Since 2009, It’s All About Food, has been bringing you the best in up-to-date news regarding food and our food system. Hosted by Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, the program includes in-depth interviews with medical doctors; nutritionists; dieticians; cook book authors; athletes; environmental, animals and health activists; farmers; food manufacturers; lawyers; food scientists and more. Learn about how we can solve many of the world’s problems today and do it deliciously, here on It’s All About Food.
Part I: Caryn Hartglass, Detoxing
Caryn will discuss the ins and outs of detoxing, the physical, the emotional and the spiritual.
Part II: Zsu Dever, Aquafaba
Zsu Dever has been involved in the restaurant business most of her life. She hails from a long line of culinary professionals and restaurateurs. She is the author of Everyday Vegan Eats, Vegan Bowls and Aquafaba, (published by Vegan Heritage Press) and publishes the blog Zsu’s Vegan Pantry. Zsu is a passionate vegan and resides in San Diego, CA, with her three wonderful children, her three adorable felines and her one amazing husband.
TRANSCRIPTION PART I:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass and thanks for joining me today on It’s All About Food. I want to talk about detoxing today in the first part of the show, and in the second part of the program I’m going to welcome my guest Zsu Dever to speak about her new book Aquafaba, and this is really really exciting and I can’t wait to get to that part. It’s a great cookbook and aquafaba, which I’ve been talking a little bit about on the program from time to time, is that magic bean water that we can whip into a frenzy and make meringue and all kinds of wonderful food dishes that you used to only be able to be made with egg whites. But we’ll talk more about aquafaba in the second part of the program.
Now I want to talk about detoxing and decluttering, because I think it’s similar, or the same kind of concept, detoxing and decluttering. And when we think about detoxing most people think about clearing out the body of the toxins that we take in either from the foods we eat or from our environment. I want to talk about detoxing not only from a body perspective but from a living space perspective and from the mind, the consciousness. And I think, just like so many things, these things are connected and we’ll find a lot of parallels, at least I am, between the three spaces. I also like to look at the world and life and the universe from a macro perspective and a micro perspective, and the fascinating thing to me, the thrilling thing, the thing that gives me hope in some ways is that the structure, the patterns, at a microscopic level are the same as at a macroscopic level. So we can learn from one or the other by looking at one or the other.
All right let’s attack the living space detox. Now first I always love to talk about breathing, right? Breathing, the air is absolutely fabulous right now. We just moved from that hot, sweaty humid summer here in New York and we’re starting to feel the cool air of autumn coming through, and it’s just delicious, it feels great, it’s fresh. And it’s welcoming us to my favorite season, autumn. Autumn in New York; we’re just nine days away from autumn in New York. And I smell it everywhere. Its presence is a present, the gift of change, which is a gift. And I think this is my favorite time to breathe. Like my partner Gary says, he breathes for a living. We all breathe for a living, but breathing right now is absolutely fabulous here in New York; breathing in the cool, fresh, soon to be autumn air. Now people talk about when spring comes on doing spring cleaning, and I’m actually doing an end of summer, entry into autumn, cleaning. I make up my own rules here, in my apartment, I make my own rules for my life and I think we all should make up our own rules, as long as we don’t hurt anybody else in the process. So I was just getting mentally ready for a few months now to purge. Purge in my living space, and as I’m going to get to it also connects to our emotional and physical internal spaces.
So the time came, I designated September for purging and both Gary and I are doing that here in the apartment, there’s so much to clean up here. Books, for example, for this program, It’s All About Food, I get so many books. And I love books, and I read them before I talk to my guests on this program, and I save them because they’re important and I love them. But things get so cluttered and so we took down all the books, we cleaned them off, piled them up, and then the book cases were kind of broken and needed fixing, those got mended, we rearranged some furniture, put everything back, some books got discarded, and it’s like a renewal! And you may remember I’ve talk about this many times, but about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, I decided to write a book about it, and the “final” draft, I put quotes around “final,” but final draft is done, and that allowed me to be able to get rid of all this paper that I’d been saving. Medical reports, lab reports, claims that I wrote and filed, just tons of filing and paperwork, and I emptied out two drawers. I’ve got another two to go but they’re not as serious, and the most time consuming part of this is shredding. Shredding is really really time consuming, but you know what? It’s cathartic. It’s allowing me to acknowledge all these things that occurred; acknowledge them, accept them, and shred them. I’m done with that. So it’s a great metaphor going through all of this, and it affects me internally as I’m clearing my living space, my external space. It’s a physical detoxing of the living space, and I’m feeling better, lighter, and I feel like I can do more and anything is possible.
