The title does sound a bit dodgy, I know. ‘Juice’ gives it a sense of horror. We’re going to embrace that horror together and at the end you’ll be glad we made this journey.
There has been a food trend buzzing round the virtual kitchens: aquafaba. It sounds like a sort of snorkel. It’s not – it’s the brine from chickpeas or other beans canned in water. Foodies have discovered this slightly viscous substance acts in a similar way to egg, and various experiments have been conducted, producing smooth, perfectly-formed macarons and snowy meringue peaks among other things. The Vegan Society has a recipe for chocolate mousse among others. The Guardian wrote a piece on this revolutionary substance as well if you want to find out a bit more about it.
Honestly, I’ve been itching to give aquafaba a go. It would reduce waste, since beans are always bouncing around my lunchbox and on my dinner plate and I often find myself at the sink, risking bean lives to drain the water without committing one to the plughole. Plus, it would be pretty cool to imbue a seemingly absurd sentence ‘bean juice pancake’ with truth in it.
My opportunity came on Saturday, when a pleasantly slow morning turned into a quest for a brunch idea. The kidney beans on my shelf caught my eye. Then I realised what I had missed: what they were sitting in.
When you look for pancake recipes online they tend to ‘serve 12’, which is a little ambitious if planning a brunch4one. So I tried to tune into my cooking instinct (you have one too) and used my experience with pancakes to create a batter whose consistency and appearance I was satisfied with. I sautéed a spoonful of kidney beans and grated courgette, threw them on top of the crepe and drizzled with hot sauce.
It was actually a pancake. A tasty, standard savoury pancake and I think it would be great as a sweet pancake too. The kidney bean bath water was put to a fantastic use. This is a recipe for home use, I promise.
For 1 romantic pancake
2 tablespoons kidney bean juice
3 tablespoons milk
1 big handful of flour
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon kidney beans
1/3 courgette, grated
Other ideas: mushrooms, quorn, cheese, other vegetables, other beans or lentils
- Combine juice, milk, flour and salt and whisk until smooth. Add more aquafaba/flour to create a consistency that resembles pancake batter.
- Cook kidney beans and courgette in a small amount of oil
- Grease a pancake pan/frying pan
- When hot, pour in the pancake mixture, ensuring it is evenly spread across the pan surface
- Flip it after a couple of minutes
- Flip onto a plate, follow with your filling, and add your favourite sauce
Bean there, got the t-shirt and will wear it again. Your turn!!