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Aquafaba is the magical water that can be drained from a can of chickpeas and various types of legumes. If you're vegan, you're bound to have lots of legumes in your pantry, so why not use that liquid to make something delicious and not let it go to waste.
This wonderful discovery of the magical abilities of aquafaba came to light when I was attempting to veganize my mum's famous Lemon Meringue Pie. I was so nervous it would be a complete fail and had no idea what I would use to make the toughest component; meringue!
Meringue is traditionally made with egg whites, but if you're vegan like us, you've got to find an egg free alternative. There are so many things you can use to replace eggs with like: banana, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc, which is great, however, replacing egg whites to make meringue is a bit tricky. We tried using aquafaba and found it makes a beautiful, thick meringue and to our delight, stiff peaks!
Vegan meringue is only one of the many things you can use with your discarded chickpea water.
You can use aquafaba to make things like pavlova, mayo, mousse, macarons, and the list goes on.
The easiest recipe being vegan meringue can be made with 3 simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen:
Vegan Meringue Recipe
*Recipe adapted from Bosh
Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
200g or Caster Sugar or Icing sugar
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
* You can make your own food colouring with beetroot by juicing it or puréing it and straining the liquid to yield 3tsp to add to the whipped aquafaba or use a vegan friendly food colouring of your choice.
1. Add Aquafaba (chickpea water), Sugar and Cream of Tartar to a bowl.
2. Use stand mixer or electric beaters to beat/mix on high for 10 - 20 mins, until you have a thick cream.
*You will know when it's ready when you can take your beaters or a spoon and hang upside down over your head and the meringue is stiff and doesn't slide off.
3. If using food colouring, add in now. Mix lightly for a white and pink colour.
Now to decide what to do with your vegan meringue...
You can make little meringue nests by spooning the mixture into 8cm circles (you can trace around your can of chickpeas for size) on a lined baking sheet and bake for 2-3 hours at 100°C. Make sure to flip the baking sheet over if you've used a pencil or pen to trace and use the other side.
You can spoon your mixture into a piping bag and make little meringue kisses (about 1-2cm wide) and bake for 1.5 hours at 100°C.
This is a super fun activity to do with kids and you can decorate your nests with passionfruit, coconut yogurt, strawberries and even use your little meringue kisses as decorations for a cake.
Be sure to tag us on Instagram and Facebook if you end up making these!