Ok, so I cheated a little 😉 I normally don’t add any sugars to my smoothies except for the occasional tablespoon of Pure Maple Syrup. Well this was the exception. I had these luscious Peaches just waiting to be used for something creative and then it hit me…Peach Pie Smoothie! Peaches have a healthy dose of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that help fight both obesity and inflammation. The fuzzy fruit packs a vitamin C boost, helps lower cholesterol and is heart healthy. I blended this beautiful fruit with other super healthy ingredients such as Banana, Whole Grain Oats and Vega One French Vanilla Protein; not just because they are all so good for you but because they also compliment the Peaches and really drive home the “pie” flavor.
As I was gathering all the ingredients for the smoothie, I kept thinking “Peaches and Cream”…I couldn’t seem to shake the thought of it. I thought of going for the usual Coconut Cream that you get from the Coconut Milk can after refrigerating overnight but I didn’t have any in the fridge. I also wanted something lighter and fluffier…almost like a meringue. The problem is that meringue is basically just egg white and that doesn’t mesh with a die hard vegan! For kicks, I looked up vegan meringue and I kept seeing this weird word “Aquafaba“. When I finally read what it was, I was almost shocked. It’s the water which is packed into a can of Chick Peas. Apparently, it’s lately been becoming all the rage in the vegan community as an egg substitute which can be mainly used as a thickening agent in recipes which call for eggs. The water can be used from other canned legumes but Chick Peas are really the best choice (flavor and texture).
The water (brine) in the can becomes a thick, emulsion as it sits with the Chick Peas…almost like an egg white consistency. On it’s own, the flavor is fairly neutral. It’s such a new idea, the science community hasn’t even done a nutrition profile on it yet. Although, the developers of this natural egg replacer are currently raising money to do one. I’m assuming that the water must absorb many of the properties of the Chick Peas themselves; which include Protein, Fiber, Iron, Calcium, Complex Carbohydrates (the good kind) plus a host of vitamins as well.
All the recipes I had read for the meringue were pretty much the same; except most of them require being baked at a low heat for like 2 hours or more for a really stiff setting. I wanted something quick, so mine still stands up but it’s more of a whipped cream texture. As you’ll see it’s just 4 elements…the Chick Pea Water, Organic Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract and Lemon Extract. When all of that is whipped with a high speed whisk for about 15 minutes, you get a wonderfully light, sweet garnish to top off your smoothie. You can even stir some into the smoothie itself for a creamier texture. This is definitely one of my favorites of the summer so far, I hope you try it and enjoy. Keep it up!
For the Smoothie:
8 oz Cashew Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 Large Fresh Peach (skin on, stone removed)
1/4 Cup Raw Whole Grain Oats
1 serving Vega One French Vanilla Protein
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high setting until smooth. Add some ice or more liquid to adjust preferred texture.
For the Meringue:
15 oz Aquafaba/Water from one can of Organic Chick Peas (Non-BPA lined can)
1 Cup Organic Powdered Pure Sugar Cane
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
Preheat oven on Broil setting (optional – you can simply eat the raw Aquafaba whip…I just enjoyed the light toasted look and flavor).
Place ingredients in the bowl of a high speed mixer w/ Whisk attachment (or hand mixer) and whip ingredients on high for about 15 minutes until mixture is light, fluffy and peaks begin to form (at this point you can put a dollop on your smoothie OR continue to get the toasty look).
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put small 1/4 cup size dollops of the mixture until sheet is filled (leaving plenty of breathing room around each). Place in oven on top rack and allow meringue to lightly toast/brown. Do not overheat…you pretty much have to sit and watch it because it will brown fairly fast (within minutes). When done, remove from oven and scoop one of the dollops off the sheet and place on top of your smoothie.
Refrigerate all remaining cream and use again as a meringue or as a simple whipped topping.