and was wondering the same thing. I’m considering adding some more water now that I’ve read your comment. I also added some Namashou because the batter seems a little bland. I might also sprinkle some salt on top after they are rolled out on the drying tray and press it in a little. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Jenna December 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I made these and they turned out just like the picture. They were wonderful!

Susan December 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Because there were two comments discussing the crackers being dry, I decided to remake the recipe just to be 100% sure. The claim to fame here is that these recipes work. All the time. So, I was concerned. I made another batch, exactly as stated above and they turned out exactly as above. The only thing I can figure is that maybe you didn’t soak your almonds long enough? And the almonds shouldn’t have been dried, they come right out of the soak water, get rinsed and then into the food processor. Also, you need to roll them out right away. And you need to roll them…not pat them into shape. As for the flavor, the dehydration process concentrates the flavors. What you get out is different from what you put in.

Erik December 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm

You are quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs.

Sue Burley December 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Thanks admin – I did what you said – almonds soaked at least 12 hours. Rinsed and processed – not dried. I rolled out the batter. I wonder if I did it too thin? I also put salt on them prior to drying because I thought it was a little bland. Kristen, how did they turn out. I may try again if yours turned out.

Rhoda December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

These are amazing. I made a batch yesterday and took some into work for people to try. Shouldn’t have done that as they’ve all gone! I’ve been struggling to find savoury raw crackers that I like but these certainly hit the spot for me. Thank you so much.

Elnora H December 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I’m drooling now and I must make these ASAP! One question I have that I didn’t see in the other posts, but might have missed, was regarding the chipotle – is this the dried version or the wet canned chipotles that it calls for? Thanks!

Susan December 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

It is the dried powder. Cheers!

Trudy December 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Whenever I try a new recipe, raw or vegetarian, I bring it to work to try to teach people that healthy can taste good. I’ve turned several people on with these crackers and some even want me to make them for them since they don’t have a dehydrator. These crackers were awesome and turned out perfect on the first try. I am getting ready to make another batch now. I love your website and have shared it with other health conscious individuals.

Tisha Bryant December 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Thank you Susan. I have already made your ginger orange cookies which we all LOVE and now have a batch of these in the dehydrator. I am going to wrap them up prettily and add them to my foodie Christmas gifts.
Wishing you and yours a fabulous Christmas. With gratitude. Tisha

Innessa January 1, 2013 at 10:24 am

Thanks for the inspiring recipe, i’m off to make them right now! Happy New Year~* !

clara January 5, 2013 at 9:10 am

I made this yesterday and they are delicious! full of flavor and nice texture. My 1.5yr old loves them ! thank you!

Libby January 7, 2013 at 3:36 am

I am wondering about the cutting tool. Is it awkward to use? It does not appear to have a handle and I’m wondering how difficult it is to hold while using it.

tiffany January 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Hi Susan. I just discovered your website. Everything looks wonderful! I’m ordering your books today! I do have a quick question… a lot of your recipes call for flax seed which unfortunately, I cannot have. Can you recommend a replacement ingredient that will may work? Thanks so much!

cattheadversary January 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Hello, I am allergic to tree nuts and was wondering what a suitable replacement would be in this recipe. Thanks!

Susan January 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Please see about substitutions on the FAQ page. :-)

Karielyn January 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

Hi Susan…I made these and they turned out perfect! My favorite part is using the broken pieces and crumbs to sprinkle on top of a salad…yum! Thanks!

Loryn January 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

I am so excited that I found this post. I cannot wait to go home to make these!! Sometimes I just want to stay home all weekend and make yummy stuff, but I end up doing a bunch of other stuff instead. These definitely are next on my list :)

Haley January 31, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I am not following a raw food diet, but just love your recipes. So I was wondering what you suggest for baking these in the oven versus a dehydrator to cook them. Can’t wait to hear back so I can make these! Thanks!

Susan January 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Read the post… :-)

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