Vegan Aquafaba Meringues

Vegan Aquafaba Meringues

The technical definition of aquafaba according to the official aquafaba website is “the cooking liquid of beans or other legumes like chickpeas.”  The knowledge that this liquid can perform many of the same functions as an egg is relatively new and exciting.  I first came across it in a NY Times article a couple of months ago and have finally come around to giving it a try.  It turns out that making meringues with the liquid left over from a can of chickpeas is no more difficult than making meringues the traditional way.  And, the taste and texture are almost indistinguishable from a traditionally made meringue.

If you are interested in reading more about aquafaba, here are some great websites with more information:

  • This is the ‘official’ aquafaba website and contains information on the history, science and a great general overview.
  • Hits and Misses! is a facebook group dedicated to perfecting aquafaba recipes.
  • This Washington Post article is a fun and informative read.

Once you have made these meringues, they should be stored in an airtight container and, if necessary, uncooked rice can be added to the container to absorb any moisture.  Depending on humidity, these meringues will last several days.

Aquafaba meringues can be served as one would serve egg-based meringues.  We ate them for dessert one night, with coconut-based chocolate ice cream and raspberries, but most of the meringues were eaten by the kids, plain, straight out of the tin (sticky, dirty fingers and all, quietly, while mom was not watching – or pretending not to watch).

Vegan Aquafaba Meringues

Vegan Aquafaba Meringues

Vegan Aquafaba Meringues

Print Recipe
Vegan Aquafaba Meringues
These meringues are deliciously crunchy and sweet and the recipe is based on these two recipes:  NY Times, and thekitchn
Vegan Aquafaba Meringues
Servings
Ingredients
  • Liquid from 1 15-oz can of chickpeas aquafaba
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Servings
Ingredients
  • Liquid from 1 15-oz can of chickpeas aquafaba
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Vegan Aquafaba Meringues
Instructions
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment beat the aquafaba and cream of tartar on high until foamy. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. This can take anywhere from a few to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer foam to a piping bag and pipe foam onto parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 2 hours, and allow the oven to cool down with meringues inside.
  5. Once completely cooled, store meringues in an air tight container.


Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad with Chickpeas

Cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes.  An Israeli salad seems so obvious, it shouldn’t require a recipe.  And yet, it was a revelation to me when I first encountered it in my mid-twenties.  I learned it about from an Israeli friend while we were attending a conference.  Each night for three nights, she made this salad to go along with dinner, each night a little different, but always wonderfully fresh and delicious.  After returning from that trip, the salad became an instant summer staple, and it has changed little over the years.  Eventually (i.e. after the kids came along) I started adding chickpeas, as a convenience, really.  It meant that now I could put a big bowl of salad on the table and call it dinner.  A mother’s dream.

Whatever else you have planned for the weekend, give this salad a try, while the ingredients are still abundant and the evenings are still warm enough to serve salad as dinner without too many explanations.  It travels great, so bring it along to a picnic or barbeque.

Israeli Salad

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chickpeas

Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad

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Blackberry, Nectarine and Ginger Galette

Blackberry, Nectarine and Ginger Galette

While in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, we stayed at an inn that had blackberry bushes growing out back.  The innkeepers told us that the bushes had produced more berries this summer than ever before, and kindly offered to let us pick to our hearts’ content.    We came home with a tupperware full of berries, and the good problem of figuring out what to do with them.  In my mind, it had to be something that would be worthy of our vacation as well as all the delicious berries.  We narrowed our options to a crumble or crisp, muffins, or a pie.  We settled on the general idea of a pie (although somewhere in the process muffins also got baked), but the summer seemed too free and unconstrained for a pie, and so a galette it would be,  as a galette contains all of the wonderful elements of a pie, without the fussy fluted trim and perfectly even crust.  It comes together quickly and showcases the seasonal fruit filling surrounded by a crispy, buttery crust.

Blackberries

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Blackberries

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Blackberry, Nectarine

Blackberry, Nectarine and Ginger Galette

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low-sugar whole-wheat muffins

Everyday Snack Muffins

I have made these low-sugar, whole-wheat muffins many times over the past couple of years for early morning breakfast picnics, as snacks to add to the kids lunchbox, and just because it seemed like a good day for a treat.  They contain plenty of nutrients, and the sweetness is largely due to the addition of the raisins and parsnips, with little refined sugar added.  Did I already mention that they freeze well?

Parsnips are a wonderful alternative to carrots, either cooked, raw and shredded in salads, roasted, or any other way you can think to use them.   Carrot and parsnips are in fact in the same family Apiaceae, along with parsley, and are native to Eurasia.  We know parsnips have been cultivated since antiquity, especially by the Greeks and Romans.  However, our history is incomplete, since in ancient Greek and Roman texts carrots and parsnips are sometimes given the same name – pastinaca.

