Apple Pie Wontons

This is an idea – a very good idea! … but just an idea, nonetheless. Not a precisely measured recipe. Why? Because my kids are great cooks who do not measure. To be fair, I do not measure either, unless I am writing recipes. But sometimes somebody in my house will do something so delicious that I feel compelled to document it. Posting it here allows me to share the idea and keep the idea at the same time. ūüėÄ

In our house dd does desserts. She does them very well! Sometimes she spends hours on them, other times she does them very simply. Because wonton and eggrolls skins are on sale this week, I bought about 1000 of them… slight exaggeration. To my hungry kids, I suggested that they stuff them with veggies and bake or pan fry them.

Thanks to dd, they got stuffed with, essentially, apple pie filling instead. They should have been¬†good… just about anything fried in a wonton wrapper is good… but these are shockingly tasty! They only lasted a few minutes.

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Apple Pie Wontons

A few apple pieces, a little sweetness, and some spice make these a simple tasty treat!

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, cut into little cubes (organic semi sweet apples used here)
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • cane sugar, taste
  • vanilla, about 1/4 teaspoon, she thinks
  • about 24 wonton skins – for an egg free version, try these
  • cooking oil (coconut and nonGMO canola are very good)

Method

Combine all ingredients, except wonton wrapper. Into one wrapper at a time, place a tiny bit of filling, fold wrapper over the filling and seal with water.

In an oiled skillet, pan fry each wonton until golden brown, Place on a rack or paper towels to cool.

Enjoy!

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Super Simple Seed Crackers

Seriously simple! All seeds, nothing else. No nuts. No flours. Which makes this cracker, of course, gluten-free, common allergen-free, vegan, and paleo. Nice!

In my circles, there is this really cool little group of money-saving, brainstorming, efficient, simple-living, inspiring women. They share deals and coupons, as well as ideas and resources for clean, debt-free, productive, purpose-driven living. I love these ladies!

The current group challenge is aimed at the kitchen, specifically the pantry… those items that sit there taking up space when they could be used to feed our families and save a trip to the grocery store. That’s money in the bank! The challenge is to scout out those items in our own pantries and use them up.

In my fridge and pantry, I have little bags of seeds. Hemp, pumpkin, chia, flax, sunflower, black sesame, white sesame, things that are not labelled… you get the idea. Seeds don’t last forever. It is time to use the seeds. Seeds can be used a thousand ways, which frankly is why I have the seeds, but I would like to use these seeds in one quick application.

The solution? Crackers! Gluten-free homemade sesame flavored crackers. For snacking, to serve along side soup, do dip, whatever. These nutrient-packed little bites will be eaten easily in cracker form.

Challenge accepted. Seeds done!

seed crackers

Here is the super simple method.

I am using a blend of about equal parts sunflower, pumpkin, and white sesame seeds, and throwing in a couple teaspoons, maybe, of flax seeds. When water is added, the flax seeds will act as a binder. Sunflower seeds create a great flour-like cracker texture. And pumpkin and sesame seeds will provide a pleasing flavor without having to add anything else but salt.

Maybe we will enjoy these with a simple asian soup, egg drop or wonton. I happen to have all the ingredients, including some soup stock in the freezer. ūüôā Still in the spirit of the challenge.

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In a mini food processor, grind your seeds down to almost a flour.

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Some clumping is fine. For texture, it is nice to leave some seed pieces in tact. Mix in salt and any seasonings you would like to use. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.

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Place seed “flour” into a bowl and add water, a little bit at a time. Combine seed flour with water to form a dough. You need very little water to do this.

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On a lightly oiled silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet, press dough into a flat rectangle.

Note: My silpat is rather heavily oiled here, with olive oil. I thought about turning up the heat to get crispy edges. Oily crispy edges of this sometimes taste a little like bacon. Just an option.

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Cover with parchment to easily press or roll it flatter. I like a very thin cracker; you can go as thin as you like. Very thin crackers will be more delicate.

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Remove parchment. Pre-cut slices with a pizza cutter or sharp knife so they will easily break apart when baked.

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seed crackers

In a low oven, 200¬ļ or less, place cookie sheet. Prop the door slightly open with a wooden spoon to help crackers dry. Bake for about 2 hours. Check periodically.

ovenprop

If you like the texture, remove crackers, break apart and serve. You can leave them in longer if you want them dryer.

seed crackers

seed crackers

Enjoy!