Now maybe you’ve heard of the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It’s a book that was written by a Japanese woman, Marie Kondo, and then was translated into English and it’s been a huge best-seller, very successful. And I haven’t read it, but a lot of people are talking about it, I’ve read reviews about it, and I have friends who talk about it. And there’s lots of free videos that the author, Marie Kondo, has on how to fold your clothes neatly so they store easily and look lovely, and I think decluttering is so important for our external living space just as it is for our internal living space, our body and our mind, which I will talk about in a few minutes. And I understand that this best-selling book has rules to follow, and maybe these rules will work for you, but I suggest, rather than following someone else’s rules, that you take small steps and flow, go with the flow. I’m discovering that decluttering or detoxing my apartment space is a bit like painting a landscape. If any of you have ever learned about landscape painting, and it’s similar to building so many things, we work in broad strokes, we work all over the canvas in broad strokes, blurry strokes, mapping things out, we’re turning to different spaces and filling in the detail later, and decluttering our living space is how I like to do it, like I’m painting a landscape. If I clear a little bit of one area, that kind of like opens a bag of worms that affects other areas in my living space. If I’ve got a pile and there’s paperwork in the pile, I need to take that paper and bring it to a filing cabinet and file it, but if my file cabinet is stuffed and cluttered then it’s hard to put it in. So moving around the space and working at each thing a little bit at a time, I find works for me. And I have quite a bit more to go and I’m looking forward to it, but right now I’m feeling really good and I’m motivated to continue clearing out this living space. It’s really feeling so good.
Now let’s talk about the body detoxing because it’s not necessarily very different. So we’ve got all this clutter in our body, it’s clutter from toxins for example that we either breathe in or consume with our food or things leaching into the environment from all kinds of things, wall paint, just everything in our environment. And the body has a great amount of capacity to remove the things that aren’t healthy for it, but sometimes things get stuck, sometimes things that stuck in a pile and then other things get piled on top of it, and then you’ll have arthritis or your arteries will be clogged or your brain will have clutter and clogging and result to Alzheimer’s. Things like that, there’s a parallel going on. So detoxing can take a place in a methodical but slow process, doesn’t have to be all at once because sometimes dramatic detoxing can do more harm than good. I’m a big fan of green foods, you know that, and green juice, and green foods are so amazing at detoxing. So if you’re not familiar at eating dark, leafy green foods, if you’re new to them, not only do you want to go slowly with including them in your diet, but you want to get used to their taste and it takes time, and then you’ll learn to enjoy them, eat more of them, and they will do their job of cleansing and detoxing and helping declutter the piles of junk that you’ve collected in your body.
Now something that I’ve learned that was really interesting when I read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book The End of Diabetes, was he talked about how digestive works and how he doesn’t really recommend snacking, he recommends having 2 or 3 meals during the day, and then a space between because during that space you body digests the food, and then you go into a period where the body works at detoxing, removing what isn’t necessary. And when you snack, you cut that detoxing period short and then go back to the beginning of the cycle, so you may not give the body adequate time to do what it’s supposed to do, which is detox.
Another way to detox, and this may not be obvious, is exercise because moving the body helps move things out. I learned this in a somewhat interesting way, when I went through three major surgeries for my cancer, I know I’ve talked about this before but it just boggles my mind how they took everything out and put everything back in and sewed me up, but my intestines have never been the same. I just know they’re not folded in the same way they were when I joined this planet in this form, and what I find is I don’t have any problems with constipation, I eat plenty of fiber and I have a wonderful diet and things move in and out quickly, but I find that moving, twisting, and turning helps the process along more than it used to because I think I’ve got some extra folds and things that don’t work as well as they used to, so moving is so important in helping moving things out.
Now as I mentioned we just started in September this living space detox, decluttering, and the big purge began this past weekend, actually it started last Friday. And if you’re around in New York you may know that we had another hot-spell, heat-spell, it was really really hot, it wasn’t the best time to plan doing what we did and we only have a small air conditioner in the bedroom that we use when we’re sleeping. So there wasn’t any air condition on, and as we’re working and moving and lifting and pushing and throwing and stuffing and all this stuff, we were also sweating, and sweating is a great way to cleanse. And I enjoyed it to a certain degree because it feels, if you can tolerate the heat, and that’s a challenge I know sometimes, I can’t, and let’s not even go into the big “news” item this week about fainting and not tolerating the heat, you know what I’m talking about. So it’s important to hydrate, drink a lot of water because while water is coming out you want to put water in and that is also a lovely cleansing process.
