Vegan Sugar Free Meringues

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I was pretty skeptical when I heard you could use chickpea brine (now called “aquafaba”) to make into meringues. Even if they did whip up, wouldn’t they taste like hummus meringues? Not that there is anything wrong with hummus but it’s not necessarily what I would consider a good flavor for a dessert cookie.
Despite my skepticism, I decided to give it a shot and I was happily surprised! Though they did not hold their shape like meringues made with egg whites, they were a nice sweet treat with a great crunch and they certainly fluffed up like regular ‘ol egg whites.
I made my meringues with stevia which could be one of the reasons that the meringues didn’t hold their shape as well, but I played around a bit with the stevia I used when making several batches of these meringues and my findings were as follows-
Do NOT use liquid stevia. I put my meringues in the oven using liquid stevia and asked my boyfriend to take them out when the timer rang when I was on a run and he was very confused when he took out an empty tray from the oven… I’m guessing the liquid stevia didn’t hold up so the meringues just became liquid again and then cooked off. As far as granular stevia, a lot of the brands don’t mix well. My best suggestion is to blend your granulated stevia in a food processor or blender to make a powdered stevia so it mixes well into the mixture and doesn’t have the same strong after taste as the straight granulated stevia.

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Ingredients:
Chickpea brine from a 16oz can of chickpeas (approximately 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup sugar of choice (coconut sugar, white sugar, stevia, etc.)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cream of tartar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Strain chickpeas and place all chickpea brine/ aquafaba into a large bowl. Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat mixture on high for 10-15 minutes. You’re going to want to kill me for how long this takes but I promise it’s worth it!
Once the brine has reached stiff peaks, gently beat in your sweetener, vanilla and cream of tartar.
Now like a sheet pan or tray with parchment paper or a silpat and begin placing your meringue mixture on the pan. You can either try making a more traditional meringue shape by spooning your mixture into a pastry bag (or a makeshift one like I did by snipping the corner of a ziploc bag) or you can simply spoon the mixture by the 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons full.
Bake the meringues for 60 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing.

Enjoy!

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Spiced Cauliflower Tomato Soup

Soup is the best thing in the cold months. Even out here in California, temperatures are dropping and I love warming up a nice cup of soup when I come home.
To really get full though, I like thick or chunky soups and this recipe certainly does not disappoint.
This soup is super tasty, ultra thick and under 60 calories per cup. Oh it’s vegan, gluten free (duh) and 3.5 grams of fiber!

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Makes 5 1 cup Servings

Ingredients:
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cups cauliflower
1 small hot chili pepper
3 cups organic vegetable broth (add more for thinner soup)
¾ -1 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme and black pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste

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Directions:
Cut onion into smaller pieces and mince garlic cloves.
Spray the bottom of a large pot with olive oil over medium heat. Place onions and garlic in the pot. Stir occasionally until onions soften.
Cut chili pepper and place it into pot along with cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower but fresh works well too.
Stir around until cauliflower softens (around 5 minutes).
Add in vegetable broth and tomatoes, stir, and turn up heat and wait until soup comes to a boil.
Once at a boil, turn flame down to a simmer, cover pot, and let cook for 25-30 minutes.
After the 25-30 minutes are up, add in spices. Taste mixture to see if you would like to adjust your spices.
Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the entire soup and then you’re done!
Note- this freezes well so feel free to keep out what you will eat within a few days and freeze the rest in an airtight container!

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