Super Simple Seed Crackers

This simple cracker is good on it’s own, but even better when added to a snack tray with fruit and cheeses! Also, try mixing in spices and herbs, or even veggie pulp from juicing. You can go just about anywhere with this method.¬†

Ingredients:

  • (1 cup) seeds – today I have a blend of equal parts sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame
  • about 1 T flax seeds – whatever seeds you are using, added flax or chia seeds will give your crackers a binder
  • salt, to taste
  • water
  • optional: spices and herbs, whatever you like

Method

In a mini food processor, grind your seeds down to almost a flour. Some clumping is fine. For texture, it is nice to leave some seed pieces in tact. Mix in salt and any seasonings you would like to use. Taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Place seed “flour” into a bowl and add water, a little bit at a time. Combine seed flour with water to form a dough. You need very little water to do this.

On a lightly oiled silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet, press dough into a flat rectangle. Cover with parchment to easily press or roll it flatter. I like a very thin cracker; you can go as thin as you like. Very thin crackers will be more delicate. Remove parchment. Pre-cut slices with a pizza cutter or sharp knife so they will easily break apart when baked.

In a low oven, 200¬ļ or less, place cookie sheet. Prop the door slightly open with a wooden spoon to help crackers dry. Bake for about 2 hours. Check periodically. If you like the texture, remove crackers, break apart and serve. You can leave them in longer if you want them dryer. I have set the oven under 200¬ļ (on keep warm) and left them in the oven overnight (door still propped with a wooden spoon). They dry out and have a texture somewhere between baked and dehydrated. Very good!

Note: this recipe method suggests beginning with one cup of seeds because this amount fits easily onto a cookie sheet. You can make as much as you like!

Enjoy!

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“Faba”ulous Simple Crepes

If you can make a pancake, you can make a crepe. All you need is a non-stick pan and a good batter. Once you have the crepe method down, you will make them again and again!  If you are a fan of bean water, aka aquafaba, and you have not tried it in a crepe recipe, what are you waiting for?!

Summertime, when fruits are so plentiful and fresh, there is nothing better than to stuff them into a crepe slathered with sweetened or tangy cheese, or nut cheese. You can add whipped cream or coconut milk, but you really don’t even need it. Because I just happened across some cute little plump juicy sweet champagne grapes, they went in my breakfast crepes today. Delicious! Crepes and grapes.

In the fall and winter, frozen fruits cooked down and sweetened make for a healthy and warm crepe. Add a pinch of warming spices, like cinnamon for flavor and aroma. Drizzle with dark chocolate. Pure indulgence! No guilt.

In the arena of savory crepes, the sky is the limit! Fill these with any mixture you like!

These crepes happen to be dairy-free, egg-free, sugar-free, free of all kinds of unwanted ingredients. They are clean, simple, light and tasty.

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Simple aquafabulous crepes

Crepe Batter

Bean water is a natural leavener. To make your crepes even lighter, you can aerate your bean water in a bowl with a whisk or hand mixer. You are not making meringue so you don’t have to whip a lot of air in it, just a little.

beanwaterwhisked

Whisk in flour, making batter as smooth as possible without overworking its gluten. Stir in salt, and if desired, a little sweetener. You can even added spices like cinnamon, or if you are making a savory crepe, you can leave it unsweetened and add any spices you like.

Your batter should be just a little thick. Add in almond milk, starting with about 1/8 cup, then a little at a time until consistency is like heavy cream or full fat coconut milk. It should be thin enough to easily flow over the bottom of the pan when you cook it.

beanwatercrepebatter

Crepe Method

Lightly oil a nonstick heated skillet and pour in about 1/4 c, or a little less, of your batter. Quickly, pick up the pan and swirl batter around to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Allow to cook. Watch for the edges to become done; they may begin to curl up a bit. 

Undercooked crepes can be gummy. Overcooked crepes can be rubbery. If your first crepe is not optimal, just adjust for the second.

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Gently scoot a wooden or plastic spatula or egg turner under your crepe. Flip your crepe.

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If you have not made crepes before, don’t worry if the first couple are not wonderful. You will get the hang of it in no time.¬†Your crepe will be cooked in just a couple of minutes. Remove from pan and place on parchment or a rack to cool. Repeat until all batter is used. You may need to spray a little oil in the skillet between crepes. I like coconut oil.

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You can place a square of parchment between each crepe for storage.

Fill each crepe with anything you like! Savory or sweet.

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chickpea broth vegan crepes

“Faba”ulous Simple Crepes

Delicious for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpea water – see where to get this¬†here
  • 1 cup ap flour (I use organic)
  • almond milk, about 1/8 – 1/4 cup, depending on thickness of batter
  • 1/2 t salt
  • optional: a drizzle of maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice

Crepe Batter

Bean water is a natural leavener. To make your crepes even lighter, you can aerate your bean water in a bowl with a whisk or hand mixer. You are not making meringue so you don’t have to whip a lot of air in it, just a little.