And another way is stretching, stretching. I love yoga and I always discover new things when I do my yoga work. I do it alone and I don’t go to a class. I’ve learned some routines and poses and I really enjoy doing my own practice at my own pace. And moving into a stretch, not only are you detoxing some physical things, allowing them to be released but sometimes, maybe you’ve experienced this, when I’m releasing a particularly tight area sometimes a memory will come through, something not pleasant, and I acknowledge it and I push it out, let it out. I stretch it; I’m releasing it, letting it go. It is tremendously powerful and healing and that’s why exercise, can’t say enough about it, but it does more than you know and it helps detox. It helps work things out that are stuck, and it helps move the intestines, very good.
Last but not least, actually I think this is actually the most important, is the mind, the mind detox. How much stuff, how much clutter is in your mind? That’s like I think one of the greatest human challenges, we get socialized and it’s like we’re collecting a pile of old cassette tapes, CDs, video tapes, and maybe now some old hard drives, they’re all collected in our mind. All of these memories, old voices, new voices, judgmental ideas that are just continually, this is all clutter that you can clear out, and when you do it is so invigorating, it is so rich and wonderful.
Now meditation is great for this. I find that imagery is very cleansing for my mind. Where I go to a place in my imagination, a place that I feel good; I have two places, one is a real place that I’ve been to that I love , and another place is an imaginary place that I’ve actually constructed over time. And I visit these places in my meditations and it’s just a really wonderful place to go and breathe and visualize light all around me and then visualize the light inside me, and the light, this wonderful white, bright light, I send it through all the parts of my body and instruct it to go to any particular place that’s stiff or sore or tight and clear that away. And you just visualize it happening, you breathe in the light, breathe in the good and you breathe out the clutter, you breathe out the junk, it’s detoxing, it’s decluttering, and it is powerful. And it’s free! And it’s really so easy to do.
Another thing I like to do is I visualize a trashcan, and if I have a negative thought that I don’t particularly care for I will literally grab that thought and put it in the trashcan. And the kind of trashcan that I visualize is the kind with the little foot pedal on the bottom so that with your foot you can open the top, and I put it inside and I take my foot off the pedal and the top slams shut. And then occasionally if I feel that trashcan has gotten full I take it out, and I dump it into an even bigger container that’s way far away from me and my body and my mind. And when you repeat things like that, the negativity, the clutter, it really goes, it works. So I think this is all really important and like I said, it’s all connected. Detoxing, decluttering the body, detoxing, decluttering the mind, detoxing, decluttering the living space, it’s all really quite similar and when you work at it you feel better, you feel lighter, and you feel like you can do so much more because the clutter weighs you down. The clutter in your body physically makes it hard to move. And then of course the clutter in your mind makes it hard to think clearly and objectively and enthusiastically.
Now I learned when I was studying engineering in college, and I took thermodynamics, I learned about the law of entropy. Entropy is called randomness and it naturally happens where entropy is always increasing. This is a law of thermodynamics, entropy, randomness is always increasing. So it’s natural that things get cluttered, it’s natural that things pile up and get messy, it’s natural because entropy, randomness, is a law of thermodynamics. Now to get control of that to some degree requires energy. You have to put energy in to bring order to your space, and that’s your living space, that’s your internal space, your body, your physical body, and your mind. It takes work, it takes energy, and I say it’s worth it. So take your time, go with the flow, do your best and don’t forget… breathe. Breathe in the good; breathe out the clutter, that’s the first step. Ah that breath is so so good, so so good, thank you!
Right, okay, well I just want to remind you, I’d love to hear from you, your comments, your questions, your thoughts, and you can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another few things I wanted to mention, I didn’t even realize that today was the day, but it is the day, today is the release date of the book 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope. Twenty-five women, and I am one of those twenty five women, and if you go to my website ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com you can buy the book and I will inscribe it for you, per your instructions. And I’m offering that for a little while, so go to ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com and you can get your copy of 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope. And I’ve read it, and I enjoyed it, and I think for anyone who’s going through cancer or who’s had cancer or knows someone who has cancer, and that’s like all of us, I think this is a very helpful book. And you need to know that the proceeds of this book are going to support cancer research, non-profits for cancer research.
