Do you like the tanginess of cheddar? Do you like the crunch of crackers? This vegan snack may be for you then. Macadamia crunch can be made raw (or not) and can be eaten as a snack, salad topper, or addition to a lovely charcuterie board. I personally snack on them and love them so much. I am making a batch a week at this point!
You don’t need a lot to make this macadamia snack, and it’s not very difficult if you follow the tips I am about to outline for you. Also, feel free to edit the tanginess and heat to your specific desire. I like it both tangy with a little punch, so this recipe follows my flavor profile.
The Set Up
You are going to start off with raw macadamia nuts that you will be soaking from 1 hour to 2 hours. You don’t want them to get too mushy, or this will not work. After the soak you will blend the macadamia nuts with the seasonings and pulse until you get the texture below. A bit gritty with both large and fine pieces.
I have tested this recipe about 100 times, and this way is the most no-fail way to get the desired crispy result. You will need a baking sheet and a flexible baking pan and a spatula to get this right. First you will place your mixture in the middle of your baking pan and then place your baking sheet on top of it and press down until it’s flat. Use your fingers to work the mixture into the corners. After your mixture is fairly spread out, use a rolling pin (keeping the baking sheet in place) to even out the mixture as thin as possible. Peel back the baking sheet and dispose of!
I find a pizza board is the easiest way to transfer this to the oven and also to remove it.
You want to find unsalted, unroasted, raw, macadamia nuts for this recipe. You also want to make sure to let the nuts soak the whole one to two hours. Macadamia nuts should be relatively easy to find raw. You only need a cup to get a whole sheet of macadamia crunch.
You can easily make jalapeno powder by dehydrating (after seeding) jalapeños and grinding in a coffee grinder if you can’t find it. This gives it a nice flavor, but if you can’t handle spice, the paprika will be plenty and you can skip it, however I highly recommend including it.
Dehydrator vs Oven
This can easily be made in a dehydrator or oven. If you are choosing a dehydrator, set to 117* F for 1-2 hour then flip and continue for another 30 minutes to an hour. The reason this range varieties so much is different dehydrators have given different outcomes – so you need to babysit your crunch.
I like to do the oven, so I can make one large sheet and it goes a bit quicker. I also use 117* F for about 45 minutes to an hour and then flip and dehydrate for another 30 minutes. It’s ok to break up your pieces when you flip.
Nutritional yeast is a must for this. It’s where the cheddar sharpness comes from. It’s become easier and easier to find. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and even Amazon carry it. I have been asked if you can “just use yeast” a few times and NO! You can not replace nutritional yeast with yeast, they are two very different things.
A Flexible Baking Sheet
If you want to make this snack, get the sheet. Seriously, it’s worth it. With the dozens and dozens of tries to do it other ways, I found the perfect sheet to do it, and it has never failed since. I have also been successful with this sheet for oven fruit leathers, or when i broil whole eggplants. It’s easy to store and like I said, I make this once a week – so it gets a lot of action. I use a pizza board to place it and remove it from the oven.
So that’s how to make vegan cheddar macadamia crunch! It’s not as daunting as it seems, and once you do it once, it will surely be a come-back snack.
A crunchy and tangy snack that takes only a bit of prep in the blender and the rest is just dehydrating in the oven and checking on it until you get the perfect crunch!
- 1 cup of raw macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
- juice of a 1/2 of a lime
- 1 tsp jalapeño powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika (mild)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- a few tablespoons of filtered water is necessary
1. For this recipe you will need two tools to make this fool proof. One is this thin silicon baking sheet that lets you peel away the crunch before you need to flip it and makes all the difference. The other is a blender.
2. Soak the macadamia nuts for 1-2 hours in filtered water. Do not leave them overnight or this will not reach the desired texture and crunch.
3. Once the macadamia nuts are soaked, pulse in a blender 5-6 times. You are looking for a variety of small, medium, and larger chunks.
4. Once you have reached the varied texture add the nutritional yeast, lime juice, jalapeño powder, salt, paprika and turmeric. If the mixture is so thick it's not spreadable after 1-2 pulses, add a few tablespoons of filtered water and pulse again 1-2 times.
5. Once you have reached the right consistency (see photos), use a spatula to spread the mixture on your baking sheet. A little trick I use is to spread it as good and evenly as I can with the spatula. Then place a baking sheet over the mixture and roll it evenly with a rolling pin. Peel back the baking sheet once your batter is even.
7. Bake at 116* F for around 2 hours or until you are able to peel and flip the macadamia crunch and continue to bake for 30-60 more minutes until you can snap it easily. You will know it's done when it's a uniform color on the top and bottom.
8. Let cool.Break into shards.Store in an airtight container.
9. Enjoy as a snack or salad topping!
If enjoyed this meal let me know what you think by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and comment below with any questions or feedback. These are two small things that add up to a ton of support, which I really appreciate. Also show off your pics to me on instagram by tagging @theveganholidayblog and #veganholidaypic – I am excited to see your meals!