Whisk in flour, making batter as smooth as possible without overworking its gluten. Stir in salt, and if desired, a little sweetener. You can even added spices like cinnamon, or if you are making a savory crepe, you can leave it unsweetened and add any spices you like.

Your batter should be just a little thick. Add in almond milk, starting with about 1/8 cup, then a little at a time until consistency is like heavy cream or full fat coconut milk.

Crepe Method

Lightly oil a nonstick heated skillet (medium heat) and pour in about 1/4 c, or a little less, of your batter. Quickly, pick up the pan and swirl batter around to cover the entire bottom of the pan.¬†Allow to cook. Watch for the edges to become done; they may begin to curl up a bit.¬†Gently scoot a wooden or plastic spatula or egg turner under your crepe.¬†Flip your crepe. If you have not made crepes before, don’t worry if the first couple are not wonderful. You will get the hang of it in no time.¬†Your crepe will be cooked in just a couple of minutes. Remove from pan and place on parchment or a rack to cool. Repeat until all batter is used. You may need to spray a little oil in the skillet between crepes. I like coconut oil.

You can place a square of parchment between each crepe for storage.

Fill each crepe with anything you like! Savory or sweet. They are delicious with a sweetened cheese, or nut cheese, and fresh fruit, or frozen fruit cooked down and sweetened. Mmm

Yield 2 c batter. 8-10 crepes, with each approximately 1/4 c batter.

Chef’s Notes: Not all chickpea broths are created equal. Not even all dried chickpeas are equal! Before the days of using the broth, we always presoaked our chickpeas to create an consistent cooking time. Otherwise, some chickpeas cook in 30 minutes, other take 2 hours! Presoaked chickpeas cook in about 50 minutes every time.¬†This recipe is very forgiving, and you should get a good result regardless of your brand or dried chickpeas.

However, I really like the creaminess you get from a good thick almond milk. If your chickpea broth is strong, more condensed, you can use less, and substitute with almond milk.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Chickpeas with Mystery Spice

Have you seen a lot of chickpea recipes out there lately? We use to throw out the broth or brine after either soaking our dried chickpeas or straining our canned. Not anymore! Now chickpeas are being purchased in bulk for the liquid waste, I mean brine! We used to throw that stuff away because it was not easily digested by many, and the canned liquid can taste tinny. But now we are using that liquid gold as an egg replacer to make meringue, mayo, crepes, pavlova, and all sorts of formerly nonvegan foods.

As a result, chickpeas are the leftover ingredient, piling up in little containers in fridges everywhere! One can only eat so much hummus.

Aside from hummus, the quickest and easiest thing I can think of to utilize these little fiber-packed gems is to turn them into a snack. Roasting them brings out a little sweetness, gives them a roasty toasty crunch, and turns them into a mindlessly munchable tasty treat. If you use a different spice blend every time you make them, you are also fighting chickpea boredom. Win-win.

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So easy! Here’s how…

After removing the liquid from your tender chickpeas, whether canned or cooked from dried, dry chickpeas as thoroughly as you can.

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If you like, you can pick off the little skins. After being cooked, these slide right off.

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Place chickpeas into a bowl and drizzle cooking oil over them. You will need about 1-2 tablespoons per about 2-3 cups cooked chickpeas. Sprinkle on salt and any seasoning you like! Do this to taste.¬†Somehow, I frequently end up with “mystery” spice blends in my cupboard. These can be used¬†up on roasted chickpeas, with tasty results.

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Today’s mystery spice blend smells intoxicating. I am picking up hints of paprika, mexican oregano, maybe cumin, onion and garlic? In any event, it is going in!

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Spread chickpeas out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast for about 40 minutes.

(I am using my silpat here.)

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Watch them closely! They will be undercooked-undercooked-undercooked-burned! in a flash. You can stir them after they have been roasting for a while, and taste them. You are going for that intensely flavored crunch on the outside.

When they are done, remove them from the oven and set them out for snacking.

roasted chickpeas

roasted chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas with Mystery Spice

So versatile, quick and easy! Use any flavor you like.

Ingredients:

  • cooked or canned chickpeas
  • olive oil (abut 1 T for 2 cups chickpeas)
  • salt
  • any spice blend you like (approximately, 3-4 teaspoons for 2 cups chickpeas, depending on strength of spices)

Method

Preheat the oven to 450¬ļ

After removing the liquid from your tender chickpeas, whether canned or cooked from dried, dry chickpeas as thoroughly as you can. If you like, you can pick off the little skins. After being cooked, these slide right off.

