Today I discovered how to make 100 delicious vegan meringues for just 50p and I was astounded how simple it was.
I was draining a 400g can of organic chickpeas (in water, no added salt or sugar) to use in my lunchtime salad when I remembered reading on the internet about people who were making eggless vegan meringues from the discarded water. How could this be? It didn’t sound possible and what about the taste?
I take most things I hear or read with a pinch of salt and like to make my own mind up so I quickly read about “Aquafaba” (the latin word for water and bean) and decided a kitchen experiment was needed, just for the hell-of-it!
It was a complete success and was amazed how well these meringues came out at a fraction of the cost of eggs. I know this isn’t a wartime recipe but eggs were so scarce during the war I bet if this knowledge had been about in the 40’s there would have been recipes for “eggless meringues” in the Ministry of Food’s recipe pamphlets!
PS: They are about 5 cals per meringue which is pretty good!
Recipe for 100 Vegan Meringues
The drained liquid from 1 400g can of chickpeas in water (no sugar or salt added)
150g of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
several drops of vanilla extract, I used lemon (optional)
– Heat oven up to 100C and line two large baking trays with parchment/baking paper.
– First drain the liquid from the chickpeas into a clean, dry mixing bowl.
– Using a electric mixer on high start mixing the liquid (it will take 5 or 6 minutes) until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the mixture in the bowl does not slide around.
– Add in the cream of tartar (if used) and then the caster sugar a couple of spoons at a time in mix in with mixer.
– Add in flavouring.
– Use a piping bag or a large ziplock bag and spoon the mixture in and cut a hole in the end.
– Pipe small swirls on the baking trays lined with baking paper.
– Place in pre-heated oven for at least 1 hr – 1 hr 15 mins (for small meringues and longer for larger ones)
– Switch off oven and open door slightly and leave meringues in the oven for another hour to dry out.
– Once cooled remove from baking paper.
Makes 100. Cost about 50p in ingredients if you count the liquid for free!
I had lots of vegetables to eat up today but as I don’t eat meat I felt that something filling was needed on my plate for dinner tonight. I had some coarse oatmeal in my pantry so when I found a wartime recipe for ‘oatmeal stuffing’ it was obvious to me that I had to make this and eat it instead of crisps or chocolate (two days this week I succumbed to the foods of the devil!).
Once again, this is a very simple and easy recipe to create although I will fore warn you that the cooked oatmeal will cling to the sides of your saucepan in such a way that you will find it rather tempting to just throw your pan in the bin rather than spend an hour scrubbing it afterwards. If you decide to let your saucepan live to see another day you might just have to leave it to soak overnight…
I think a little grated apple and some chopped sage would have been nice in this dish and will definitely make this again with these extra additions.
3 oz coarse oatmeal
2 oz breadcrumbs
1.5 tea cups of water
salt and pepper
1 finely chopped or grated onion
Teaspoon dried mixed herbs
Spoonful of margarine or dripping
- Simmer 3 oz coarse oatmeal and chopped onion in 1.5 teacups of water for 20 minutes
- Add 2 oz of breadcrumbs, margarine, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and mix well
- Set aside and cool slightly and place into a greased pie dish
- Cook in a hot oven for about 15 minutes until browned
So I hardly used any of my sugar ration this week and seeing that the elderberries were beginning to ripen in the garden and there were still some blackberries coming through, I thought it would be nice to make some jam. I don’t have a freezer and only a small fridge so whatever I pick I have to use quickly.
Only managing to pick 8oz of fruit it hardly seemed worth making the jam as in the end it made less than half a large jar full however it tastes really lovely and is nice and pippy! I love texture and pips in my jam and this was perfect for that.
Blackberry & Elderberry Jam
Equal amounts of Blackberries and Elderberries
3/4lb of sugar per 1lb of berries (I was only able to get 8oz of berries from my garden so just used 6oz of sugar)
Note: It will take about 1lb of fruit to fill a jam jar. Use a fork to strip the ripe elderberries off their stems.
– Place the berries in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
– On a low heat add the sugar and constantly stir. Increase the temperature while stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
– Bring to the boil until the setting point is reached. This will take about 10-20 minutes. (mixture will thicken and a small amount dropped onto a plate will firm up when it cools)
– Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
– Put in warmed sterilized jars and store ready for use.
Note: I sterilize jars by washing and rinsing jars and lids. I place the jars in a pre-heated oven (150 C) for about 10 minutes until hot. Meanwhile I place the lids into a saucepan with a little water in and bring it up to a hot temperature and turn off the heat. I then remove the hot jars, fill with jam, screw on the hot lids.
These were quite tasty and filling, a bit like a heavy pancake. Use a strong cheddar as it really gives a nice cheesy flavour when the outside is cooked until crisp and golden.
