Chickpea Flour Breakfast Scramble
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Introducing our newest Fresh Off the Grid contributor: Jen Sotolongo from Messkit Maven. She spent the last two years bikepacking through Europe and South America, making her an expert on quick & easy meals on the road. She shares with us a lightweight breakfast recipe for vegan scrambled “eggs” using protein packed chickpea flour.
As soon as I walked into Salud Pan in Medellin, Colombia’s Laureles neighborhood, I knew I had found my happy place. In addition to serving exquisite vegan and gluten free fare, Salud Pan also included the largest natural store selection I had seen in my year and a half traveling by bicycle in South America.
My eyes widened as they scanned over foods I hadn’t seen in ages: Giant containers of coconut oil, whole grain bread topped with seeded goodness, a bulk section with all the spices I could ever imagine, and grains like farro, bulgur, and millet. I stopped the moment I came across an ingredient I had long wanted to use but had yet to try: Chickpea flour.
After eating overnight oats for well over a year during our bicycle tour, our vegan breakfast options had become limited. We needed to prepare something quick in the mornings so that we could be on our way with plenty of time to spare before either the heat or darkness forced us to stop.
Time after time on our trip, we would consider renegotiating our vegan diet terms to allow eggs. They’re so versatile, quick to make, easy to find in restaurants, and cheap. But we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it.
Once I found the chickpea flour, I knew our dilemma would be solved. My goal was to create a delicious vegan breakfast scramble that would power our athletic endeavors and also come together quickly.
I stuck with the basics for this recipe, using onions, peppers, and a tomato for my veggies. Once those were cooked, I poured in my chickpea “egg” dough and a few minutes later, our vegan breakfast scramble was ready!
This recipe uses what may be a few new-to-you ingredients. First up is aquafaba. What the heck is that? Well, you know that liquid you dump into the bushes when you open a can of chickpeas? That’s aquafaba (bean juice, literally translated!) and this magical substance acts just like egg whites. I’m talking meringues, fluffy pancakes, mousse, and pillowy vegan breakfast scrambles.
Next, we have nutritional yeast, affectionately known as “nooch.” This is a vegan pantry staple, as it gives a cheesy flavor in dishes, plus it’s packed with B vitamins.
And last, but not least is kala namak, or black salt, new to me since my veggie scramble making days. This pungent salt is great to use in vegan egg remixes due to its high content of sulfur resembling the smell of eggs. Don’t buy it at the expensive vegan store like I did. Instead, head to your nearest Middle Eastern market and purchase it there for a fraction of what I paid.
One more thing I’ll leave you with is that these are not eggs. On my first go, I had the expectation that they should taste just like the scrambled eggs I’d eat in during my pre-vegan days. They don’t, but they’re a fantastic replacement.
CHICKPEA FLOUR DOUGH
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup minus 3T of water
- 3 T aquafaba*, (liquid reserved from the can of chickpeas)
- 2 T nutritional yeast**
- ½ t turmeric
- ½ t cumin
- ¼-½ t chili powder, depending on spice preferences
- ¼ t sea salt
- ¼ t black pepper
- ¼ t kala namak***, optional
- ¼ onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ green pepper, diced
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 T neutral cooking oil
- Combine all chickpea flour dough ingredients together in a bowl, stir until there are no lumps, and set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic once hot. Stir consistently to avoid burning.
- Add the pepper about two minutes later, when the onions start to turn translucent and continue to stir.
- When the peppers have softened, after three minutes, add the tomatoes and stir for about one minute.
- Pour the chickpea flour dough into over the veggies and into the pan and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, like you would a regular scramble or omelet until the edges begin to dry out.
- Scramble the mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan and allow it to sit, undisturbed for another 2 minutes before scrambling again.Continue the process until the dough begins to dry out, 4-5 minutes in total.
- Kill the heat and allow the mixture to sit in the pan for 2 minutes and break apart into smaller bits if desired.
INGREDIENT NOTES* Aquafaba: This is the liquid that canned chickpeas come packed in. Reserve 3 tablespoons for this recipe when draining the can.
** Nutritional Yeast: This is a deactivated yeast that brings a cheesy flavor to dishes. We've recently seen our Trader Joe's start carrying it, but it can also be found at Whole Foods, natural grocery stores, or online.
*** Kala Namak: Black salt. This will add an "eggy" flavor to the dish, but is optional. Find it at Middle Eastern or Indian grocers or online.