Place chickpeas into a bowl and drizzle cooking oil over them. You will need about 1-2 tablespoons per about 2-3 cups cooked chickpeas. Sprinkle on salt and any seasoning you like! Do this to taste. Somehow, I frequently end up with “mystery” spice blends in my cupboard. These can be used¬†up on roasted chickpeas, with tasty results.

Spread chickpeas out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast for about 40 minutes. Watch them closely! They will be undercooked-undercooked-undercooked-burned! in a flash. You can stir them after they have been roasting for a while, and taste. You are going for that intensely flavored crunch on the outside.

When they are done, remove them from the oven and set them out for snacking.

Chef’s notes: I think the mystery blend I am using here has paprika, mexican oregano, maybe a tab of cumin? Not sure, but those are aromas I am getting. Flavors that pair especially well with chickpeas include: cardamom, cayenne, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, lemon, olive oil, onions (esp. red or yellow), paprika, pepper, and rosemary. Other flavors work very well too, these are just some of the best.

Enjoy!

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Crispy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips

At the risk of horrifying some of my friends, I am not a fan of sweet potato flavor. I know! I know! They are a fabulously nutritious and beloved tuber. Sweet potatoes fit into most specific diets and can be prepared at least 793 different ways. They deserve respect.

Served this way, the family will mindlessly munch on them with no thought to how much nutrition they are getting.

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Crispy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips

You can see the step by step process for getting the best texture from your homemade chips here.

Quickly parcooking and then baking these chips at a very low temperature, just above dehydrating temperatures, gives you even cooking and crispiness without burning edges. It does takes longer, but your oven is doing the work. You can set your chips to bake and go read a book, or watch a movie.

Slice your sweet potatoes as thinly as you can. It is worth investing in a mandoline to make make quick work of this step. You can use a knife, but a mandoline will give you very thin, very even slices that will bake evenly.

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The instructions below call for parcooking potato slices, but sometimes I prefer to slice them up the day before cooking and soak them in cold water in the fridge. They get all curly and pretty. Some of the starch is removed in the water, and you can skip parcooking if you want to.

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Then drain, dry, sprinkle with oil, cinnamon and sugar, and bake!

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And enjoy!

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Crispy Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips

This tasty crunchy semi-sweet treat is good anytime, and a great way to get the family to eat and enjoy nutritious sweet potatoes! 

Ingredients:

  • sweet potato, preferably organic with skins on
  • cooking oil
  • cinnamon, as much as you like for sprinkling
  • granulated sugar,¬†as much as you like for sprinkling
  • salt, to taste

Method

See step by step pictures of this method here.

Slice potatoes very thin. You can use a sharp chef’s knife, but a good mandoline will give you thin and even slices very quickly. If you will make chips frequently, it is worth investing in a mandoline. Just take safety precautions; the blade is very sharp.

Put the potato slices in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for about an hour, or overnight in the fridge. This will remove some of the starches. Drain off water.

Parcook slices. Fill a pot with cold water. Bring it to a boil. Pour it over potato slices (in a heat-safe bowl) and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain off all water. Dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. In a bowl, sprinkle potatoes with a little cooking oil; you can use whatever is your go-to oil for this. I often use extra virgin olive oil; you will not be subjecting it to high temperature. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a little bit of sugar. A tiny bit of salt will enhance the other flavors. Go easy on salt! Saltiness will be much more pronounced after baking. Use your hands to gently separate potato slices as you mix them, being sure to evenly distribute oil and seasonings.

Spread chips evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Avoid piling chips on each other. You want an even layer for even cooking, but no need to be too precious. Curled crinkled chips make for a really good mouthfeel, and much like what you get in a commercial bag of chips.

Bake at 200¬ļ for about 2 hours. They get even more crispy if you slightly crack the oven door, holding it in place with a wooden utensil. After an hour, sample a chip. Then periodically sample until you like the texture. This is not a difficult step. ūüôā

Serve immediately.

Storage Notes: Homemade baked chips can be a challenge to store. They are real food with no nitrogen air added to the storage container. Real food goes bad. But you can extend the life of the chips by keeping them in a salad container or another sealed container. Add a paper towel to keep them as dry as possible. When you are ready to eat them, they will still be delicious, just not as amazing as fresh from the oven. However, you can throw them bake in the oven to crisp them up.

Enjoy!

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How to make Crispy Baked Potato Chips at Home

More than just a healthier choice than store-bought chips, these little chips hit all the bells and whistles as commercial brands. Plus, you have control over ingredients and flavors. This method is more about nailing texture.