Parsnips were introduced to the North American continent by European settlers.  Before the introduction of the potato, parsnips represented a dietary stable in Europe, along with the turnip.  Interestingly, if parsnips – the root of which contains more starch than the carrot root – are left to overwinter in the ground, they convert their starches in to sugars, and as such, were also used as sugar substitutes before the introduction of sugar cane (Harold McGee).

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Blueberry Dutch Baby - A Leek Supreme

Blueberry Dutch Baby

A Dutch baby (alternatively called a Bismark, Dutch puff, or German pancake – a rose by any other name?) makes a great after school snack or light breakfast.  Selling points include: it has plenty of protein and fat with a minimal amount of sugar; it can be made from all common pantry items; and it comes together in 5 minutes and bakes in 15.  A treat? Most definitely! I wish you could have been in my kitchen to hear the shouts of excitement when I mentioned we were having Dutch baby for snack.  No one had to be asked twice to sit down at the table.

Since I had blueberries in the refrigerator that needed to be used, I decided to add them to the Dutch baby.  Blueberries are native to North America and were mainly foraged from the wild until the 1920s, when ‘highbush’ blueberries were first developed (Harold McGee).   However, wild blueberries can still be found in abundance today.  For late summer hikes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, we choose destinations that involve open ledges along the trail and summit, which are typically lined with overflowing blueberry bushes.

Although blueberries make for a delicious Dutch baby, any fruit will work and I encourage you to experiment with whatever you have around. If you decide to use a fruit that takes longer to soften, such as apples or plums, add them to the pan along with the butter during the pre-heating step, giving them a head start at cooking.

ingredients

aleeksupreme.com dutch baby batter

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aleeksupreme.com

aleeksupreme.com

Blueberry Dutch Baby - A Leek Supreme

Blueberry Dutch Baby - A Leek Supreme

Blueberry Dutch Baby - A Leek Supreme

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes and Red Cabbage Slaw

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes and Red Cabbage Slaw

I’m excited to share this recipe with you since I am sure you will love it as much as I do!  White quinoa usually does not make it to the top of my list of preferred grains.  I don’t care for its lack of texture, non-descript flavor, or sweetness.   But this recipe is different!  It turns the grains usual negatives into positives.  First, the lack of texture (mushiness?) allows for little cakes to be shaped and maintain said shape during the browning without the addition of eggs.  Second, the browning step creates these little cakes that are crispy on the outside and delicious and moist on the inside.   If you are still on the fence about trying this recipe, all you needed, at its simplest, is quinoa, water and a little oil for browning.   Then, the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless, and even the kids are inspired by the blank canvas that these quinoa cakes provide.  One kid suggested adding apples and cinnamon next time (according to this child, there is nothing that cannot be enhanced by the addition of apples).   Served with a little maple butter?  Sounds good to me!   I can feel a future Cooking With Kids post coming….

Adding a little bit of vinegar to sweet potatoes while sautéing helps to preserve their structure and prevents them from turning mushy.  The cell walls of plants are made of cellulose held together by pectin and hemi-cellulose.  While cellulose remains unchanged when exposed to heat and moisture, both pectin and hemi-cellulose tend to become soluble causing cells to loose their structural integrity resulting in vegetables that soften and eventually become mushy.  The acid in the vinegar helps to keep the sweet potatoes firm by preventing pectin and hemi-cellulose from dissolving.  If you do not have the recommended apple cider vinegar on hand, any acid will do: citrus juice, or any other vinegar.

vegetables

a leek supreme vegetables

quinoa cakes

red cabbage slaw

red cabbage slaw

red cabbage slaw

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes and Red Cabbage Slaw

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes and Red Cabbage Slaw

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Chocolate almond butter

Chocolate Almond Butter

Nuts have been an important source of nourishment for humans since prehistoric times. Nut butters similarly have a long history; tahini, a paste made of ground sesame seeds, is mentioned in a 13th century Arabic cookbook. According to Harold McGee, nut butters obtain their characteristic consistency when their cells are ruptured due to mechanical manipulation, releasing the oils from inside the cell.

I have made this chocolate almond butter recipe many (many!) times, with just as many variations: adding cocoa powder, roasting the nuts prior to grinding them, adding salt, adding sugar, adding honey, using different vegetable and nut oils. But this basic recipe with only 3 ingredients is the one I always return to. While I tend to think that roasting nuts is a great idea as it intensifies and deepens their flavor, in this case, I prefer them raw. By not roasting the nuts, the almond flavor remains subtle and I end up having to add a little more oil while blending, a compromise I find well worth it. The sweetness of the final product is also very subtle, and some members of my family (the youngest of them) prefer chocolate almond butter sandwiches with honey. I tend to think the recipe as written below is pretty perfect, just as it is.

Almonds chocolate chips

Roasted almond oil

Almond butter blender

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