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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{ 145 comments… read them below or add one }

jena March 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I am going to try this with garbanzo flour–because I have never seen coconut flour in any of the natural foods stores around here and I really need to use up some kale. I think that the texture is pretty much the same, but the taste will be quite different. Will let you know.

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Susan March 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Sounds interesting…let us know.

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Anita March 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm

I don’t have a dehydrator, but your recipe sounds very intriguing and I would love to try it. Do you think it would be ok to bake in oven heated to 200F? I realize it is not raw at this point, but I’m trying to think of the next possibility given that I don’t own or plan to buy a dehydrator. Thank you!!

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Susan March 29, 2013 at 8:55 am

In the post above, I talk about baking this in the oven. Cheers!

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Jen April 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Can raw cashews be used instead of the almonds?

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Susan April 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Jen: You could try…I haven’t so can’t tell you exactly how it will come out.

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Cass April 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

These look interesting! My mother in law has a dehydrator, and I’ve been wanting to try it out to make fruit snacks and banana chips. My daughter is severly allergic to peanuts and almonds so we can’t have nuts in the house…There seems to be quite a bit of almonds in these, I usually just sub flaxseed for nuts but those are already in this recipe. Do you think I could still make them, if I used more flax seed or seasame seeds as the binder?

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Cass April 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

I just went to the FAQ section, should have done so first! I will change my question, to, what is the purpose of the ground almonds? Is it like a flour or filler or binder that holds everything together? I’m sorry if that seems like a stupid question, but it will help me decide if altering the recipe is worth it. :)

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Maya D April 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Susan! Do you think this would be good with brazil nuts?

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Janet May 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Made these crackers the other day and they came out very well. I ended up dehydrating them longer to make them more crisp, but they looked perfect. I think I will try to make them thinner next time. (They make a nice crouton in a salad). I bought one of those nifty cutters, you suggested, a while back and this gave me an opportunity to use it. It works amazing! Quick questions: While these are actually growing on me (and my very unraw husband), I was wondering about the flax flavor. The ground flax seeds hold everything together beautifully, but there is a slight after taste. Any thoughts on that? I am going to make your rosemary crackers today, they look great. Your pictures are terrific and really help with the recipes, to see you are doing it right. These are not things the average person would be familiar with making. Thanks for a wonderful website. I enjoy it very much!!!

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Susan May 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

You can try chia seeds instead but if you get fresh, whole golden flax and grind it just before you use it (I always keep mine in the fridge) it should have little to no taste. Cheers!

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Janet May 4, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for your quick response. I do the same thing with my flax seeds and I do grind them from the fridge as needed. I think it is just an acquired taste. I just put a batch of the rosemary crackers into the dehydrator and the batter tastes great, so perhaps it is just a matter of the seasoning preference. Thanks for your speedy reply!

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Beverly Bailey May 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Hi Susan, LOVE your recipes! Thanks so much for taking the time to post all of them. Can you tell me what I can use in the place of Coconut flour please? My husband is allergic to coconuts, bananas and cinnamon which as you know makes it hard to follow alot of raw recipes! I look forward to maybe learning the secret of how I might get around these problem ingredients. Thanks much!

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Ana July 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hi Susan, thank you for your amazing recipes! please could you advise how long you can keep your breads/crackers? I wanted to make a batch to last for the whole week maybe in the fridge or plastic container? many thanks,
Ana, Kent, UK

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Susan July 9, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Hi, Ana, If you dry them completely, they should keep at least a week in an airtight container. Cheers!

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Ana July 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Thank you Susan!

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Amy August 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

My dehydrator is a bit old school – no temperature controls; just on & off. At 96 watts, I think I read it hits ~ 90′.
Would it be best to put them in the oven @ 115′ or just leave them in the dehydrator for a day or so?