A perfect potato chip is crispy and crunchy and saturates your palate with salty goodness, or whatever flavors you like. I like salty goodness. It is an indulgence food. The problem with baked chips is that they often lack that crispy texture that you get from deep fried chips. Even commercial baked chips can feel a bit disappointing. Also, baked chips can be a bit inconsistent, with mushy pieces and burned pieces all in the same batch. But a couple of simple adjustments to the standard high heat baking method yields much better results!

potchips3

Crispy Baked Chip Method

Slice potatoes very thin. For best results get them as thin as you possibly can!

You can use a sharp chef’s knife, but a good mandoline will give you thin and even slices very quickly. If you will make chips frequently, it is worth investing in a mandoline. Just take safety precautions; the blade is very sharp.

potchipsslice1

potchipslices1

Put the potato slices in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for about an hour, or overnight in the fridge. This will remove some of the starches.

Parcook slices.

Pour your hot boiling water over potato slices and allow to sit for 10 minutes. It is better to start with cold water, same as when cooking pasta. Hot water from the tap can impart a slightly funky flavor.

potchipsparcook

Drain off all water. Dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

potchipsdry

In a bowl, sprinkle potatoes with a little cooking oil; you can use whatever is your go-to oil for this. I often use extra virgin olive oil; you will not be subjecting it to high temperature. Sprinkle with salt and whatever seasonings you like. Go easy on salt! Saltiness will be much more pronounced after baking. Use your hands to gently separate potato slices as you mix them, being sure to evenly distribute oil and salt.

potchipsoiled

Spread chips evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Avoid piling chips on each other. You want an even layer for even cooking, but no need to be too precious. Curled crinkled chips make for a really good mouthfeel, and much like what you get in a commercial bag of chips.

potchipsparchment

Bake at 200¬ļ for about 2 hours. They get even more crispy if you slightly crack the oven door, holding it in place with a wooden utensil. After an hour, sample a chip. Then periodically sample until you like the texture. This is not a difficult step. ūüôā

Slow cooking in this way, just above dehydration temperatures, ensures even drying for optimal texture!

potchips2

Enjoy!

Crispy Homemade Baked Potato Chips

If you want to ditch those store-bought chips and still get all the bells and whistles of a crispy potato chip, this is the best way I have found to do!

Ingredients:

  • potatoes, yukon gold, preferably organic with skins on
  • cooking oil
  • salt
  • optional: pepper, flavorings, whatever you like

Method

Slice potatoes very thin. You can use a sharp chef’s knife, but a good mandoline will give you thin and even slices very quickly. If you will make chips frequently, it is worth investing in a mandoline. Just take safety precautions; the blade is very sharp.

Put the potato slices in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for about an hour, or overnight in the fridge. This will remove some of the starches. Drain off water.

Parcook slices. Fill a pot with cold water. Bring it to a boil. Pour it over potato slices (in a heat-safe bowl) and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain off all water. Dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. In a bowl, sprinkle potatoes with a little cooking oil; you can use whatever is your go-to oil for this. I often use extra virgin olive oil; you will not be subjecting it to high temperature. Sprinkle with salt and whatever seasonings you like. Go easy on salt! Saltiness will be much more pronounced after baking. Use your hands to gently separate potato slices as you mix them, being sure to evenly distribute oil and salt.

Spread chips evenly on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Avoid piling chips on each other. You want an even layer for even cooking, but no need to be too precious. Curled crinkled chips make for a really good mouthfeel, and much like what you get in a commercial bag of chips.

Bake at 200¬ļ for about 2 hours. They get even more crispy if you slightly crack the oven door, holding it in place with a wooden utensil. After an hour, sample a chip. Then periodically sample until you like the texture. This is not a difficult step. ūüôā

Serve immediately.

Storage Notes: Homemade baked chips can be a challenge to store. They are real food with no nitrogen air added to the storage container. Real food goes bad. But you can extend the life of the chips by keeping them in a salad container or another sealed container. Add a paper towel to keep them as dry as possible. When you are ready to eat them, they will still be delicious, just not as amazing as fresh from the oven. However, you can throw them back in the oven to crisp them up.

Enjoy!

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Chickpea Meringue – No can! No eggs!

Have you jumped on the aquafaba bandwagon yet? Why should you?

Here’s why:

  • It’s cool.
  • You can make meringue without eggs! If you can’t digest egg protein, try this!
  • You can give this meringue to your children uncooked!
  • You can stir in honey or maple syrup to make a healthy marshmallow cream or fluff!
  • You can make new food out of a throw-away ingredient.
  • It is a vegan’s prayer answered (the ultimate egg white replacer).
  • It is delicious, whether you are vegan or not.
  • You can use it 1000 different ways, probably more.
  • Fluffy, airy, barely there, sweet heavenly clouds of goodness.
  • It’s cool.

