Monday, April 4, 2011
A READER REQUEST: A "FAIL-PROOF" VEGAN OKARA WAFFLE (POSSIBLE SUBS FOR OKARA INCLUDED)
NOTE: Okara is the Japanese term for the pulp leftover from pressing cooked soybeans and water for soymilk or tofu. If you don't make your own soymilk or tofu, but you live near a tofu shop, you might be able to purchase it fresh. Otherwise, subs might be: #1) http://www.cooksinfo.com/okara says that a substitute for okara would be firm tofu, finely-crumbled. For this recipe I would probably moisten it with a little water because the okara I use is not dry. It looks like the photo below (after being refrigerated). #2) For soy-free, drained and rinsed cooked or canned chickpeas ground, but with some texture, might work-- you might have to moisten them a bit (see picture below). White beans would be too soft, I think. (Disclaimer- I haven't tried these subs!)
Other Okara recipes on this Blog:
All of the above waffle recipes are good, BTW. I have several versions of the bean waffle recipe, and that is my favorite because it's easy, light and crisp, and totally made from whole grains! My first instinct was to start with that type of recipe, since it seems to be very accommodating. So I tried the simplest version, made with oatmeal (the recipe is in my book "The Fiber for Life Cookbook"). I substituted 1 cup okara for the 1/2 cup dry beans used in the original recipe. (These are soaked overnight.) The batter was quite thin and the waffles were tasty, but not very substantial, and not as crispy as the bean waffles. I tried them with more oats, and then more okara, but ended up ditching that experiment.
I had developed a recipe for a light, crisp vegan "buttermilk" waffle for my now-defunct Vegan Feast newsletter some years ago, and haven't published it anywhere else yet. I worked on this recipe for many weeks. I was aiming at a more traditional recipe, veganized, which would include at least some whole grain flour and less fat than usual. One vegan recipe I saw contained cornstarch for crispness (and 6 tablespoons of oil for 5 four-inch waffles), but cornstarch isn't very nutritious, so I tried using some corn flour instead, which worked well. Then I looked at the labels of some pancake/waffle mixes and saw that they include corn flour and rice flour! So I added some brown rice flour, too. This worked very well, and the recipe turned out to be very versatile as far as using various whole grain flours. Anyway, I digress.
I decided to re-work this recipe to see if I could add fresh okara to it. This took some "finagling", as my mother used to say, due to the liquid content of the okara, but the final result was excellent! Now I have another way to use okara-- thank you, Angela!
NOTE: I use a round Cuisinart Traditional waffle iron (pictured above), NOT a Belgian waffle maker. Other waffles irons recommended by Cooks Illustrated magazine are: Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express; Cloer Double Waffle Maker; Cuisinart 6-Slice Traditional Waffle Iron.
That's my Low-Fat "Corn Butter" Spread on top-- 27 calories for 2 tablespoons!
BRYANNA'S CRISP VEGAN OKARA WAFFLES
Yield: 6/7-inch round waffles or 12/4-inch square waffles
If you want to make this entirely with whole grain flours, the following mixture worked well in my original Vegan “Buttermilk” Waffle recipe, so you could try substituting it for all of the flours in this recipe: 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1/3 cup oat flour (grind oatmeal in a dry blender or clean, dry electric spice/coffee grinder), 1/4 cup corn flour, and 4 teaspoons brown rice flour. I haven’t tried this yet with the okara version.
I also have a favorite variation, Orange/Cranberry/Pecan, of the original recipe in which I use some orange juice instead of the lemon juice in the “Buttermilk”, and I add grated orange zest (at least one whole orange!) and add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped, and 1/4 cup chopped pecans to the batter.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup + 7 tablespoons nondairy milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons egg replacer powder
2 tablespoons golden flax seed, ground to a powder in a dry coffee/spice grinder
2 tablespoons organic sugar
3/4 cups white pastry flour (do not use all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
( OR use 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup unbleached white all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup corn flour (NOT cornstarch! See Cooking Tip below)
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (press through a fine tea strainer with the baking powder to eliminate lumps)
Vegan "Buttermilk" (above)
1 cup fresh okara (not super-squeezed) (Okara is the pulp left over from making soy milk or tofu.)
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1.) Plug in your waffle iron to heat. Nonstick waffle grids are best, and just a regular waffle iron with medium-sized grid is best, rather than a deep Belgian waffle type, or one with a very small grid. ( I use a round Cuisinart Traditional. Other waffles irons recommended by Cooks Illustrated are: Chef’s Choice WafflePro Express; Cloer Double Waffle Maker; Cuisinart 6-Slice Traditional Waffle Iron.
2.) Mix the Vegan "Buttermilk" ingredients and set aside.
3.) For the Vegan "Eggs", beat the water and egg replacer with a hand/immersion blender until thick and frothy. Add the ground flax and beat for a minute or 2. Set aside.
Ground golden flax seed.
Vegan "Eggs" Mixture
Ground golden flax seed.
Vegan "Eggs" Mixture
4.) Mix together the Dry Mix ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Set aside.
5.) For the Wet Mix, combine the "buttermilk", okara, oil and vanilla with a whisk.
7.) Whisk the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix just until mixed. Scoop the "egg" mixture over this and fold in with a spatula, using an over and under motion until you can no longer see the "egg" mixture.
8.) Spray the waffle iron (top and bottom) with oil from a pump sprayer each time you make a waffle. For 4" waffles, I use a 1/3 cup of batter for each one and spread it out evenly. For the 7" round one I use a scant 2/3 of a cup of batter and spread it out evenly, but not right to the edges. In my waffle iron that makes 2/ 4" square waffles, , 7 minutes seems to be the optimum cooking time; in the other—the Cuisinart Traditional round one-- 6 minutes on setting #3 seems the best.
9.) Loosen gently and lift the waffles out with a fork. Serve hot immediately, or place in a 200°F. oven on a rack to keep warm and crisp until needed (not for too long, or they’ll dry out!). Freeze leftover (cooled) waffles and toast them for a quick breakfast or snack!
10.) Serve on warm plates with Earth Balance (or my Low-Fat “Corn Butter” Spread or my Reduced-Fat Earth Balance Spread) and warm maple syrup or amber agave nectar, or fruit sauce, or whatever your favorite topping happens to be. Yum!
Nutrition (per serving): 311.2 calories; 33% calories from fat; 11.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 452.8mg sodium; 337.4mg potassium; 46.0g carbohydrates; 4.3g fiber; 6.0g sugar; 41.7g net carbs; 6.9g protein; 6.4 points.
Corn Flour is very finely-ground yellow cornmeal-- ground almost to a powder. You can do this in small amounts in a dry, clean electric coffee/spice grinder. Or you can purchase it (sometimes organic) at a health food store or South Asian market.