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Aquafaba and Nooch: Why we're obsessed
These mighty plant ingredients that will tip the balance from plain plants to flavour forever
Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker | The Best Gluten Free Mac 'n' Cheese
When starting to eat more plants, don't make the mistake of sticking to hummus, pita and crunchy raw veg - you've just entered a brave new world of exciting flavours and intriguing ingredients. Crushed herbs, spice hits, nut-butter and cacao will always help bring your snacks and mealtimes to the next level, but there are a few ingredients that will change everything.
We can't get enough of nutritional yeast, A.K.A. nooch. It's the holy grail of plant-based foods. For cheesy, nutty flavour, add it to creamy sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, pasta, salad dressings… anything you want really. Just keep adding and tasting as you go for the perfect flavour.
It seems funny at first, but soon you’ll never go a week without it. Get the B12 variety and you’re golden! Nooch also contains B vitamins, folic acid, zinc and a little protein too. Here’s a link.
Aquafaba will help you make and bake without the need for traditional egg whites (which are so 2017). This may sound strange, but it’s simply the water you drain from a can of chickpeas. It's perfect for binding and can be whipped up into stiff peaks for crispy, crunchy meringues or folded into indulgent dark chocolate, for a light and airy mousse.
Photo Credit : Wholefully.com | The Life-Changing Magic Of Cashew Cream
We love them salted or roasted but did you know cashews can be used a little more creatively?
Cashews can be blended to create cashew cream, milk, cheesy sauces, raw cakes, they’re even being blended and fermented to create artisan vegan cheese... basically, if you’re making anything creamy...use cashews.
Cashews are also an excellent source of copper, magnesium, good fats, vitamins E and K, they also contain protein, iron and selenium, which all help the body to maintain normal functioning.
Chia + Flaxseed
Chia and flaxseed are both an excellent source of short chain omega 3 alpha linoleic acid (ALA), these fats are essential and can be tough to find when trying an all plant-based diet. That makes them an essential.
Add to smoothies, porridge, and granola or use them as binder in your favourite cake. For more info on flaxseed eggs, check out our earlier post.
Feeling healthy? Both chia and flax are similar nutritionally, high in fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, but flax are slightly higher in ALA, whilst chia seeds are higher in iron, calcium, selenium and fibre.
Tofu is so misunderstood, but at some point on your plant-powered journey, you’ll taste tofu cooked the way it should be and be absolutely sold!
Add to stir-fries, marinated in tamari for a crispy, soothing texture or thicken up your favourite mousse blend.
- Step 1: Buy fresh, firm tofu (not shelf-stable silken).
- Step 2: Press the tofu.
- Step 3: Cut into cubes or slices.
- Step 4: Coat in marinade, leave for 30 mins and then bake, or fry with a little oil until crispy, then pour over the sauce and stir until reduced.
If you haven’t had a chance to try any of the above foods yet, we hope we’ve sparked some inspiration for you. Happy cooking!