That is just off the top of my head… pretty sure we can keep adding to this list.

Bean broth is not new. What innovative people are doing with it IS new. And fascinating! Eager vegans have been purchasing cans of chickpeas just for the brine that is usually discarded. Heads up! Expect to see tons of recipes for chickpeas and beans all over the blogosphere in upcoming weeks. With this simple throw-away ingredient, one can make meringue, pavlova, cookies, cakes, mousse, marshmallow fluff, mayo, pretty much anything for which one would use egg whites.

If you do not have cans of chickpeas, no worries!

no-cans
image credit: hot pepper supplies

For those of us that prefer to have this ingredient WITHOUT THE CAN, and salt and unwanted additives, you can make your own EASILY from dried chickpeas! Why not take more nutrition where you can get it? See how to make can-free aquafaba here.

Three easy steps for egg-free can-free meringue:

  1. Make aquafaba
  2. Remove your homemade aquafaba (bean water) from the fridge
  3. Beat the bean water into fluffy meringue

chickpeabrothmeringue6

The history:

First, credit where credit is due… for the back story on Aquafaba, please¬†click here. ¬†There is already an entire community devoted to understanding the properties and uses for aquafaba. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble by reading up on fails and successes in the community.

It looks like this…

Again, the link for making it from dried beans. Otherwise, you can pour off the liquid from a can of chickpeas.

chickpeabroth4

chickpea broth

chickpeabroth3

Making meringue…

This feels like the perfect time to pull out my Gramma Arzela’s old Sunbeam mixer. My Gramma and Dad have produced tons of mile-high meringue from this trusty machine. ¬†I think it can handle the updated version.

About 3 T chickpea water is the equivalent of one egg white.¬†Whip up as much as you like! …¬†or as much as your recipe calls for.

For meringue, pour a little¬†into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk attachment, beat the liquid until it becomes frothy…

chickpeawaterfroth2

chickpea broth meringue

… and continue beating until you have stiff peaks.

chickpea broth meringue

This will take a while, much longer than egg whites, but you need not worry about over-beating. Just be patient. It will happen!

chickpea broth meringue

Do not add vanilla, sugar, or any other seasoning until it is sufficiently whipped.

chickpea broth meringue

chickpea broth meringue

After you have reached stiff peaks, go ahead and add in vanilla and sugar. You can eat this as-is! Or you can bake it, add it to recipes, whatever you like. But, again, save yourself a fail by checking the forums first for successful technique. Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses

Dear daughter made lemon bars and topped them with this sweetened meringue. Mmmmm

chickpea meringue topped lemon bars

Below are some quick and easy meringue cookies, with just a little vanilla, a pinch of cream of tarter added, and cane sugar… a lot of cane sugar. Other bloggers recommend beating in the sugar until it is no longer grainy. I think I might prefer to use a confectioners sugar next time, or a finely ground date, palm, or coconut sugar, or honey. I have used maple syrup – delicious!

Create little dollops on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and “bake” for about 1.5 hours, very low temp! I kept my oven under 200¬ļ.

chickpea broth meringue

Chickpea Meringue

You can use other beans as well! Some work better than others.

Ingredients:

  • homemade chickpea broth, aka aquafaba (bean water) – easy recipe here
  • optional flavorings: sugars, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, almond extract, etc.

Method

When you are ready to use your bean water, just strain out the chickpeas (which you can use countless ways).

For meringue, pour a little into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk attachment, beat the liquid until it becomes frothy and continue beating until you have stiff peaks. This will take a while, much longer than egg whites, but you need not worry about over-beating. Just be patient. It will happen! Do not add vanilla, sugar, or any other seasoning until it is sufficiently whipped.

Try adding in a few drops of vanilla, and any sugar you have on hand. See cookie notes above. Recommended ratios vary. This process is new!

Use in any recipe that calls for meringue! To avoid recipe fails, check out what others in the vegan community have discovered. Here is a helpful blog dedicated to fails and successes. Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses

Enjoy!

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Aquafaba – without the can!

Aquafaba, aka bean water, is the new egg replacer that has recently taken the vegan world by storm. Simply whipped as you would whip egg whites into a meringue, it beautifully mimics the fluffy, airy, barely-there mouthfeel and flavor that you get from eggs. It is magical!

Over the last few weeks, eager vegans have been purchasing cans of chickpeas for the brine that is usually discarded. With this simple throw-away ingredient, one can make meringue, pavlova, cookies, cakes, mousse, marshmallow fluff, mayo, pretty much anything for which one would use egg whites. How intriguing!

