Use Chickpea Liquid to Make the Fluffiest Egg-Free Pancakes Ever

Recipes and techniques generally advance in baby steps. It’s rare that you find a technique so far out of left field that it changes the way people think about food overnight. Sous vide cooking is up there, as is no-knead bread. In the world of vegan cuisine, nothing has shaken things up like aquafaba—the recently coined term for the liquid inside a can of cooked beans. It’s the kind of technique that’s so mind-blowingly simple that I’m amazed nobody discovered it until just a couple of years ago.

Source: Use Aquafaba to Make Extra-Light, Fluffy Egg-Free or Vegan Pancakes

I discovered aquafaba with a recipe for two ingredient meringues a few months ago. It has since nearly completely replaced my use of prepackaged egg substitutes. I am eating a lot more chickpeas now as a result. I’ve also found that canned chickpeas freeze well and defrost quickly.

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Waffle Smores Are the Dessert, Breakfast, or Anytime Snack You’ve Been Waiting for

The only thing saving me is that I don’t have a waffle iron handy.

Make Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies in Under 3 Minutes in the Microwave

I adjusted the recipe just a bit, didn’t have chocolate chips but grated some butterfinger bites into it and instead of a microwave used my waffle iron. Let cool a little, and they were prefect (and no waste).

Turn Leftover Beer (or Any Beer) Into a Tasty Toffee Sauce

Recently, I made beer caramel sauce and beer toffee sauce. (I have an entire list of things I’ve been meaning to try with beer… I’m just trying to check them off!)

Source: How to Turn Leftover Beer into Toffee Sauce

This recipe is stone soup. The non-beer ingredients this recipe calls for are the magic, not the “leftover beer” 😉

Curious now how much vitamin K is in dairy cream?

Vanilla, Or What’s The Difference Between Extract and Essence?

Depends on how picky you want to be about your recipe 😉

Vanilla extract is the real stuff – vanilla beans that have been in an alcohol solution, strained so you use the liquid.  Here’s the nutritional information (no vitamin K in case you’re wondering).

That means that vanilla essence is the imitation/synthetic stuff.  Again, no vitamin K in vanilla essence

The price difference is noticeable, but not as bad as say pine nuts… 😉

I wanted to make my own vanilla extract, but between time and cost – store bought suits me fine.

How to Make Flavored Spirits That Are Way Tastier Than Store-Bought

Walk into any big box liquor store and you’re likely to see shelves and shelves of colorfully packaged vodkas with flavors ranging from “cookie dough” to “Swedish fish.” Though marvels of flavor chemistry, these spirits often taste cloying or artificial, and aren’t good for much more than a novelty shot. Homemade infusions, however, are a completely different story, and have the added benefit of letting you control the outcome.

Source: How to Make Flavored Spirits That Are Way Tastier Than Store-Bought

Everclear is an even better option than vodka, if you can get it.  I have the zest of Meyer lemons for limoncello, just as soon as I can get some.

If you’re looking to speed up the process, you need are the ingredients you’d use anyway and a whipping siphon. You’ll also need some nitrous oxide (N2O) chargers for the siphon to get the job done. The siphon is designed for whipped creams and toppings, but it works great for infusions as well.  The video shows you how it’s done:

Take Your Summer Lemonade to the Next Level with Vanilla Bean

“Don’t worry, it’s not dirt.” They reassured their customers. “It’s our secret ingredient: vanilla bean!”

With equal parts relief and curiosity, their customers took a sip, many of them proclaiming the cup the best they’ve ever had. My three little entrepreneurs beamed with pride, and off to the side, I did too—proud of my lemonade patrons and quite proud to have discovered how those little vanilla flecks turn a simple, summer classic into something special and, really, quite profitable.

Source: Secret-Ingredient Lemonade

My first thought is that business model.  Vanilla bean is not cheap, so I wonder if the kids actually made a profit.  I suggest using vanilla bean paste, not extract. 1 tablespoon = 1 vanilla bean. Vanilla extract would taste too harsh.

Other alternatives to try:

  • mint, to make limonana
  • basil

Study: 8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep

…real, successful, sustainable weight loss comes from achieving excellence in a completely unexpected realm: the bedroom.

No, you can’t lovemake your way to lean. (Although if you want to try, check out our steamy story on 8 Libido-Boosting Superfoods.) But you can absolutely sleep your way to slender. In fact, no matter how many pounds you press, how many miles you log, how much kohlrabi you crunch, it won’t get you anywhere near your weight-loss goals unless you’re also getting enough quality sleep. A recent study found sub-par sleep could undermine weight loss by as much as 55 percent! The good news is just a few simple tweaks to your p.m. routine can mean serious weight loss success. So open your eyes: Here are eight science-backed suggestions to lose while you snooze.

Source: 8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep

The first one – kitchen hours – has been previously covered.  Tolerating colder temperatures could save you heating costs while your body works to stay warmer.

What isn’t mentioned is how important sleep is when training.  One triathlete was saying that it was the sleep two days before your race that was important – because the night before you’re getting things together and in some cases – getting up in the early morning to fuel up.  But exercise in general needs rest to fully recover.

Your Sense of Taste is Better Than You Realize

The old “tongue map” from our elementary school textbooks has been roundly debunked. Experimental confirmation of “umami” expanded Westerners’ traditional four basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, and bitter—into five. But did you know those 5 basic tastes might actually be 6 . . . or 7, 8, or more?

Advances in the technology and techniques available to researchers have led to significant new discoveries in taste perception. Receptors have been discovered in the last few years for “tastes” long assumed to be entirely smell or texture dependent. What tastes have you been tasting your whole life without even knowing it?

Source: You Have Better Taste Than You Realize

Since the full sensation of carbonation involves both taste receptors and pain receptors, you might also just not enjoy the pain.  But there are “supertasters” who are significantly more sensitive to taste than the general population.  Women are much more likely to be supertasters – 35% of women vs. 15% of men.

Spicy (and menthol) triggers the non-taste general sense cells (which is why it also burns if it gets in your eyes, or up your nose, or even on your skin in sufficient doses). Several non-Western cultures consider “spicy” or “pungent” to be a basic taste, but within the scientific community’s current general understanding of “taste,” it isn’t one.

Taste researchers do work to isolate smell from taste when they’re doing experiments, because even a tiny bit of odor can go a very long way. Just a whiff of vanilla, for example, can make people think they’re tasting something sweetened, even if it contains no sugar at all.

Somewhat surprisingly, nose clips are usually enough to keep smell out entirely. Because they cut off airflow on one end of the nasal cavity, they also stifle airflow past the back end where it opens into the back of the mouth. Sometimes in rat experiments the researchers will go even further to seal things off, but with humans the clips are generally enough to be sure that their subjects are tasting, not smelling.

…but you could use a little more salt.