I also wanted to mention, what else did I want to mention? Just reminders, you can still sign up for the 2Forks event with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and his crew, his family, and get some significant discounts, and that’s at my website too, ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com, find out more about that at my website. And one more thing, you may remember a few weeks ago I spoke with Evita Ochel, and it’s always a wonderful pleasure to talk to her, and she had mentioned that she has a course, and she just released it, it’s called The MAP: Yoga Path to Release Stress and Anxiety. We talked about it quite a bit on the program and it’s now available, and she offered a special discount to all of you, my listeners, and if you go to ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com and scroll down the right column you’ll see the box that says Special Discounts and Offers, Sign-Up for Evita Ochel’s course. I haven’t taken it yet, I plan on it, and I know it’s going to be great. Learning how to use mindfulness, acceptance, and presence to enhance joy, well-being, and inner peace, and you know even if we are familiar with these concepts I find that reading someone else’s perspective on the subject, either through a book, a magazine article, or one of these courses, an online program, all helps reinforce it and give you a different perspective that makes it easier to understand and easier to digest and incorporate in your life. And sometimes we just need reminders. So there you have it.
Okay, I think I’m ready to go. Oh I just want to mention one more thing about decluttering and detoxing. It’s a form of recycling. And sometimes it’s hard to let things go, things that you’ve had in your life, and this book that I’ve mentioned before that I have not read, what I understand is the author recommends that you evaluate each thing and acknowledge how it was a part of your life for a while and now you’re going to let it go, indeed you decide to let it go, and have it go on its journey. And that’s the beautiful thing about life and the universe; everything gets reused in one way or another. Now we could do it more efficiently, I know we have a lot of landfills and dumps and it’s going to take a really long time for that stuff to be broken up and reused, but for example when you’re cleaning out your space there’s a lot of stuff that maybe other people will like to have. And so it’s a good thing to share, recycle, etc. Furniture! Very good.
All right, what I want to do now is take a little break, because it’s about that time, and then we’ll get back to the second part of the show which I told you before I am really really really really really looking forward to. So, I’m Caryn Hartglass, you’re listening to It’s All About Food, check back with me, well stay with me and we’ll be right back in a minute or two.
Transcribed by Lydia Dearie 12/17/2016
TRANSCRIPTION PART II:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass and thank you for joining me for the second part today of It’s All About Food. Okay, now we’re all cleared out and decluttered and detoxed, right? Good. Take another big breath, all that good stuff, breathe it out. I’m ready now for that exciting part or the fun part of this program. My guest is, and I hope I get her name right, is Zsu Dever, and she has been involved in the restaurant business most of her life. She hails from a long line of culinary professionals and restauranteurs. She’s the author of Everyday Vegan Eats, Vegan Bowls, and drumroll, Aquafaba, and publishes the blog, Zsu’s Vegan Pantry. Zsu is a passionate vegan and resides in San Diego, California with her three wonderful children, her three adorable felines, and her one amazing husband. Welcome to It’s All About Food!
Zsu Dever: Hi Caryn. Happy to be here.
Caryn Hartglass: Hi! So first tell me how do you say your name?
Zsu Dever: Zsu Dever.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, I blew that! Zsu Dever! Welcome! Love it!
Zsu Dever: Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: You’re Hungarian, I read. Is that Hungarian?
Zsu Dever: Yes. Hungarian, I was born there in Budapest.
Caryn Hartglass: So you’re name, is that… a typical Hungarian name.
Zsu Dever: Yes, yes. It’s actually “Zsuzsanna”, just like Zsa Zsa Gabor, but she kind of switched it out to, just to make it easier.
Caryn Hartglass: Ah. I love it, okay. Well… Your book is coming out. When is it released?
Zsu Dever: October 4.
Caryn Hartglass: October 4th. So we’re a little bit early, so we’re going to get some excitement going, and I’m excited, and I’ve looked at the book and I’m just so thrilled with it. I feel like… It’s crazy, but it’s just like a part of the… wonderful part of the 21st Century, where we’re really starting to go to a better place in so many ways, and we’re figuring out that we don’t need to harm sentient beings anymore, and we can still have all the wonderful traditional treats that we’ve have through centuries and aquafaba is an amazing piece of that, and it’s so much fun, and I’m so glad you came out with this book because you’re making it easy for everybody, so let’s talk about aquafaba! Why don’t you first tell me what it is.