Three easy steps for meringue:

  1. Open a can of chickpeas
  2. Drain the chickpeas
  3. Beat the water into fluffy meringue

There is no confirmation yet as to why this works… so far a lot of speculation. My only real question is: Do we really need to get this miracle ingredient from a can? ‘Not a fan of the can.

Why go can-free?

  • More nutrients! Anything that sprouts still has life in it, and more nutrients. Canned beans are convenient, but they wont sprout. Dried beans do!
  • Some canned foods contain unwanted ingredients.

If dried chickpeas produce the same result, with no weird canny chemical reaction involved, no BPA, no salt, and no miscellaneous unwanted ingredients, I’m in!

chickpeabrothmeringue6

The history:

First, credit where credit is due… for the back story on Aquafaba, please¬†click here. ¬†There is already an entire community devoted to understanding the properties and uses for aquafaba. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble by reading up on fails and successes in the community.

Bean water, as an ingredient, is not new. It makes a GREAT vegetarian broth for soups and stews, in lieu of chicken broth. The froth on the water of cooked chickpeas can be used as a leavening agent to make bread. Apparently, this was a technique used by Greek grandmothers in times of poverty. Clever!

It is also great for thinning out hummus, and for making a variety of sauces. The viscosity gives your dish body, and the broth can add a very subtle layer of flavor.

chickpeabroth4

Can you do this without a can?
Turns out, yes you can!

And I like it better. It produces a clean taste, no tinny notes. When flavorings are added, it perfectly mimics egg white flavor and texture.

Making aquafaba, aka bean water or bean broth,¬†from dried beans…

Optional: Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, preferably spring water. One cup of dried chickpeas will grow to about 2 1/2 cups after the are soaked overnight.

You may get a stronger meringue by not soaking the beans first. However, soaked chickpeas cook in 50 minutes or less every time, and produce tender and delicious beans with no fuss.

My bean broth from presoaked chickpeas whipped up into meringue just fine.

chickpeassoak1

After soaking, drain the water.

chickpeasdrain1

Add soaked chickpeas to a pot and cover with water, by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender. This will take about 50 minutes. Begin checking beans around 35 – 40 minutes. If you have not soaked your beans, that’s fine, just allow for whatever cooking time the beans need. They may cook quickly or very slowly. When they are tender and you like them, they’re done!

With a slotted spoon, remove chickpeas from the water. Place them into a mason jar or another heat-safe container for refrigeration. Continue to simmer water until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 – 2 cups. Pour water over chickpeas and cover, for storage.

canchickpeas2

Here is just the broth. It is cooled and ready to use. ūüôā

chickpea broth

chickpeabroth3

Starches in the chickpeas make the water slightly viscous.

chickpeabroth2

The color will disappear when you beat it into meringue. Once aerated, it becomes a beautiful creamy white color, just like egg whites.

chickpea broth meringue

See more meringue-making images here!

Aquafaba – without the can!

aka: bean water or broth for the ultimate egg white replacer
Chickpeas work very well. Other beans can be used as well, some  more successfully than others.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • water for soaking, 2-3 cups
  • water for cooking

Method

Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, preferably spring water. (Soaking is optional. See notes.) After soaking, drain the water. Add soaked chickpeas to a pot and cover with water, by about 2 inches (over the top of chickpeas). Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender. This will take about 50 minutes. Begin checking beans around 35 – 40 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove chickpeas from the water. Place them into a mason jar or another heat-safe container for refrigeration. Continue to simmer water until it is reduced to about 1.5  to 2 cups remaining liquid. Pour water over chickpeas and cover, for storage.

Done!

When you are ready to use your bean water, just strain out the chickpeas (which you can use countless ways).

Notes: One cup dried chickpeas = about 2 1/2 cups soaked chickpeas (soaked overnight)
It may be possible to get results from the soaking water; I have not worked enough with it to determine its potential. Also, you can certainly skip the soaking step. This may even yield a stronger meringue. I prefer to soak first to get a more reliable cooking time for my chickpeas. Otherwise, they can be a bit temperamental. If you have not soaked your beans, allow for an adjustment in cooking time. They may cook very quickly or very slowly.

Enjoy!

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Yuca Tots

“These tots are so crunchy on the outside that it feels as though you are biting into nothing, like light fluffy popcorn. Then you get the second layer, that substantial tender creamy inside” – my son’s description… pretty good. For him, it is all about texture.

After many failed attempts, success! A yuca tot that we really love, and is easy to make. This, after the complicated methods just did not measure up. This is not a quick method, as there is soaking and fermenting involved. But it is super easy! And the time-intensive part requires absolutely no attention from you. You just ferment and forget.

