Sunday, 6 September 2015

Aquafaba

Aqua what?

Aquafaba.  Aqua = water.  Faba = bean. 

You know the liquid that chick peas are canned in? The liquid that you usually drain off? Well, did you know that this liquid is called aquafaba... and if you whip the heck out of it, IT WILL TURN INTO MERINGUE !!

How's them apples eh? Vegan meringue, with not an egg in sight. 

So I don't quite know how this magic works, or who it was that discovered this awesome miracle, but it is something amazing that you should have a try at making.

1. Begin by turning on the oven to 140 degrees celcius.
2. Take a single can of chick peas. Yep, just one can.



3. Drain the liquid from the chickpeas into a stand mixer, or a large bowl if you intend to use an electric mixer. Use the chickpeas for something else. 



4. Begin on low speed to start the whipping process and get the mix frothy, then turn the mixer (or beaters) up to near High and whip for around 5 minutes. 



5. At this stage, add in 1 cup of caster sugar, in spoonfuls, while whipping on med/high speed.
6. Whip for around 5 more minutes, or until the mixture turns glossy, and stiff peaks form.



7. Add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
8. Mix this in on low speed for another 30 seconds.
9. You can then spoon out into small rounds, or into a couple of 8 inch circles.
10. Turn the oven down to 130 degrees. Bake the small rounds for close to 60 minutes, but watch them closely. Bake the 8 inch circles for around 90 minutes. When done, turn the oven off and leave the oven door ajar. Remove when cool. 

I chose to bake small rounds, and kind of globbed them onto baking sheets, on large trays. I admit that I over-baked these as they cooked faster than I anticipated. 

No worry, I just turned them into an Eton Mess, along with whipped cream (I know, not vegan), and some chopped fresh strawberries. Oh myy YUM!



I could not believe the texture of these were exactly like eggwhite meringues. They have the same airy crunchy texture and after whipped they lose all of their 'bean' aroma. I will have to try these again, but will bake them a little less. Hopefully then, I will get the crisp outside and chewy centre that I am looking forward to. 



Why not give them a go?  A totally frugal and egg free alternative to traditional meringue.



Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Have one of those conversations

Hi there.

I've not blogged for a while, and not had much interest in the foodie side of life of late. 
Why? Well my husband is about to undergo heart surgery, and the recent focus has been on him and the lead up to this day.

What was diagnosed as a possible heart murmur by his GP several weeks ago started this journey which has involved:

  • x-rays
  • an ultrasound
  • a CT scan
  • meeting a cardiologist
  • undertaking an angiogram, and 
  • finally having a chat with a lovely cardiothorasic surgeon. 

Even though his surgery is pretty straightforward and low risk, it has promoted us to have one of 'those' conversations. 
You know the ones, the conversations that are difficult to get through, and hard to be serious about.

(Photo credit: http://7-themes.com/data_images/out/67/7000746-red-heart-tree.jpg) 

You should always know the following about your loved ones...

... are they willing to be an organ donor? are there any organs/tissues that they would not want to donate?

... do they have a will? 

... do they have an enduring power of attorney? ie have they nominated someone to make decisions for them, should they become incapacitated? 

... if the worst was to happen, would they want to be buried, or cremated? Do they want their ashes scattered anywhere special? Do they want a plaque? if so, what would it read? 

... do they want a service? what are their favourite songs? flowers? colour? 

... do you know their passwords to access their many electronic devices? (and we are all quite likely to have multiple devices)

... do you know their Facebook password? 

... do you have a list of their close family's phone numbers and email addresses?

Here are some useful links, to get you thinking about the 'what if's?' that life may throw your way. Its always better to be prepared.

End of life information
Funeral Directors
Lifeline Australia
Memorialising a Facebook account
Organ Donor Register
Power of Attorney
What is a Will?

Take a moment. Tell your loved ones you love them today, and have one of 'those' conversations.. 

Kirsty
xoxo