It’s true! The liquid from a can of chickpeas (aka aquafaba) is a remarkable pantry ingredient and the secret to perfect vegan pavlova. This stuff is an exact match for egg white-based meringue and other baked treats. Gluten-Free, Vegan. Servings: 1 large or 6+ individual pavlovas.
Ingredients: (you can omit the white sugar or use stevia as directed on the bottle)
For the Aquafaba based Pavlova:
- Liquid from one 15-ounce can of unsalted chickpeas, chilled
- ¾ cup vegan fine white sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- Pinch fine grain sea salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Zest of ½ lemon
For the topping – Coconut whipped yogurt:
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/3 cup chopped pistachio nuts
- 1/4 cup Zest of orange
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Trace an 8” circle onto a piece of parchment paper fitted to a baking sheet. Dap mixture onto the baking sheet and stick parchment paper in place.
- Pour the chickpea liquid into a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at low speed, until foam and volume appear, then slowly increase speed to high. Beat for 5 minutes, or more depending on each brand of chickpeas. Watch for soft peaks to form, and the volume should expand in size. Turn the speed down to medium and start adding 1 heaping of sugar at a time, patiently and slowly.
- Once all the sugar is combined, increase the speed to the highest setting and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and hold their shape. This can take about 3 minutes. It is done when the back of your spoon will hold the mixture and stay in place.
- Stop the mixer and pour in arrowroot, lemon juice, sea salt, and zest of lemon. Now turn the blender on again high and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. About 10 seconds.
- Use a spatula or fill a piping bag (fitted with a large star attachment to create lines) to work quickly in placing the meringue onto your prepared baking sheet. Fill the center of the circle and work outward. Work quickly as to not deflate the meringue. If using a spatula, spread the meringue to fill your circle template. Tip: To make a nest for your filling the edges should be higher than the center. Take a spoon and gently create a well and in the center. You can leave the sides untouched for a more textured pavlova.
- Put the meringue in the preheated oven to bake and immediately turn down the heat from 275 F to 250 F. Bake for 2 – 2.5 hours, or until the outside is dry to the touch, and slightly browned. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova inside to cool completely.
- To serve, spread whipped coconut cream over the pavlova and top with pomegranate seeds, orange zest, and pistachios or your favorite fruit and nuts of choice.
Healthier Ingredients, Healthier You
The recipe turns to arrowroot powder used as a stabilizer to turn the meringue into a marshmallow bliss found in the center of a pavlova. It is a healthier alternative to corn flour. One of the biggest issues is not corn flour itself, but the corn it comes from — almost 90 percent of corn in the U.S. is genetically modified and sprayed with Roundup, a very dangerous pesticide linked to a number of health concerns.
Why Coconut Yogurt Is Gut Worthy
Coconut yogurt is an excellent choice as a topping for pavlova, as a delicious tangy counterpart to the sweetness of the meringue, and an ideal replacement for dairy-filled yogurt. Coconut yogurt is filled with probiotics thanks to the fermented process. Enjoying food good for your gut bacteria in coconut yogurt can help maintain the health of your gut microbiome. Go with your gut and choose full fat for the creamiest, thickest version for your palate to enjoy. Coconut benefits go beyond taste and texture as it provides a combination of electrolytes, carbohydrates, and healthy fatty acids for hormone production and immunity.
Pomegranate for an antioxidant boost
Pomegranate arils are little powerhouses of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen in the body, so adding fresh fruit to your dessert is beneficial for the repair and maintenance of connective tissue and bone. Vitamin C not only helps improve elasticity in the skin and prevents premature aging, but it also keeps the lining of our gut healthy, improves bone health, and shortens the length of the common cold.
A zest for life
I love zesting skins of citrus fruits to my desserts and meals. It provides a burst of fresh flavor and bright color to any dish. It’s remarkable how the dense concentration of micronutrients in the peel of citrus fruit can benefit our health because the skin tends to hold the highest level of antioxidants in the fruit. Simply adding more zest into your recipes you are adding more zest into your life in antioxidants that prevent free radicals and oxidative stress in your body.