With this asthma attack, things are just not moving very quickly around here. I am getting better but I keep doing stupid things to set myself back. Meanwhile, there’s not sewing except for a little shibori stitching and I’m enjoying relaxing and working on my zentangle labels.
I decided that for today I’d make this a cooking blog because I’ve found something new that has drastically improved my dietary options.
If’ you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I am allergic to a LOT of foods. The list includes: wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, chlorophyll, onions, garlic, beer, wine, red and yellow food coloring, apples and pineapple. Eliminating wheat, dairy and eggs from your diet makes baking nearly impossible. I have a couple of recipes that I use over and over and I’ve found one bread mix that I can use with an egg substitute. None of them are great, but they are acceptable.
Substituting egg is probably the most difficult. There’s Egg Replacer powder that’s basically a tapioca mix. It has never worked well for me. In savory foods I have been able to use a gel made from ground chia seeds and for sweets and breads I have been using ground flaxmeal mixed with water. Both of those work acceptably but they do affect the texture and taste.
A few weeks ago I heard of something called aquafaba and started reading up on it. It’s a fancy name for the water from a can of chickpeas! About a year ago someone in France discovered that you could whip it up just like meringue. I eat hummus for lunch almost every day so I have lots of aquafaba to test out and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last month or so.
I started with a vegan/gluten-free lemon meringue pie. While my pie wasn’t ideal I really did get meringue and it tasted great! I just need to tweak the recipe a bit and I believe I will have a real, no-nonsense lemon meringue pie. That is BIG!
After the pie I tried my bread mix (Pamela’s Gluten Free). I have been making it with the flaxmeal mix for egg. This time I substituted 4 tablespoons of aquafaba and got the best bread that I have had in 5 years. The flaxmeal made a very dense and heavy bread. This one is light and fluffy and it toasts like “real” bread! Look at that beautiful crust!
Next up was a new recipe for blueberry muffins. This recipe is straight off the Pamela’s website and is called Artisan Muffins. If you have ever baked gluten-free you will immediately notice the rise on these muffins.They were flaky and delicious. Chris even liked them and they were good for several days. I’m going to call them “miracle muffins” from now on.
Next I made some gluten free banana nut muffins. The recipe is from about.com. They are so much lighter and fluffier that the version I used to make with flaxmeal.
What’s the magic with chickpea water? No one knows for sure but you can read all about the history of it here. If you know someone who is allergic to eggs or who is vegan please make sure they know about this. There are 2 Facebook groups where people are sharing recipes and results. You will see a lot of meringue cookies and other desserts there. One is vegan only and the other is for anything with aquafaba.
Now when I make a batch of hummus I pour the chickpea water into an ice tray with a tablespoon in each section. After it’s frozen I pop them into a freezer bag. When I need an “egg” I take out 3 tablespoons and let it defrost and then use it like an egg. It does not need to be whipped and you do not taste the bean. This doesn’t work with something like sponge cake that uses a lot of egg whites but it seems to work well for everything else.
This has to be the most important ingredient in years to come into the vegan or egg allergic diet. It’s totally changed my dietary options.
It’s also added a couple of pounds. I had to make that sacrifice for the sake of science.
Now I’ll see if I can’t get something creative done here today so that I have something to show tomorrow.