Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian cooking’

According to a 2018 Nielsen report, 39% of Americans are shifting toward eating more plant-based foods – for various reasons and to varying degrees. Some potential draws of a plant-based diet include health benefits, food safety, cost savings, ethics, and sustainability. As depicted in the graphic below from Illinois Extension, plant-based eating can range from a diet that proportionally includes more foods from plant-based sources to a vegetarian, plant-based diet that excludes animal flesh foods to a vegan diet that includes no animal foods or products.

Infographic from Illinois Extension on plant-based diets. Plant based includes more foods from plant sources: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Flexitarian is plant-based and occasionally includes eggs, dairy and meat. Vegetarian is plant based and excludes animal flesh foods. Lacto-ovo is vegetarian but includes dairy and eggs. Pescatarian is vegetarian but includes seafood. Vegan is no animal foods. Vitamin B12 needs to be included in the diet.

The plant-based foods industry is responding to this increased demand. The Plant-Based Foods Association, a trade association representing the plant-based foods industry, states that they are working with brands, retailers, distributors, and food service providers to  “build a sustainable infrastructure for this growing demand”. Over the past couple of years, more and more plant-based foods have appeared in the grocery store. For example, “meatless grind”, a product resembling ground beef that can be used in place of ground meat in recipes for hamburgers, tacos, meatloaves, and more is now available from certain brands, and store brands are selling their own versions as well.

While you can certainly make a veggie burger from meatless grind or purchase pre-made veggie burgers in the freezer aisle of your grocery store, there are lots of easy, tasty recipes for homemade veggie burgers available online. These recipes typically include a combination of beans and grains. Here are three options:

  1. Lentil burgers containing shredded carrot and breadcrumbs
  2. Black bean burgers made with brown rice, sweet potato, and breadcrumbs
  3. Chickpea (garbanzo bean) burgers made with green onion, carrot, and flour
a veggie burger

If you have a bit more time and are willing to invest some effort in the creation of your own delicious veggie burgers, homemade beet burgers made with roasted, grated beets, black beans, brown rice, and oats are a central Ohio favorite.

Do you have a favorite veggie burger recipe? If so, please share in the comment box below!


Illinois Extension (2020). What’s the best diet? Plant-based eating trend growing. https://extension.illinois.edu/news-releases/whats-best-diet-plant-based-eating-trend-growing

Nielsen IQ (2018). Plant-based food options are sprouting growth for retailers. https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/analysis/2018/plant-based-food-options-are-sprouting-growth-for-retailers/

Written by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Franklin County

Reviewed by Patrice Powers-Barker, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Lucas County

Read Full Post »

white beans soaking in waterHave you heard of aquafaba? This trendy new ingredient is actually a staple item in many of our pantries, although most of us tend to toss it down the drain. Aquafaba is the combination of two Latin words: aqua (water) and fava (beans). It is the liquid from canned beans, which, for years, nutrition professionals have recommended consumers drain, rinse and discard. However, a couple of years ago, a vegan American software engineer discovered that aquafaba could be whipped and used as an egg replacer in meringues, macaroons and mousses. Now, aquafaba is popular not only among the vegan community; it appeals to:

  • Individuals with egg allergies
  • Individuals trying to reduce food waste
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems – aquafaba poses a lower food safety risk than eggs because it is less likely to be contaminated with Salmonella, and it does not need to be baked prior to consumption
  • Individuals trying to reduce calorie intake – each tablespoon of aquafaba contains only 3-5 calories (although dietitians point out that it also contains minimal nutrients compared to the higher calorie egg)

a whisk in a bowl of icingAquafaba can also be used in place of eggs in various dishes- from pancakes and waffles to baked goods, quiche and mayonnaise. Like eggs, aquafaba acts as a binder, thickener and emulsifier in cooking and baking.

When using aquafaba as an egg replacement, roughly three tablespoons is equivalent to one whole egg, and two tablespoons is equivalent to one egg white. The following tips can also contribute to your success when using aquafaba in place of eggs in your cooking:

  • If using aquafaba as a binder or to replace whole eggs (as in a quiche or most baked goods), whip the liquid with a fork until just foamy prior to use.
  • If making a meringue or mousse, whip the liquid with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar for 5–10 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  • Keep in mind that if you or someone in your household is sensitive to bean sugars, aquafaba may not be the best ingredient for you. Although the amount of aquafaba in most recipes is minimal, it may still cause gastrointestinal distress or flatulence and should be used cautiously by those with bean sugar sensitivities.

bowl of chocolate mousseReady to give aquafaba a try? Just substitute for eggs in your favorite dish- or, for a special treat, see this recipe for aquafaba chocolate mousse from the Michigan State University Health4U program.


Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu


Aquafaba Admin (2016). The Official Aquafaba Website. http://aquafaba.com/

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (2017). Aquafaba… The Magical Bean Juice. https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/wellness/2017/11/14/aquafabathe-magical-bean-juice/

Levinson, J. (2017). Aquafaba’s Versatility. Today’s Dietitian; 19(9), 36. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0917p36.shtml

Read Full Post »