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Ophelia August 10, 2013 at 12:18 am

Hello. I am a new “rae eater”. Is it okay if I do these on the oven and still receive the great health benefits of eating raw? I am asking for 2 reasons: 1. I am trying to heal naturally of some ailments (its working so far by taking supplements and avoiding sugar) and 2. I am on a strict budget and can not afford to purchase a dehydrator until later this year or the beginning of next year. Please help me with this issue.

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stephanie August 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

Bonjour, dans quels de vos livres se trouve cette recette?

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Susan August 19, 2013 at 11:31 am

C’est dans “Rawmazing Simple Raw Recipes”

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Patty September 17, 2013 at 8:24 am

Made these this weekend. OMG! They are truly amazing!

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Nick October 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Tried these out and was surprised at how bitter they are. I couldn’t finish the batch. I like all of the ingredients, but it’s my first time for flax meal. Should I have used golden flax over the dark meal?
Going to try a different cracker tomorrow.

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Susan October 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Yes, the golden flax is much better. I never use the dark. They shouldn’t be bitter at all. It is possible that your flax was rancid, also.

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Ann October 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

This recipe is my first attempt with raw breads/crackers. I ended up adding some of the water from the almonds soaking and this seemed to make it a little bit easier to roll out. I thought this might mess up the timing but it seems they are just about done and I have another hour. Luckily my oven has a dryer setting and I was able to follow the directions exactly! My husband tried one and already wants to eat more. I love the way you write out the directions and the photos really help. What is the calorie breakdown please?

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Susan October 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Hi, Ann, So glad you like the crackers! I don’t provide calorie breakdowns but you can always enter the ingredients in many of the online calorie calculators. Cheers!

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Nick November 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Yep, I used the golden and mmmm boy. Also made the tomato and onion crackers and currently have the cinnamon raisin “toast” going. Thanks so much for these. Helps me and my gf get on the right track.

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Susan November 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm

The golden flax is so much better than the dark. I never use it.

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Laura November 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Hi! These sound great for when I want something crunchy. I can’t eat coconut right now cause I seem to be allergic. Could I just leave it out or would I need to replace it with something? I may try them as is for my kids but I’d love to be able to eat them too.

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Gayle November 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

We really like kale chips and this sounds like a fun alternative. Will give them a try.

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Elna November 30, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Mine came out just perfect! Have followed your recipe with no probls. Yum

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Lally December 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

I have made these crackers and have become everyone’s favorites, thank you for the recipe Susan, they are delicious and have kept very well in the fridge for about 3 weeks, right after I made them for friends and had left overs I started a cleanse so I still have another week until I can get my hands on them, cant wait.

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Carole Goldstein, MS RD CDE December 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I’ve purchased a 2nd hand dehydrator last summer and have experimented a few times with crackers. These were by far the best and tastiest. Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

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aricka ladebu January 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

Wonderful cracker with a hint of spiciness and cheeziness. I cut back on the chipotle seasoning a bit and it was just right for me. The dough was way too dry. I added about another cup of water and was then able to roll out the dough without it totally falling apart. Will make these again.

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Emily January 20, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Hi! That recipe looks delicious! My boyfriend is allergic to flax, if I use chia seeds, do I need to grind them? Should I use the white or black chia seeds? and What are other substitutes for flax? thx!

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Aslana January 21, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Don’t do this mistake, I ground the flax with the water and came up with glob ok so then I just mixed it withe the rest and added water to I glob it all. I smoothed the mixture between my fingers ala 5 year old style and added water when necessary to us glob it. I hope it turns out. They sure smell yummy while dehydrating.

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Aslana January 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Whoa spell cheek needs to get revamped, uh hello apple? My I pad made my last post sound like I’m a crackhead

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Anne January 25, 2014 at 12:44 pm

These are definitely the best crackers I’ve made until now. I don’t have a dehydrator, not even a convection oven and still they are utterly delicious. Thanks for this amazing recipe :-)

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mireille clark January 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

Just made these Cheezy Kale Almond Crackers for the first time. What an aroma in the house and the taste is awesome. Question: How should they be stored and how long will they keep fresh if store properly?