EQUIPMENT NEEDEDMedium-sized bowl
Sharp knife + cutting board
Non-stick frying pan
Plates + utensils for serving
Nutrition (Per Serving)
Wonderfully written. Nice work. Would wait for next one.
A beautiful recipe. This has become one of my recipe staples, thank you <3 however i prefer to fry the veg separately and add them to the scramble right before it's fully cooked cos I like my veggies a bit raw.
So glad that you have been enjoying this scramble! I bet the more raw veggies add a nice texture to the dish.
What can I use instead of aquafaba?
Hi Carina! You can just add the full cup of water and omit the aquafaba. It might not be quite as fluffy, but the texture change should be unnoticeable and it’ll come out just fine!
I am so happy to find this recipe! As a vegan, I really struggle with breakfast while camping.
I was curious how much protein was in this dish so I ran the ingredients list through the nutritional analyzer tool that I use (happyforks.com) and it came up with a much lower calorie count than what you included. I was wondering how you came up with your number. Thanks so much!
You are right! Thank you for catching this. We just ran the numbers again through our calculator (myfitnesspal) and it was giving us an inaccurate readout. Inexplicably, it was counting “1 cup of water” as “1 cup of water mixed with cream of wheat”. (we have absolutely no idea why…)
Anyways, we reran everything and you are right, the calorie count is lower: 306 Kcal with approx 16 grams of protein. We have updated the recipe. Sorry for the mistake. But thank you so much for catching it.
Tried this last week and loved it. I’m allergic to eggs and everything else I tried was just not right. These are perfect Thank you so much.
I’m so happy to hear that these worked for you and that you enjoyed them! Chickpea flour is one of my new favorite go-tos for egg replacement.
Does it taste like eggs?
Not exactly. It’s more reminiscent of eggs in terms of look and texture. The kala namak salt helps because it also gives is a sulphur smell so it boosts the senses in that regard as well. I would describe it like I do a veggie burger. It takes like the experience of eating a burger. Hopefully this makes sense!
We cook our own chickpeas in the instant pot — does anyone have experience with the results using the reserved cooking liquid from the IP for the aquafaba? (it’s a bit more diluted than the thicker liquid you would drain off from canned chickpeas) TIA — excited to give this a go!
I haven’t tried this myself, but I would maybe just allow the aquafaba to reduce a bit with the lid off after you have removed the chickpeas. Let me know if you try with the thinner liquid and whether it comes out!
I just made this without peppers and tomatoes because I didn’t have any. Very good!!
I have found that if you pour of your cooking liquid into another pot and keep boiling it, it reduced to about the equivalent of the canned chickpeas aquafaba.
How many does this serve?
It makes about two servings!
Does anyone know how this tastes reheated? Hoping to possibly meal prep with this recipe.
Hey there this looks great! I’m wondering if I can make the check pea dough prior to heading out on our trip and using it a day or two later.
I would imagine that it’s possible, though we haven’t tried that yet. You could try mixing it in a jar at home and bring it along. You *might* need to add more liquid as the chickpea flour may absorb more liquid over time than the recipe was developed with. It’s worth a shot – we might need to test that method out, too!
I made the “egg” portion of this as a doubled recipe with the INTENTION to try freezing it with a potato hash into breakfast burritos for a quick and easy breakfast. Unfortunately, I seem to have made a mistake in letting my husband taste it. Now, by popular demand, it’s on the menu for lunch. It’s delicious wrapped in a tortilla with salsa. My very much omni husband says he actually prefers it over regular scrambled egg burritos.
Unfortunately I can’t report on how it freezes/reheats because I have to go to the store and get more ingredients… and make it on a day he’s not here…
Over all this is a great recipe. The only thing I changed was the addition of a tiny amount of baking powder based on success in past experimentation with a similar recipe and it really did a nice job helping to keep it a bit fluffy. When I say a tiny amount, it was about 1/8 tsp per original recipe, so a 1/4 tsp in my doubled one.
I’m sorry but this has a really odd texture that I don’t like at all and my pan now has a film on it that will be difficult to clean off.
We’re sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you.
Great recipe! Thank you ???? I needed a great idea for our family getaway instead of our regular tofu scramble and hubby enjoyed this more than the tofu ???? I added some cut fresh cherry tomatoes and jalapeño hummus plus fresh baby spinach to the plate – yum ????
Can you use garbanzo fava flour instead of chickpea flour?
While we have not tried this substitute before, we think it should work. We’ve seen the Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Fava Flour packages before at our local grocery store and they seem to be a combination of chickpea/garbanzo and fava bean flours for a more balanced flavor. Seems like it would work the same.