Tag Archive for vegan

Vegan Jerky

One of the common questions that vegans and vegetarians get a lot of the time is “where do you get your protein?”

It’s actually pretty surprising how easy it is to get plant-based sources of protein in your diet. Not all protein needs to be a big steak!

vegan jerky

For me, personally, peanut butter is something I eat pretty much every day, and cheese is a pretty big staple for me. I also eat quite a few legumes: beans, chickpeas and lentils (my freezer is still full of chickpeas from that time I wrote an Aquafaba cookbook). You might be surprised to learn quinoa is also packed with protein.

And then there’s tofu. Look–I’ve been pretty honest with you guys about how I feel about tofu. It’s not my favorite. I have a hard time infusing any flavor into it, no matter what I do to it. But I do still eat it some.

Tempeh is kind of like tofu’s cousin. Regular tofu is made from soybeans, but tempeh is made from fermented soy. Fermenting makes it easier to digest, if you have a tough time eating beans. Additionally, just one cup has 30 grams of protein! Not bad at all…

I recently ran into a new, local tempeh manufacturer here in Vancouver called Tempea. I discovered them at The Wellness Show, but you can run into them at Farmer’s Markets all over the Lower Mainland. I love to support local business, so the Tempea Tempeh is the basis of this recipe.

Now, let’s talk Jerky for a sec. Once thought to be the food of late-night 7-11 runs and hunters, the Paleo/Primal movement has caused a resurgence in jerky’s cool factor. When made with meat, jerky is basically cured and dried to the point where it won’t spoil. It becomes lighter, and very portable and packable. Full of protein, it makes a great snack to take a on hike or a longer trip where you won’t have access to purchase food. For the rest of us, it can make a great post-workout snack.

While traditional jerky is usually made with meat, you can make vegan jerky using tofu. This vegan, however, is made with tempeh. It’s pretty simple to do. You marinade the tempeh (cut in thin slices) overnight, then dehydrate them the next day. I used my dehydrator for this, but you could just as easily do it in your oven at very low temp.

Et voila! A light, portable, tasty, full-of-protein snack!

Tempeh Jerky

Vegan Jerky

Ingredients:

  • Tempeh (I used Tempea)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6 drops liquid smoke
  • a couple dashes of hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Method:

  1. Slice the tempeh thin and set aside.
  2. In a mason jar, combine all the marinade ingredients and shake well. Add the tempeh and make sure it is all well-coated in the marinade. You can add some water if you like to give it more volume. Place in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, remove the tempeh from the marinade and dry on paper towels.
  4. Place in a single layer in your dehydrator, and allow to dehydrate for about 2-2 1/2 hours on 225 degrees. If you don’t have a dehydrator, place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees, for about 2-2 1/2 hours. Store in an air-tight container.

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

What Kinds of Sugars Work with Aquafaba Meringue?

A few months back, while I was working on my cookbook, I spent a day playing with different kinds of sugars.

There are lots of folks out there (especially in the vegan community) that are trying to avoid sugar, or at least cut down on it.

An additional note to make is that most people assume that granulated sugar (which is what I primarily use to make Aquafaba meringue) is vegan. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

Different Sugars and Aquafaba

But it turns out that some sugar is processed by filtering it through bone char, which would render it non-vegan for most, given that the sugar has come into contact with an animal product (despite the fact that it contains no animal products). If you live here in BC, our main supplier of sugar is Roger’s, and their sugar is indeed filtered through bone char.

Again, it all just depends on whether or not you are vegan–there are certainly lots of people who may use aquafaba for other reasons.

But let’s go with this–let’s say you are vegan and you’re trying to avoid granulated sugar–which, let’s face it, is the worst kind for you, anyway.

You have lots of options! Basically any sugar that is unrefined, organic or raw, will not be filtered through bone char (here’s a list of vegan sugars). BUT if you’re making aquafaba meringue, will these sugars work?

Sugar is important to the process. When you’re making a meringue, sugar helps to stabilize the aquafaba, and of course, if you’re adding it to desserts, it adds sweetness. I’ve made aquafaba meringue without sugar (just some stabilizer like cream of tartar) and it worked fine for non-sweet recipes, but most of the time, I’m using it in sweeter interpretations, so I do add sugar.

I was curious to see what sugars worked best with aquafaba, so I did a little experiment.

I tried making meringue with aquafaba and 6 different kinds of sugars.

For these, I used the ratio:

  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

I then fired all of that in my KitchenAid stand mixer and let it go for about 6-10 minutes.

Organic: Organic sugar is less processed than white sugar. First off, it comes from organic sugarcane, and secondly, there are no chemical processes done to the sugarcane. So it’s a much purer result.

Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar has a lower GI (about 30-35) than regular sugar, which is why it’s becoming so popular right now. I actually like this one quite a bit.

Turbinado: this is “Sugar in the Raw” or raw sugar. It’s a coarser grain and a darker colour.

Brown Sugar: So, while it might seem less refined than white sugar (and to some degree it is), brown sugar is mostly white sugar with molasses added back in for flavor and colour. So, again, ideally buy the organic version of this to ensure it’s vegan, if that’s your deal.

Xylitol: made from the bark of birch trees (I know, sounds weird, right?) Xylitol is as sweet as sugar, so you can use it cup-for-cup, but it’s natural, and doesn’t have an aftertaste like stevia does. It’s also basically zero on the GI scale, so it’s kind of like sugar free sugar.

Monkfruit: It’s made from a tropical melon, and it’s pretty sweet, though it has a GI of zero. I’ve been using it for about a year. You have to be careful not to use too much. I put some in my coffee the other day and couldn’t drink it. Monkfruit was the only sweetener that did not work at all with the Aquafaba.

Conclusion: they all worked with aquafaba to some degree. Some formed better peaks than others. Surprisingly, Xylitol worked really well. The browner sugars changed the colour of the meringue, so if that’s an issue for you, stick to to organic white sugar.

 

Save

Save

Save

« Older Entries