The flavor is very clean and straight-forward; they do not taste acidic like many fermented foods, just yummy. The natural yuca starches hold these tots together with no need for any other ingredients.

Simple. Clean. Easy.

Happens to be vegan and paleo.

Yuca Tots

How to make tots from Yuca

Peel yuca. Discard the peel. Do not eat raw yuca (toxic).

yuccapeelchop1

Cut yuca into equal sized chucks so it will process easily. Place yuca into a food processor, and pulse until it looks like rice.

yucagrate1

yucagrated1

To ferment yuca and remove toxins, soak the grated yuca in water. Set aside, in a cool place.

yucasoak3

yucasoak2

Leave it there overnight. After one day’s ferment, much of the toxin is removed and you can rinse and cook yuca. If you prefer, allow yuca to soak/ferment for 3 days, changing the water each day. It becomes even more easily digestible. You will wash away much of its starch and juices. That’s a good thing in this case.¬†On the third day, refrigerate the grated yuca.

finalferment1

When you are ready to make your tots. Strain and rinse yuca one last time.

yucarinse1

Then steam grated yuca until just tender. For about 2 cups of grated and fermented yuca, this should take about 12-15 minutes.

Do not overcook or over mix the yuca and turn it to mush. We are looking for those distinct little bits and pieces that will make this a proper tot.

yucasteam1

Remove from steamer (and place into a bowl of plate) and very gently mix in salt and pepper, to taste. You can add other seasonings, if you like.

yucatots_1

It is EASY to form tot shapes. You can do this one at a time using your fingers. Yuca gets very sticky. Slightly wet your fingers, or better yet, oil them. to prevent sticking.

yucatots_2

A quicker method for forming tots is to spread out a piece of plastic wrap. Then spoon yuca onto one end of the wrap in a long row, or snake.

yucatotsform3

Gently wrap it and roll it into plastic wrap, shaping as you go.

yucatotsform2

Unroll, and with a wet knife, cut the roll into 1 inch pieces to form tots.

yucatotsform4

yucatotsform5

Pan fry tots until golden brown. They may loose their shape a bit. Deep frying will help in retaining the shape, if you don’t mind all the oil. We like coconut oil. It is not so heavy and full of Omega 6. It is a good fat. When tots are golden brown, drain them on a rack or paper towels. Serve immediately.

yucatotsfry2

yucatotsfry1

Sprinkle with a little salt. Serve immediately. With catsup or sauce.

Yuca Tots

Yuca Tots

One medium sized yuca yields about 48 tots, depending upon how big you form your tots.

Ingredients

  • fresh yuca, aka cassava, manioc
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Peel yuca. Discard the peel. Do not eat raw yuca (toxic). Cut yuca into equal sized chucks so it will process easily. Place yuca into a food processor, and pulse until it looks like rice.

To ferment yuca and remove toxins, soak the grated yuca in water. Set aside, in a cool place. Leave it there overnight. After one day’s ferment, much of the toxin is removed and you can rinse and cook yuca. If you prefer, allow yuca to soak/ferment for 3 days, changing the water each day. It becomes even more easily digestible. You will wash away much of its starch and juices. That’s a good thing in this case.¬†On the third day, refrigerate the grated yuca.

When you are ready to make your tots. Strain and rinse yuca one last time. Then steam grated yuca until just tender. For about 2 cups of grated and fermented yuca, this should take about 12-15 minutes. Do not overcook or over mix the yuca and turn it to mush. We are looking for those distinct little bits and pieces that will make this a proper tot. Remove from steamer (and place into a bowl of plate) and very gently mix in salt and pepper, to taste. You can add other seasonings, if you like.

It is EASY to form tot shapes. You can do this one at a time using your fingers. Yuca gets very sticky. Slightly wet your fingers, or better yet, oil them. to prevent sticking. A quicker method for forming tots is to spread out a piece of plastic wrap. Then spoon yuca onto one end of the wrap in a long row, or snake. Gently wrap it and roll it into plastic wrap, shaping as you go. Unroll, and with a wet knife, cut the roll into 1 inch pieces to form tots.

Pan fry tots until golden brown. They may loose their shape a bit. Deep frying will help in retaining the shape, if you don’t mind all the oil. We like coconut oil. It is not so heavy and full of Omega 6. It is a good fat. When tots are golden brown, drain them on a rack or paper towels. Serve immediately.

Notes:¬†One medium sized yuca yielding about 3 1/2 cups of grated and soaked yuca, will make about 48 tots… depending on the size of your tots. Adjust steaming time based on the amount of grated yuca you have. You can gently stir half-way through cook time.

Enjoy!

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