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Andrea February 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm

First time making raw crackers! Just made these with homemade raw coconut flour (so easy if you can’t find coconut flour in the stores). Turned out nice, crunchy & delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Judy February 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm

how many does this serve based on what serving size? what is the storage on this?
Thank you

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c February 18, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Hi I am allergic to nutritional yeast. What can be used as a substitute?
Thanks
Christi

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Susan February 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm

The nutritional yeast is what gives the crackers the “cheezy” flavor. You can omit it. I honestly don’t have a suggestion to replace that flavor. :-)

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kate February 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I find that nutritional yeast is pretty unpleasant. First of all, it’s not raw. And I bet that if we knew how it was really processed, none of us would want to eat it. It’s also loaded with synthetic vitamins….yep. Really. Unless you get the unfortified ones, in a can, and they
taste totally different. So I say, skip the yeast, and pretend that there is a ‘cheezy’ taste. =)

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Susan February 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Hi, Kate,

I don’t completely agree with you on the nutritional yeast. I have written about it here: http://www.rawmazing.com/raw-food-and-nutritional-yeast/. I enjoy it and will continue to use it. It’s up to everyone to decide what is right for them. You can now find organic nutritional yeast, too.

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Lana Doherty March 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

Can you make your own coconut flower and do u know how?

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Jenjen March 1, 2014 at 11:36 pm

could you suggest a replacement for almonds please ?
I know it is a hard one , but my partner is serverely allergic to nuts and I have alot of trouble trying to replace nut flours and meals in recipes . I have used linseed meal as a replacement previously , but as this recipe already uses it I thought / hoed you may have a suggestion .Thanks for sharing your recipes , experiences and knowledge , Jen

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Jenjen March 1, 2014 at 11:47 pm

I am sooooooooooooo sorry , I should have read the FAQ first . I appreciate your time and sorry for wasting it . Jen

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Erin March 2, 2014 at 1:33 am

I am allergic to almonds. Do you have a replacement sugestion?

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MPaula March 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm

I have to comment on your slicer – pretty amazing. I use a similar device – without knives! – to trace drawings.
To Lana: I would think that you could buy unsweetened coconut flakes/shreds and grind it to powder (flour).

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Charisa March 3, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Have you tried using almond flour to substitute the coconut flour?

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Stef March 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

This recipe is exciting to me! I have made kale chips and I love them but cannot figure out how to keep them crisp (without needing to re-dehydrate them every time). So, this is a great way to have some of that cheesy kale flavor I love AND I am going to experiment with using leftover almond pulp (from homemade almond milk). Can’t wait to try it!

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jade March 11, 2014 at 10:33 am

If anyone tries this with success without coconut, please post your sub and result! My son is severely allergic to coconut. It comes up in so many whole food recipes (as he is also dairy free) and is very difficult to substitute! Thank you – can’t wait to make these crackers!!!!

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Roselie March 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Hello! I know that making these in the oven would make them not raw, but would you happen to know at what temp and how long I can put these in the oven? I really need to invest in a dehydrator! Thank you for the recipe!

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Susan March 12, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Hi, Roselie, Since this is a raw food site, I normally do not test the recipes in the oven. That said, this one I did. As it states in the post, I baked them at 200 for 25 minutes, flipping them once during baking. Cheers!

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Millie March 25, 2014 at 3:41 am

Thank you sooo much for this fab recipe.

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Rose Wignall March 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Made them twice now…..a go to stable for lunch!

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Marcelita April 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I made these yesterday and they were delicious! I need to work more on my dehydrating techniques (maybe do them thinner for a crispier feel) regardless, they were amazing. i did substitute the kale with fresh organic spinach :)

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Julie April 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

These are amazing!! I didn’t have almonds so I substituted half cashews and half walnuts and added a little more spice. They’re my new favorite cracker! Thanks for making delicious raw food and being inspirational!

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Jola April 20, 2014 at 7:55 am

They crackers look delicious :) Can you suggest any substitutes for almonds which would not be nuts? As much as I love them, I know I consume far too much of them…

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