Zsu Dever: All right, it is very simply, it’s the water that beans are cooked in. That is what aquafaba is.
Caryn Hartglass: And the story… Let’s just… A little story, you talk about it in your book, and for those who are on some of the Facebook pages that have seen this discovery just give us a quick update, cause the history is not very long.
Zsu Dever: No, no it’s not. In fact, the whole thing started snow balling back in March 2015, so about a year, maybe a year and a half, nothing, not too long at all. It turns out there was a French tenor, and he was a singer, and he also liked to play gastronomy in the kitchen. His name was Joël Roessel, I’m pretty sure I butchered that one too, and he posted a video about his discovery and Goose Wohlt saw this idea of whipping meringue from bean water and he made meringue cookies out of it by adding sugar to it too, just like a regular meringue cookie that you would, and Goose just posted it on “What Fats Vegans Eat”, and just a couple of days later, it wasn’t even that long, a brand new Facebook group called “Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses!”, was rolled out and now it has about 40-50 thousand members. It’s amazing!
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. It’s crazy. But that’s how important this is and it’s… what I love is, it’s so simple and there have been many things in the vegan world, I’ve been vegan since 1988, and I’ve seen all kinds of new products come out, but this isn’t even a new product, it’s something that’s been with us forever!
Zsu Dever: All this time! All this time!
Caryn Hartglass: All this time! And we’ve been throwing down the sink!
Zsu Dever: No more. Nobody’s allowed to do that anymore.
Caryn Hartglass: No more. Okay now before we talk about…
Zsu Dever: You can save it, you can freeze it.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, I didn’t know that. I’m glad I read the book because I have not done a lot of aquafaba dabbling but you answered almost every question that I had in the book, but I do have one more question and I don’t know if you’ll have the answer to it. But I just want to get this one out of the way before we talk about the fun stuff. So when I think about soaking beans, and rinsing them, and refilling them, and then cooking them, and then rinsing them, and letting the water go, I have learned about the oligosaccharides that are in the bean water that cause gas, and so the question is, does aquafaba give us gas?
Zsu Dever: Well, what I do is I cook the beans with kombu, which is a seaweed. And traditionally it’s a macrobiotic way to cook beans. It helps to render this oligosaccharide that you’re talking about, not important. In fact, I have not had any of my testers, or me, I’ve gone through 200 pounds of chickpeas in a matter of I think 7 months doing this cookbook, and we have had no issues with that problem.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. So, maybe just using the kombu. Kombu will be helpful. Also people that have been eating beans for a long time, have the micro flora, the gut flora, to helps digest those oligosaccharides so that can be helpful too.
Zsu Dever: And also it depends on how long you cook the beans. A lot of people undercook the beans and that also causes some digestive issues.
Caryn Hartglass: Right, so the idea is… Okay first, everyone should know that you can, you don’t have to cook and soak your beans, although I think that’s the best thing to do, it’s the least expensive and you can control it, and there’s a lot of wonderful reasons why you want to do that, but the aquafaba is in the can too, in the can beans.
Zsu Dever: Yes it is, yes it is. I recommend that you reduce canned aquafaba by about a third, because that seems to be the… the consistent way that canned manufacturers add water to beans, because what they do is they actually cook the beans in the can, so they add a specific amount of water to it.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh!
Zsu Dever: Right. And to get a nice thick viscous that you would need for these recipes, because not all canned beans also have the kombu in it, which you would be doing if you cooked it at home, so to get that nice viscous, thick aquafaba you would reduce it by one third and refrigerate it, then it thickens up for you.
Caryn Hartglass: Right, I have to admit I did make one recent meringue and I loved it, but I didn’t reduce it and the meringue was like cotton candy almost. I liked it, but it was very, very light. It just like disappeared on my tongue!
Zsu Dever: Yes. So, not only do you reduce it, but you really have to whip it properly. To get aquafaba to whip to stiff peaks takes about 15 minutes, and that’s with a machine.
Caryn Hartglass: 15, one five, 15 minutes.
