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Are these the same thing you'll find at a fast food joint? No way. Are they better for you though? Without a doubt. Plus, they're a ton of fun to make.

Not Really Nuggets


  • 1/3 cups maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked 10 minutes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon miso

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked 1 hour

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1/2 onion

  • 3 ears corn

  • 1 cup nutritional yeast

  • 2 cup ground sunflower seeds

  • 2 cups ground sesame seeds

  • Coating/breading: 1 cup ground flaxseed, 1 teaspoon chile pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • BBQ sauce: 1 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked one hour, 1 tablespoon nama shoyu, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 onion, 2 medium sized tomatoes, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 cayenne


  1. Add the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar to the blender and pulse.

  2. Next add in the garlic, chili powder, miso, cayenne, cumin, salt, and chia seeds. Blend again.

  3. Add onion, tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, and corn. If you start having problems blending, just use a spatula to move the mixture down and make sure everything is getting blended.

  4. Pour this mixture into a bowl and clean out your blender.

  5. Grind sunflower and sesame seeds in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder.

  6. Add your ground seeds and nutritional yeast in with the mixture already in your bowl, and mix everything together with a spatula.

  7. In a small bowl, assemble your breading mixture by just tossing together your ground flax, chili pepper, and salt.

  8. To make our patties, use a large soup spoon to scoop it up, and form into a patty shape, coat each patty with your breading mixture, then lay it on your dehydrator sheet, or on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

  9. Dehydrate overnight, or bake in an oven for about an hour at 200 degrees F, flip them, and then bake for one more hour.

  10. Finally, let's make our BBQ sauce. First add all the liquids - nama shoyu, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, into the blender, as well as your spices - paprika, cayenne, and salt. Blend.

  11. Now add in your tomatoes, onion, and sun-dried tomatoes. Blend again.

Not Really Nuggets




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- These nuggets are made out of seeds and vegetables, so, surprise, they don't taste like Chicken McNuggets. But, it's a really fun way to eat raw, and it's also a really good alternative to whatever's in that mystery meat. Admittedly, this is a lot of ingredients, but don't get intimidated, because, basically, we're just dumping it all into a blender. My little system for blending is to start with the liquids and then add all of the spices. So, I'm going to do the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, and just pulse that for a second. Now, add in the garlic, chili, powder, miso, cayenne, cumin, salt, and chia seeds, which we've been soaking. Remember chia pets? Turns out, the stuff that's on them, the chia seeds, are a superfood. These guys are packed with plant-based protein. They're also really high in Omega-3 fatty acids. They're also full of fiber, so they keep you feeling full. People use it as a weight-loss aid; it's awesome. Incorporate them into your diet. And now, we're going to blend. So, now, we're going to add the chunkier stuff. We're doing this now because we really wanted to get our spices fully incorporated in that last step. We're going to strain our sun-dried tomatoes that have been soaking and put it straight into your blender. Get some onion here, our red bell pepper, and then finally, our corn. So, it might get stuck here like it's doing right now. Just pull the top off, push it down a little bit. See that? That's where the magic happens. And, we're just going to put it into a bowl. So, now that the blender is nice and clean, we're going to grind up our seeds. I have a high-speed blender here, so this will get us a nice, fine grind, but if you don't have one, you just have a regular blender, you can also use a coffee grinder to get that nice flour-like consistency. Okay, this is perfect. You just don't want to go too long, because it'll start to turn into, well this would turn into tahini. So, don't grind too hard. Okay, and now we're going to do the sunflower seeds. Same exact thing. And grind. Perfect. This stuff is good. So that's done. The only thing we have left is to add our nutritional yeast into the mixture. We're just going to mix this up. So, now that we're done with our base, we're just going to make a really, really quick little breading mixture. It's basically just ground flax seeds, I'm going to throw a little bit of chili pepper in here and a little bit of salt. Mix it up; now we're going to make our patties. We've got our base, our breading, and our cookie sheet, which I'm going to put some parchment paper on. Just get a spoonful; I use my fingers most of the time because that's just what I do, and then roll it in some of this flax, flatten it out there, and then just stick it on your sheet. There's your nugget. Let's make another one. Spoonful, fingers, when I dip, you dip, we dip, cover every side, little patty, and lay it down. So now, these are done. If you have a dehydrator, put it in that overnight, but most people don't, so, otherwise, just put it in your oven at 200 degrees for about an hour. Flip them, put them back in for another hour, and then you're done. So, now that we've got those in the oven or dehydrator, we're going to make our barbecue sauce. It's basically just dumping a bunch of stuff into the blender. All right, that looks pretty good. Oh yeah, I'm loving it. You won't find these in a happy meal, but they make me pretty happy.