4 tablespoons medium or coarse oatmeal (works with porridge oats too)
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons of grated cheese
2 teaspoons of baking powder
Salt and pepper
A little water to mix
Fat for frying
– Mix all dry ingredients together except the baking powder.
– Add enough cold water to mix to a stiff batter.
– Just before using add the baking powder.
– Melt a little fat in a frying pan and when smoking hot drop spoonfuls of the mixture into hot fat.
– Fry till golden on both sides.
I’m picking wild blackberries in my garden every couple of days so today when I found a simple shortbread recipe in the ‘Eating for Victory’ book (a collection of reproduction WW2 instructional leaflets) I immediately decided the shortbread biscuits would need a blackberry on top to give them an extra a burst of flavour.
Let me tell you…the blackberries worked so well! It will take me a LOT of willpower to not devour all of them!
So the recipe is incredibly simple and I didn’t even use a rolling pin and a biscuit cutter.
3 oz plain white flour
2 oz margarine
1 oz sugar
10 fresh blackberries, rinsed and patted dry
Rub the margarine into the flour and sugar.
Knead into a dough without adding any water.
Roll out to about 1/8th inch and cut into biscuits (I simply tore off a walnut sized amount, rolled into a ball and flattened it in my palms and dented the middle once on the baking tray to place the blackberry).
Sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake in a cool oven (about 150 c) until very pale golden brown around edges.
Makes 8-10 biscuits.
Here are some photos I snapped with my phone of the process..
So today was Day 1 of going back to rationing. It wasn’t as hard as I expected but at times it wasn’t easy as the last three months I have got used to eating anything at any time I wanted.
Today I’ve decided on 4 meals with no eating inbetween so I can get used to feeling a little hungry again, the way our bodies are supposed to tell us when we need to eat. That hasn’t happened with me in a while, I like to constantly feel full.
Yesterday I made a large vegetable stew which I could use for 3 or 4 meals over the next few days. I find having a stew on the go is vital as there is always something to have on standby. I also made a loaf of bread which will see me through the next few days AND be useful to use in recipes when it gets a little stale.
Back to Rationing Day 1 – What I Ate.
Breakfast: Mushrooms and spinach on toast (no butter or margarine)
Lunch: Plate of vegetable stew with 1/2 oz of grated cheese over the top and a slice of homemade bread (no butter or margarine)
Dinner: Cheese frizzles made with oats, flour and grated cheese (recipe to come) served with sauted runner beans (1 oz margarine in total) and a salad with tomatoes. Blackberry Shortbread x 2 pieces (recipe to come) served afterwards with a ‘Camp’ coffee made with 1/4 pint of non-dairy milk.
Supper: A plate of sauted runner beans (1/2 oz margarine), a couple mugs of tea and another blackberry shortbread (will have this later this evening).
Calories: About 1700
* 3.5 ounces margarine (shortbread, and frying cheese frizzles, mushrooms and runner beans)
* 1/4 pint milk
* 1 oz sugar (shortbread)
* 1.5 oz cheese (frizzles and stew)
* 2 tea bags
With horror the scale read 284.2 lbs this morning, about a 30 lb weight gain since end of April after taking part in the London Marathon.
Over the past month or so the extra weight is making me tired, making me hurt again and I’ve stopped walking because its uncomfortable. A HUGE contrast to just three months ago. I’m disgusted with myself and have recently been feeling a little depressed about it all. My emotions are up and down right now in private. It’s easier to be my jolly self in public but outside of work I am a fairly quiet and private person needing time to think a lot and re-charge sometimes to the extent of being insular.
Although I’ve been continuing to recreate wartime recipes, it has been quite some time since I followed a rationing plan day to day but really feel it is time to live and breathe this way of life from now until Christmas to get my back on the straight and narrow. I’ve done this so many times and it works incredibly well and I need to absorb myself into something all consuming in my fight against obesity.
So today I’ve laid out my weekly rations (I have double the amount of cheese instead of my meat ration as I am vegetarian) and stocked my wartime shelves in my old larder and I will cook stew and potatoes later so I start tomorrow with food prepared and ready.
Food rationing started in January 1940. Not all basic foods were placed on the ration at one time, it was introduced gradually. Weekly allowances varied depending on the availability of foods but my diagram above will give you an idea of the amount of food an adult was guaranteed to receive on a weekly basis using a ration book.
There were extra milk rations for small children and expectant and nursing mothers and they also received cod liver oil and concentrated orange juice.
My weekly organic vegetable box will become my produce from my allotment/victory garden and be an important part of ensuring I feel full and eat healthily.
Thank you to all the lovely comments on here and on my Facebook page today… it’s helped enormously xxxx