Zsu Dever: One five, yes.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, okay. Yeah, well anyway it is… I don’t know if I’m going to be tickled by this the rest of my life, but I am so tickled by it, because, like I said, I’ve been vegan since 1988, and just like cheese for example, it was just one of those things, egg whites, that I just decided I could live without this, and now I know I don’t have too, and it’s just so much fun!
Zsu Dever: It is. You can make meringue cookies with it, macaroons. Macaroons have been out of my spotlight for many years, ever since it came out, they became really popular. But now you can actually do macaroons too.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, so you mentioned that the meringue once you’ve whipped this aquafaba into a frenzy for 15 minutes, and you can add cream of tartar to it, you mentioned that alcohol can deflate it. So I’m thinking a vanilla extract that has alcohol in it, is that something we shouldn’t add to it because it’s deflating.
Zsu Dever: Well, if you have experience with the texture that aquafaba needs to get, then I do believe that you can add any number of strange things that if you… if you don’t have the key points of aquafaba ready yet, then you shouldn’t, you should really go for non-alcoholic extracts, which I believe Trader Joe’s has. That’s where I usually get my vanilla extract because it is non-alcoholic. But you can also use vanilla powder, and once you whip this thing into a frenzy like you say and it’s really a stiff peak, you can even add oil to it, and it won’t deflate on you terribly.
Caryn Hartglass: Ah! And what does the oil do, make it richer?
Zsu Dever: Well for instance in my whipped aquafaba, it’s like a whipped cream substitute, it makes it rich and thick, and it actually tastes like whipped cream!
Caryn Hartglass: Mmmmmmm! Okay, I’m trying to control my explosive excitement.
Zsu Dever: I was very excited for that recipe, cause I really didn’t think I could do it but it happened.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, and it’s really easy! Now, I have to admit, I’ve only used a K5 mixer to do this so I imagine doing it by hand would be exhausting.
Zsu Dever: A workout.
Caryn Hartglass: A workout.
Zsu Dever: Yes, definitely.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, so maybe if you some upper body workout before you indulge in a sweet treat maybe that’s the way to go but a hand mixer at least is necessary, right?
Zsu Dever: At least. Yes, I would recommend at least a hand mixer, but once you get really into it, you can pull it out of your garage, the thing that you haven’t thought of using it because, you know, what is good for, it’s made for bread and that’s about it. Now you can use that balloon attachment.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s funny that you say take it out of the garage because my partner Gary, we live in New York City, and we don’t have a car, he calls the K5 mixer his car, and we don’t have a garage to put it in, but it just seems like you could take it out… anyways. It’s good to have.
Zsu Dever: It is. It’s real nice.
Caryn Hartglass: So, I will be making your lemon meringue pie later this week, I was just sent a box of Northern California lemons from Gary’s cousin Nancy, and I’m just so… We were in California for 3 months this summer and I was really missing the fresh lemons, so she sent me a box, so I’ve got these great California lemons. You talked about adding sugar to the meringue and a sugar syrup.
Zsu Dever: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: And can you explain the difference between meringue without sugar, with sugar, and with sugar syrup?
Zsu Dever: Sure. There are three different types of meringues, the French meringue, the Swiss, and the Italian. The Italian meringue, this is the same thing with egg whites, so basically, you do the same thing that you do with egg whites, you just do it with the aquafaba meringue, you add the hot sugar syrup, and that makes a very stable meringue, but again, your meringue has to be at stiff peaks otherwise you will deflate the whole thing. So it’s like making candy really.
Caryn Hartglass: So that’s Italian.
Zsu Dever: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay.
Zsu Dever: I remember that because “hot” Italian.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. And the French and the Swiss, they do it differently?
Zsu Dever: The French is the easiest one. That’s where you whip it into a meringue, and then you just add the sugar, a little at a time, and the sugar starts incorporating into the meringue, and it makes the lattice work of the meringue strong, which is why you can bake it, technically bake it, but it’s really dehydrating. You can make it into meringue cookies. Now Swiss meringue is where you combine the sugar and the aquafaba and heat it up a little bit, just to melt the sugar, and then you whip it into a frenzy. And that’s the term.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Well the wonderful thing is that you’ve figured all this out for us, to know what to add to what, and to bake it or not bake it, and that makes it all easy.
Zsu Dever: I try.
Caryn Hartglass: And so you have added to the universal consciousness that we all share and we are all going to elevate and evolve our compassionate culinary skills as a result.
