Baking with Beans: Mother’s Day Brunch Classics Made Healthier

The idea of using substitutes while cooking and baking is nothing new. From the gluten-intolerant to those following a strict ketogenic diet, options and substitutions are endless at grocery stores across the nation. However, for a country that’s seen an increase in those leaning towards the vegan lifestyle, things can tend to get a little tricky.

Eating out brings a whole new conversation to the table and switches from “Where do you want to go?” to, “Where can you go?” That’s no way to live, especially if you’re a foodie. With Mother’s Day around the corner, there’s never been a better time to get into the kitchen and experiment with some baked goods in a way you never would’ve expected: beans.

Cooking with beans, whether you’re using black beans, a white bean, or a mocha bean, is an easy way to create aquafaba, the thick substance left after soaking legumes for an extended period of time. This technique is used heavily in vegan baking because it’s a substitute for the binding and thickening substance that comes with using eggs and egg whites.

If you’re asking yourself how bean brownies, a bean chocolate chip cookie or cakes would taste, thinking that you’ll only taste the beans that the aquafaba derived from, you’d be wrong. The flavor of legumes alone isn’t overwhelming, and when you add the sugar and vanilla, you’d never even know these treats were egg-free.

Now, you don’t want to walk into Mother’s Day brunch empty handed or even worse, with a dish or dessert that someone has already brought. By baking with aquafaba, the chances of a copycat recipe are slim, and your nifty kitchen skills shine through when you tell everyone that their dessert comes from a bean puree base.

So what exactly can you cook with aquafaba? Terri Geiser, a culinary expert from Tennessee, is tweaking recipes to include this mysterious, yet delectable addition into the baking world. Her results have been nothing shy of astounding.

From cookies to a meringue to die for, there are no limits to Geiser’s baking, and there shouldn’t be any to yours, either! Here are three recipes perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. 

1. Bush’s Red Velvet Cupcakes

baking-with-beans
Bush’s Beans

These flourless cupcakes claim their moisture from Cannellini beans, which add a diverse flavor punch that will have you begging for seconds.

Better yet? They’re vegetarian! Get the recipe here.

2. Bush’s No Egg Lemon Cookies with Lavender Frosting

baking-with-beans
Bush’s Beans

This recipe is a Terri Geiser original, so you know it won’t disappoint. Made with Garbanzo beans and a pinch of pure vanilla extract, you’re mouth will have no idea what’s about to hit it.

Then you top it off with lavender icing? That’s an easy A+ in the kitchen.

Ingredients

1. 1 can BUSH’S Reduced Sodium GarbanzoBeans, drained, reserve liquid
2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
3. ½ tsp. baking soda
4. ½ tsp. baking powder
5. ½ tsp. Kosher salt
6. 2 to 4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
7. 1 Tbsp. lemon zest 8.
8. 1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
9. 1 cup granulated sugar
10. ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the garbanzo bean liquid (aquafaba) into a medium bowl and whisk with a hand mixer until soft peaks form about 3-4 minutes. Remove 1 cup and reserve remaining for another use. It will keep refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one month.

3. In separate small bowl mix flour, soda, powder and salt together.

4. Combine butter, sugar, lemon juice and zest into another bowl and whip until creamy

5. Fold aquafaba into butter mixture and add vanilla.

6. Slowly add flour and mix until completely incorporated.

7. Drop by large spoonfuls onto nonstick cookie sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

8. Cool completely before frosting.

That’s it, folks. After 12-15 minutes, you’ll have some of the most delicious, dairy-free cookies that your heart never knew it wanted.

3. Bush’s Vegan Cinnamon Meringue

Edelman

Another homemade recipe from Geiser is this delectable Vegan Cinnamon Meringue. It’s great for pies, cakes, cookies, or as a topping over some fresh banana bread post-Mother’s Day brunch. Hey, we all need a little light sweetness in our lives!

Ingredients

1. 2 cups whipped garbanzo bean liquid
2.1/3 cup powdered sugar
3. ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground

Directions

1. Add powdered sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract to whipped garbanzo liquid.

2. Whisk for four minutes on high speed or until stiff peaks form. Use to top spice cake.

Whether you’re a full-blown vegan or are the MVP of desserts, there’s no rhyme or reason to turn down these tasty treats this Mother’s Day. When all else fails, do it for your mamas.