What is Nooch and Where Do I Buy Aquafaba?
Our top 5, must-have plant ingredients you need to know about.
When starting to eat more plants, the biggest question you’ll ask yourself is “how do I bring the flavour?” While herbs, spices, nut-butter and cacao always help, there are a few ingredients that will tip the balance from plain plants to flavour forever.
Nutritional yeast, A.K.A. nooch - the holy grail of plant-based foods, its cheesy nutty flavour makes it the perfect addition to creamy sauces, soups, mashed potatoes, pasta, salad dressings… anything you want really. Just keep adding and tasting as you go for the perfect flavour.
It seems funny at first, but soon you’ll never go a week without it. Get the B12 variety and you’re golden! Nooch also contains B vitamins, folic acid, zinc and a little protein too. Here’s a link.
Aquafaba is the go-to for bakers making all sorts of plant-based treats. It performs in a very similar way to egg whites (but that’s so 2017) and can be whipping up into stiff peaks that can be baked into crispy, crunchy meringues or folded into indulgent dark chocolate, for a light and airy mousse.
Ok, this is going to sound strange. It’s simply that water you find in a can of chickpeas and is even available in even the smallest of shops - so drain out the chickpeas for your Cauli Tikka and you’ll never be far from a delicious treat!
Your used to eating them salted or roasted but we like to use them a little more creatively.
Cashews can be blended to create cashew cream, milk, cheesy sauces, raw cakes, they’re even being blended and fermented to create artisan vegan cheese... basically, if you’re making anything creamy...use cashews.
Cashews are also an excellent source of copper, magnesium, good fats, vitamins E and K, they also contain protein, iron and selenium, which all help the body to maintain normal functioning.
Chia + Flaxseed
Chia and flaxseed are both an excellent source of short chain omega 3 alpha linoleic acid (ALA), these fats are essential and can be tough to find when trying an all plant-based diet. That makes them an essential.
Add to smoothies, porridge, and granola or use them as binder in your favourite cake. For more info on flaxseed eggs, check out our earlier post.
Feeling healthy? Both chia and flax are similar nutritionally, high in fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, but flax are slightly higher in ALA, whilst chia seeds are higher in iron, calcium, selenium and fibre.
Ok, so you expected this one.
At some point on your plant-powered journey, you’ll start using tofu right. It can be used to thicken up your favourite mousse blend or added to stir fries as a crispy, soothing texture. Here's how: Step 1: Buy fresh, firm tofu (not shelf-stable silken). 2: Press the tofu. Step 3: Cut into cubes or slices. Step 4: Coat in marinade, leave for 30 mins and then bake, or fry with a little oil until crispy, then pour over the sauce and stir until reduced. Easy as that! Tofu is an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, all essential nutrients, needed for our bodies to thrive!
If you haven’t had a chance to try any of the above foods yet, we hope we’ve sparked some inspiration for you. Happy cooking!