Zsu Dever: I firmly hope so.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. Now this isn’t just about aquafaba, you’ve got lots of other recipes in there, some with aquafaba and some without. I just wanted to talk a moment about yogurt. And I’ve made yogurt before, but I had no idea you could make a mother culture from jalapeno peppers.
Zsu Dever: I was so excited to find that out. It’s a very classic, ancient Indian way to incorporate the beneficial bacteria into your milk, and with that, you can make this mother culture last years. If you try to make yogurt using store bought yogurt, that culture eventually will die out, and you won’t be able to make yogurt from it. But with this, I have been able to do it ever since I discovered it 7 months ago and it hasn’t died on me.
Caryn Hartglass: Now, how long can that mother culture last. If for some reason you can’t make yogurt right away and replace it. Does it last for a while?
Zsu Dever: Well, about 7 days. But I have a theory you can actually freeze it because it’s like a yeast thing, and you know you can freeze your yeast and you can use it again, even bread dough, a lot of time you can freeze the bread dough and then let it thaw and then it poufs again, so your culture is still there, it’s not like a mammal that would break itself, it’s a bacteria.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, that’s fascinating. I used to have my own bread starter which I loved, but it’s… I never thought about freezing it, and maybe I can do that because I’m not home sometimes for long periods of time, and you have to feed these guys.
Zsu Dever: Yes, definitely try that.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, so there’s a lot of many creative recipes in this book. Not just aquafaba, the bean water, which you mentioned can also, you can use any bean to make aquafaba but the lighter color beans tend to have less of a bean flavor.
Zsu Dever: Correct. And less of a bean color.
Caryn Hartglass: And color.
Zsu Dever: Yup.
Caryn Hartglass: But I’ve been praising chickpeas now the last few weeks, just because it is the most amazing bean, not just for the aquafaba, but for chickpea flour and all the things that you can do with it. And it’s… who needs eggs anymore! I mean really! We can do everything; pretty much an egg can do with plants. It’s not just one plant that can do all the things that one egg can do.
Zsu Dever: Yes. We have to get a couple of plants, but hey the chickens live.
Caryn Hartglass: Right, now is the aquafaba, is it… can it be used as a binder.
Zsu Dever: It does have limiting binding abilities. So you would have to mix it with something else to help it bind a bit. It does bind, but I can’t really say that you could use it exclusively to bind something.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, we’ll we’ve got plenty of binding plant substitutes for eggs that work phenomenally well, I was just curious about it. I loved your tamagoyaki rolled omelet recipe.
Zsu Dever: I like that one too.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah! I mean I’ve made a lot of vegan omelets, chickpea flour, tofu, and I never even thought about making a tamagoyaki it’s beautiful and looks like it would travel well, make a nice lunchbox filler, amongst other things.
Zsu Dever: It is. Right, that’s the way it was originally intended and this one works just like that. You pull it and you eat it from your lunchbox, it’s really good.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah! And then the other thing, which I had to go eat lunch after seeing this recipe cause I was just like, I have to eat now I’m so hungry, was the Levantine kebabs.
Zsu Dever: Yeah, that’s really one of my favorites too. I was really wanting to replicate one of those Middle Eastern kebabs, you know the ones that come on the stick, and its ground meat, but I really wanted to something that was very akin to it, and the aquafaba makes the batter nice and light, so it’s just like… yeah it’s really delicious. The flavors are really nice.
Caryn Hartglass: I heard from listener today when I posted this program on Facebook, and she shared a story that I wanted to mention. She said that when she was talking to her mom about aquafaba, her grandfather overheard, and he told them both that his mother used to use the water of beans and chickpeas during the war in Europe because they had a shortage of eggs and they couldn’t afford or get any, and now she didn’t clarify if they were using it for aquafaba or not, so I’m not sure if that was the case, but she was implying that people were using these products a long time ago and now we’re rediscovering it as new. I’m going to have to dig a little further on that one, I just… I also wanted to send out a shout out to this listener, she’s from Australia, and her grandfather, I want to send them a little healing energy because he had a stroke last year, and it took his vision and he’s done a lot of wonderful things in his life, and just thank you for the story, and sending healing energy there. But I don’t know if people were using aquafaba before and I’m not sure which war it was, World War I or World War II. I do know that during those times we got creative and ended up using plants for many things and people were making chocolate cake without milk and eggs because they didn’t have them, and a lot of creativity happens from a lack.
