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Monday, May 8, 2017

Aquafabulous!: Book Review


Welcome to a new week. I am happy to say its sunny, which is such a relief after having so much rain lately!

I have a cookbook review for you today.

Though I am not vegan, or even vegetarian, I do cook and bake that way a fair bit. Sometimes just for fun and to indulge my inner scientist, which is the case with aquafaba. Come on, you know what I'm talking about! The liquid from cans of chickpeas that can be whipped up like eggs!!

I eat boat loads of eggs (about 8 whole eggs a week plus a few cups of egg whites), but the science behind this aquafaba thing fascinates me. Though apparently how it all works isn't even totally understood.

But its also nice to have an alternative to eggs for vegans and those with egg allergies.

I've made aquafaba meringues and marshmallow fluff and they have gone over very well with the family. I once made a vegan pizza dough with aquafaba, and I regularly make chickpea and blackbean cakes and squares that include the liquid and contain no eggs, but that's as far as I've gotten with my recipe experimentation. So I was excited to receive Aquafabulous! to review.

It's full of over 100 recipes using this interesting ingredient. Its written by Rebecca Coleman, a social media consultant and food and travel blogger from Vancouver. Yay, a fellow Canadian!

The book starts with instructions on how to make your own aquafaba from dried beans. Kudos for you if you do this. I am too lazy and just open a can of beans.

Then, Coleman provides recipes for all sorts of nut and other non-dairy milks you can make. I am not sure why when they are readily available to buy, and there are a million recipes online.

There are recipes for non-dairy cheese, which look very interesting, and I hope to try, seeing as I am obsessed with nutritional yeast. Using aquafaba to make mayo, is brilliant, though given the high vegetable oil content, it is certainly not a low-cal option!

The most popular recipes, I am guessing, will be the meringue a d marshmallow fluff, since these are items that are hard to find in vegan form.

Next, there are chapters of recipes for:

  • Breakfast
  • Snacks and appetizers
  • Salads and  Sides
  • Mains
  • Baked Goods
  • Desserts
My biggest criticism is that many recipes use regular sugar and white flour. Nonetheless, most can be made with substitutions. 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.

I also find it weird that some of the recipes don't use aquafaba at all, like the soup recipes in the "Mains" section. Not that they are bad recipes, but how do they fit into this book??

There aren't too many recipes that really caught my eye, except for "Herbed Chickpea Crackers" made from just chickpea flour, seasonings, olive oil and aquafaba. I will definitely have to try those!!

So do I recommend this book? I do for anyone who is a cooking and baking newbie and is looking for some guidance on how to create vegan sweet and savoury dishes and isn't as anal as I am about nutrition (remember vegan isn't INHERENTLY healthier if it contains lots of sugar and/or refined flour!!).

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review but all opinions on this blog are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Aquafabulous is an interesting foray into the art of not wasting--why spill aquafaba down the drain the next time you open a can of chickpeas or white beans? Use it instead! As Rebecca points out, you can freeze it in ice cube trays and then use it to create fluffy, airy textures the next time you want to make waffles, falafel, crepes, or any other 100+ recipes in her book.

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