100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba
A cookbook review by Linda Kissam & Adrianne Morrison
Aquafaba? Do you drink it; eat it? What is it?
- A new bottled water brand?
- A fab new facial moisturizer?
- A magical bean water?
- A swimming pool exercise routine?
Ah ha! If you’re a vegan, I bet you know, and if you don’t, listen-up! Those who must avoid dairy and eggs, and want or need to avoid gluten, soy or nuts can find many good recipes, but do you yearn for more—maybe a meringue, a soufflé—something light and whipped and fluffy? Well, your vegan staple, beans, is your new best friend. To be exact, it’s the bean water—that liquid we generally drain off and discard. Say what? “Aquafaba” means “bean water” — the water that is drained off neutral-colored beans like chickpeas, navy beans and cannellini beans, yet it now has its very own URL www.Aquafaba.com. It was registered in 2015 by a software engineer in central Indiana, Goose Wohlt, after he, along with a 45,000-person Facebook group settled on a name. Other contenders were “bloop” and “l’egg,” but the winner came from “Latin for bean” plus “Latin for water,” combined—fabaaqua—and reversed—aquafaba. Hmmm.
What can you do with that bean drain off? Doesn’t sound particularly appetizing does it? If you’ve recently learned you are allergic to, or simply should avoid eggs or are new to a vegan lifestyle, Aquafabulous! will be a great cookbook for you. With it’s “100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes, there will be a recipes that will delight your imagination and palate.
The book is full of over 100 recipes written by Rebecca Coleman, a social media consultant and food and travel blogger from Vancouver. You will find information on how to stock a vegan pantry, basic vegan recipes, those that use aquafaba to enhance their outcome, and thankfully, some to help you use your beans after whipping up your own homemade aquafaba.
Adrianne and Linda give this book 4 out of five stars for its creativity and hope/promise of a better vegan dining experience. We took one star away for lack of photos. There are a few, but not enough to make us confident that our finished product was looking like what the author was aiming for.
One thing I’ve noticed about vegan baking is that many results are dense, almost as if they are under cooked, or they fall apart when serving. I accepted this as a consequence of gluten-free ingredients—alternate flours made from coconut, quinoa, chickpeas are all new to me. But I’ve found out there may be a solution. An alternate egg, so to speak. Many people are turning to a plant-based diet completely avoiding animal products of any kind.
“Aquafaba opens up a whole world of possibilities that were previously not available to vegan and/or those with egg and dairy allergies.” Even if you are not a vegan, this cookbook will allow you to make a special birthday surprise Baked Alaska or Lemon Meringue Pie to celebrate with a friend who is, and would sincerely appreciate your effort. Make the dessert and gift the cookbook, too. I’m looking forward to doing exactly this for her birthday. And for me, The Coconut French Toast sounds like something fun to try—imagine—a French toast without eggs? Magic. Bean Magic.
I am just sayin…this is a whole new world to me. I am one of the lucky ones who doesn’t suffer from food allergies. But for those who do, it looks like the discovery of aquafaba has launched a whole new world of vegan baking possibilities. The options for its use seem endless…but more importantly tasty. Some of the recipes use regular sugar and white flour but they can be substituted out. Just replace white flour with your favorite whole grain flour (whole wheat, spelt, kamut, buckwheat, etc.) and brown sugar with coconut sugar and white sugar with stevia, xylitol, monk fruit, or erythritol.
You’ll find such recipes as Banoffee Pie in a Jar, French Macarons, Fluffy Waffles, Falafels with Pesto Mayo, Mac and “Cheese,” Lemon Meringue Pie, Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts, Baked Alaska and more. I am thinking you’ll never look at a can of beans – or the challenge of creating a successful vegan dessert – in quite the same way.
Give the cookbook a try with this tasty recipe.
Remember when you went camping as a kid? One of the highlights was the gooey warmth of a marshmallow toasted on a stick. It was even better if you sandwiched it between two graham crackers with some chocolate. This is a slightly more grown-up version of s’mores. No campfire required . . . though you can use a torch.
hand mixer option
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
- Stand mixer fitted with wire whisk attachment
- 6-cup muffin pan, lined with paper liners
- Propane or butane torch (optional)
1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs 250 mL
1⁄4 cup vegan butter alternative, melted 60 mL
1⁄2 cup chopped 70% bittersweet (dark) vegan chocolate 125 mL
3 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk (approx.) 45 mL
1⁄4 cup aquafaba 60 mL
2 tbsp granulated sugar 30 mL
1⁄8 tsp cream of tartar 0.5 mL
1⁄8 tsp vanilla bean seeds (see Tips) 0.5 mL
- In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter to combine.
- Place 2 tbsp (30 mL) graham cracker mixture in bottom of each muffin cup, then pack down with a glass.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a wire rack.
- Fill a small saucepan with 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. In a heatproof metal bowl, combine chocolate and non-dairy milk. Set metal bowl on saucepan so that it fits tightly and doesn’t touch the water below. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth. You want the ganache to be smooth, glossy and fairly runny, not thick and lumpy. If it is too thick, add a little more milk.
- Spoon about 2 tbsp (30 mL) melted chocolate over each graham cracker base, then shake pan to spread it around so that it forms an even layer. Transfer to freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- In mixer bowl, combine aquafaba, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla seeds. Set mixer speed to low and beat for 2 minutes. Turn up speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Set to highest speed and beat mixture until fluffy and peaks form, about 4 to 6 minutes. It will have a similar texture to marshmallow fluff.
- Spoon as much fluff as possible into each muffin cup, then return to fridge for at least 30 more minutes or overnight. You may have leftover fluff (see Tips).
- Just before serving, pop cups out of muffin tins, peeling back paper liners. Use a torch to toast the tops, if desired, and serve (see Tips).
To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers.
Make sure to use sugar that has not been filtered through bone char, because it’s not vegan.
You can use any leftover marshmallow fluff to top hot chocolate, waffles, berries or cakes.
To toast tops of s’mores: Hold the torch 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) from surface of s’mores. Wave it over the marshmallow fluff until it is golden and the tops are caramel-colored.
You can make this recipe ahead of time. Complete the recipe up to the end of Step 5. Before serving, pull from the fridge, top with marshmallow fluff, torch and serve.
Vanilla beans not only add a vanilla flavor (oddly enough) to dishes, but the flecks of bean throughout the finished dish are also very aesthetically pleasing. You can buy them in a few different forms: whole beans, paste and powder. You can purchase whole vanilla beans in many gourmet food shops and in the baking section of well-stocked grocery stores. Using a paring knife, carefully run the blade down the length of the vanilla bean, opening it up. You can then use the tip of the knife to scrape out the seeds inside. The scraped-out pods can be used to flavor milks, make vanilla simple syrup or infuse sugar. Another option is to buy vanilla bean paste. In this case the seeds have been preserved (usually in bourbon). I like to use ground vanilla bean powder, which comes in small glass jars. It introduces no extra moisture (as is the case with vanilla bean paste) and there’s no fuss or mess. You just have to measure, then add it to your recipe.
Makes 6 cups
Courtesy of Aquafabulous! 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba by Rebecca Coleman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Colin Erricson