Zsu Dever: Right. And at that time though I don’t think we had quite the agriculture that we have now, all the pushing towards the meat and the dairy and the eggs. That just wasn’t a thing back then.
Caryn Hartglass: Right.
Zsu Dever: So it made sense that you used everything you had, which is what a lot of people did throughout history.
Caryn Hartglass: And they also didn’t have K5 mixers back then so it…
Zsu Dever: They did not! They did not! They didn’t have macaroons either!
Caryn Hartglass: Really a workout to whip that meringue into a frenzy like I like to say.
Zsu Dever: But that’s when we were carrying buckets of water.
Caryn Hartglass: Excuse me?
Zsu Dever: That’s when we were carrying buckets of water, and cast iron dishes, all that stuff.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh please! People have no idea how easy we have it today, many of us, unfortunately there are people that still are struggling in many parts of the world. Okay so this is a great book, and it’s coming out October 4th I think you said by Vegan Heritage Press. There are lots of vegan cookbooks by this publisher. But you’re so much more than that! You already have two books out and you have a blog, you’re, Zsu’s, I don’t, I can’t say your name.
Zsu Dever: Zsu’s Vegan Pantry.
Caryn Hartglass: Zsu’s Vegan Pantry.
Zsu Dever: Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: And. You have three children, and I’m imagining that they love the things that come out of your kitchen.
Zsu Dever: I tell you, they’ve had enough of the sweets though. I had to do those things so many times! They are done with them.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s funny. So how old are they?
Zsu Dever: They’re older, 21, 19, and 16.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh okay. And are they vegan too?
Zsu Dever: They’re all in college. Yes.
Caryn Hartglass: Awesome! I love when people make vegan children.
Zsu Dever: I love it when they stay.
Caryn Hartglass: Did they start out vegan?
Zsu Dever: No, no. They were 3, and 2, and 1 when we became vegan. Well 4, 3, and 1.
Caryn Hartglass: Right. And I imagine there were some challenges along the way as you were learning what foods…
Zsu Dever: Yes, hot dogs were a big problem. They loved their hot dogs, and chicken nuggets. We had to replace those. And hot dogs weren’t that good then, the veggies dogs.
Caryn Hartglass: Right, but they’re pretty amazing today.
Zsu Dever: They are just so good right now. There’s just no reason not to.
Caryn Hartglass: No reason not too! Say that out loud three times!
Zsu Dever: Indeed. Everyone.
Caryn Hartglass: There’s no reason to eat meat, or eggs, or milk, there’s no reason!
Zsu Dever: There is none. It’s all propaganda.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m sorry. Because… I’m sorry I interrupted you. No, no, no you talk.
Zsu Dever: Oh no! Oh no, no! I was just repeating, repeating your saying, there’s no reason not too.
Caryn Hartglass: The challenge about this, and I love technology, and I love what we’re doing, but there’s this delay, and then if we get caught up in this cycle of delays we’re just on top of each other, one after another, so I’m just going to breathe here. Yes! Okay, so just a couple minutes left… What would you like to share with us about your discoveries as a vegan.
Zsu Dever: As a vegan. Wow. I discovered that a lot of people get duped into eating meat, dairy, and eggs. And a lot of people have a hard time giving it up because that’s what they have learned for so long. They are so scared.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. There’s nothing to be afraid of. All the great foods are out there and now you can meringue, and macaroons.
Zsu Dever: Yes. Get a couple of good cookbooks and just start. Start with one meal at a time.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. Well, I’m so excited about this. I know a lot of people are excited about this. I’m glad you’ve done the groundwork and I’m going to be digging into every page of this book. Thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food, and let’s get this to the New York Times Bestsellers list. Everybody needs to have this book.
Zsu Dever: Thank you so much Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: You’re welcome. Take care.
Zsu Dever: Thank you. Bye.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay. You’re welcome. That was Zsu Dever and you need to check out the Aquafaba cookbook. Okay, we just have a few seconds left, and I wanted to remind you once again that today is the release date of a book that I am a contributing author in, 25 Women Who Have Survived Cancer, Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope, and if you go to www.responsibleeatingandliving.com, my website, you can buy the book, and I will write you a lovely note. I’m Caryn Hartglass. Thank you for listening to It’s All About Food, and remember have a very delicious week.
Transcribed by Zia Kara, 10/14/2016