Today I'm going to ask you to have a little faith when I share a recipe for a lower-calorie whipped cream whose main ingredient is garbanzo bean juice.
The liquid leftover from the slow cooking of beans and legumes is called aquafaba, and it's a scientific miracle if you ask me because it whips up into a pillowy fluff in minutes. You probably have some sitting on your pantry shelf this very minute, and you've probably been throwing it away.
Whipped aquafaba has many uses, particularly in the vegan world, where it serves as an egg substitute in baked goods and meringues. My favorite way to use it is as a low-cal whipped topping. It also can be used as a base for mousse.
Dollop today's recipe onto a latte or pie. A half cup of aquafaba has roughly 50 calories, and it whips up into about 8 cups of topping. You will want to add some sugar so you don't top your holiday pies with bean-whip.
If you're like me, you have grabbed a can of beans from your pantry to try this out. A few notes: Light-colored beans work better than dark beans, and white beans such as cannellini have a milder taste than garbanzo beans.
Aquafaba whipped topping will not be as stable as whipped cream, so add a stabilizer, such as powdered sugar or cream of tartar, and serve it within 30 to 60 minutes of whipping.
Finally, to address your main concern: You will want to cover the slight bean taste. A mixture of almond and vanilla extracts along with some maple syrup works well.
Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."