You’ll notice a bit of time (about three weeks) has passed since I last posted, and that’s mostly because I am entering my final days as an AmeriCorps member and trying to spend as much time with my friends and coworkers here in Ellensburg before we all go our separate ways. With the hot weather here, my appetite has gone down significantly and all I want to eat is cold fruit and drink water. In consideration of my roommate, I have not been baking as much because our house is old-fashioned and we do not have central air. Most of my meals lately have been no cook recipes. For example, my favorite breakfast is overnight mango coconut chia seed pudding, and I have been going for good old mason jar salads for lunch.
If you follow as many vegan food blogs as I do, you’re probably familiar with the new aquafaba trend. Aquafaba, which is basically the liquid you usually drain out when you open a can of garbanzo (chickpeas) or white beans, can be whipped into a consistency similar to that of marshmallow fluff or whipped egg whites. This is a BIG break through for vegans, since both marshmallows and egg whites are not vegan and difficult/expensive to substitute in recipes.
Yesterday, I gave this recipe I got from Chocolate Covered Katie a shot, and it worked really well! All you do is drain a can of bean liquid (not the beans, just the liquid) into a bowl, add a few drops of vanilla extract, about 1/3 cup of maple syrup, and 1/2 tablespoon of cream of tartar, and beat with a mixer for 15 minutes. Here is my fluff after 0, 3, 10, and 15 minutes of beating. It tasted just like marshmallows at the end!
If you Google this, it looks like most people bake the fluff into meringue cookies or use it to top meringue pies. If used immediately (the fluff falls flat after a while, but can be rebeaten), it makes a great frosting for cupcakes! You could also beat the fluff without the sweeteners and use it in place of egg whites in baking.
One thing I have not seen on the internet though is the first food that comes to my mind when I think of marshmallows- rice krispies treats! Coincidentally, one of the participants in my monthly cooking class at the senior center requested a recipe for healthier peanut butter marshmallow treats, so I did some finagling and put together a recipe using brown rice cereal, peanut butter, and the vegan marshmallow fluff. I was tempted to bake the fluff to make it more solid before adding them to the cereal, but decided it try it out raw instead. There is still a marshmallow taste and somewhat of an airy texture in the bars, but the bars are definitely not as sticky as the store-bought rice krispie treats.
Recipe: Healthier Vegan Rice Krispies Treats (Gluten-Free)
Makes 16-20 bars.
- 1 recipe of vegan marshmallow fluff (see above or Chocolate Covered Katie link)
- 8 cups brown rice cereal (Nature’s Path, Earth’s Best or Erewhon can be found in the organic section of grocery stores),
- 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter, plus more as needed for texture, melted
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed for stickiness
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup add-ins (I used shredded coconut, dried cherries, and slivered almonds), or an additional 1/2 cup of cereal
- Combine melted peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in large bowl.
- Add in cereal, and any add-in ingredients, one cup at a time, and mix until cereal is mostly coated. Mixture will seem a bit dry until marshmallow fluff is added.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in marshmallow fluff, once small scoop at a time. Doing this slowly and carefully will help keep the fluff aerated.
- Mixture should be fairly wet and sticky. If needed, add a little more peanut butter or maple syrup to hold everything together.
- Spread mixture flat in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Freeze for one hour, or until solid. Run a knife under warm water and cut the bars into desired size. Store bars in refrigerator.