Think about the last time you made your favorite recipe using canned dried beans. You likely strained the beans and rinsed the juice down the drain. Have you ever wondered what else you could do with the liquid?
Aquafaba (Latin for water and beans), the liquid from canned dried beans, is a popular vegan egg substitute for meringues, mousses, and whipped creams. It has also been touted as a useful alternative for individuals with egg allergies, allowing them to enjoy some recipes that they traditionally would not be able to.
Aquafaba’s ratio of starch and protein makes it work like a binding agent, thickener, and emulsifier. A food safety benefit of aquafaba is the reduced risk of foodborne illness. It does not need to be baked and has a lower chance of contamination in contrast to traditional egg-containing recipes where Salmonella would be a common bacteria of concern.
Here’s what you need to know to try this new food trend:
• 3 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 whole egg
• 2 tablespoons of aquafaba = 1 egg white
• As a binding agent, be sure to slightly whip the aquafaba until it is foamy before using.
• In meringues and mousses, whip with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar for 5–10 minutes until stiff peaks form.
• Look for low-sodium or no-salt-added beans if you plan to use the aquafaba to decrease sodium content.
Although the amount of aquafaba in most recipes will be minimal, you may experience gastrointestinal distress or flatulence if you are sensitive to bean sugars. You may want to take a test run to see how you will respond to the product.
Source: Today’s Dietitian
Many crazy diets appear in the headlines. Some recent offerings include the feeding tube diet and the tapeworm diet. The latest diet to make headlines is the cotton ball diet, and the science behind it resembles the structure of cotton—unsupportive fluff.
The diet involves consuming five cotton balls dipped in orange juice, lemonade, or a smoothie. The claim is that you will feel full without gaining weight. Some dieters consume these before their meal to limit calorie intake, while others rely exclusively on the cotton balls as their “food” intake.
Medical experts agree that nothing good can come of this diet, and in fact it is very dangerous for the following reasons:
- Cotton balls may not be cotton—most are bleached polyester fibers that contain lots of chemicals
- Eating synthetic cotton balls is similar to eating cloth, or even buttons or coins
- Risks include choking, malnutrition, or even worse, a blockage in the intestinal tract, which can be life-threatening
A healthier and safer approach to feel full is to make sure you get plenty of fiber in your diet. Follow these tips to get the recommended 25 to 38 grams of fiber each day:
- Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (beans and peas), which are all good sources of fiber
- Look at the Nutrition Facts Panel for a product’s fiber content—20 percent or more is considered high
- Include fiber-rich foods with meals and snacks
For more information on how to safely achieve and maintain a healthy weight, visit MyPlate.
Want to know more about choosing high fiber foods? Check out these resources:
Serves: 8 (Serving size: 1 1⁄2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3 pounds winter squash peeled and diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans pinto or other canned beans, drained and rinsed
- 10 ounces spinach, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
- 1 lime, cut into wedges – optional
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven (or thickwalled, usually cast iron cooking pot with tight-fitting lid) over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add squash, tomato, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is very soft and almost breaking apart, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer 3 cups of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in beans and spinach and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrient information per serving
223 calories; 3 gm fat (2 gm sat., 0 gm mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 310 mg sodium; 43 gm carbohydrates; 0 gm added sugars; 10 gm fiber; 11 gm protein; 927 mg potassium
Adapted from www.eatingwell.com/recipes/