How to make chickpea edible sensory aquafaba foam for a taste-safe sensorial activity for babies or toddlers, or with a magnetic frozen fish twist for older children.
If you are a vegan or try to supplement your animal protein source with a vegan one, then you possibly have been throwing down the drain one of the essential ingredients in the vegan pyramid! Chickpeas are boasting with protein, but it is the ‘chickpea juice’ that we are concerned with here! Did you know the liquid in a can of chickpeas has a name? It’s called aquafaba, which translates from aqua (water) and faba (bean) in Latin. So yep, it literally means bean water. And aquafaba’s most magic quality is its ability to whip to a fluffy foam which you can incorporate into many recipes OR turn it into a TASTE-SAFE sensory foam! Besides, you can set up this chickpea taste-safe sensorial activity bin in less than ten minutes! Most importantly, this edible sensory aquafaba foam alone is entirely safe to taste, making it perfect for babies and toddlers!
Please, note, only the foam is edible! If you have little ones who are still mouthing things, skip all non-edible items! For kindergartners and up, you can add a magnetic twist (as shown in the video) by including frozen paper-clip fish.
You’ll need to make Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam
- 1 portion of aquafaba (the liquid drained from 1 can of chickpeas)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- food colouring (optional)
- food blender (works best) or stand mixer (love Cuisinart ) or a hand mixer (what we used)
Why Cream of Tartar?
Do you remember the foam while cooking chickpeas overflowing from your pot? So, while you can definitely whip aquafaba alone ~ without any cream of tartar, the foam will not be as big/fluffy nor it will last long! However, adding a stabilizing ingredient improves the structure and volume of whipped aquafaba. Cream of tartar is acidic so it can create a foam that traps air bubbles and water more quickly and holds them in place for less weeping.
HOW TO Make Chickpea Taste-Safe Sensorial Activity
- Shake the unopened can of chickpeas well. (The starches in the chickpea liquid settle on the bottom of the can, so to utilize them, you need to agitate them by shaking to ensure they’re evenly distributed throughout the liquid.)
- Drain the chickpeas through a strainer over a bowl and save the beans for cooking/eating.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar to the bowl.
- Use an electric mixer to whip the liquid into foam. It took me about five minutes to get a nice foam going. Once the peaks form, you can add that directly to your sensory bin.
Chickpea Taste-Safe Sensorial Activity
Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam | Other Beans
Liquid from canned chickpeas works best. However, from what I have researched, this foam can be made from other white beans. Still, chickpeas have been found to be the best for it. Whipping the black bean liquid takes much longer to see fluff, and it still never reaches its peak.
Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam TIPS:
- Bring your prep-station ourdoors! While wipping, it might splatter so make sure to do this activity in an area that is easy to clean
- Do not create this sensory bin if a child has any sort of chickpea allergy
- Only the foam is safe to taste, sunce it is made from all food products. So, do not use any toys/tools if your child is still mouthing things and there is danger of anything be swallowed. ALWAYS supervise your child!
- Clean up is easy sicne this foam can be rinsed down the drain and any surfaces can be washed with soap and water.
Magneitc Twist | Kindergarden Science
For children who are past the mouthing stage, add a fun magnetic twist by freezing a paper clip inside the fish mold. Then offer a magnet to fish them out!
Science Behind Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam
Chickpea liquid contains both proteins and starches, so when you use the mixer to whip it up, you add air to the mixture. You are also separating the clumps of proteins, the process called denaturing, by exposing amino acids that are hydrophobic. And since these amino acids do not want to be in contact with the water which is part of the chickpea liquid, they move to the air bubbles. Thereafter, proteins coat the air bubbles and form a collection that prevents the bubbles from popping.
Language Enrichment questions for Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam
Asking questions while a child plays creatively leads to new areas of discovery! By bringing attention to details and inviting them to ponder, a child builds a better understanding of the environment and experiences. Here are some questions that might help language enrichment and comprehension with your aquafaba foam:
- Describe how does the foam feel? Sticky? Fluffy? Bubbly?
- Do you think your feet will have the same sensation as your hands exploring the foam?
- How does the foam smell?
- What do you think the foam will taste like?
- What other ways you would like to play with the foam?
Educational Benefits of Edible Sensory Aquafaba Foam
Exploring through play during sensorial activities offers many learning opportunities for little ones! Since sensory play triggers all five senses: touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing, it triggers multiple neurons in the developing mind! Through such stimulation of the senses, a child’s brain receives information and can build or strengthen synapses ~ neuro connections. The act of submerging hands into a sensory filler and fully experiencing is a significant educational opportunity! “PLAY is the WORK of the CHILD!” so let them be hard at work through creative sensory play!
Some of the benefits are:
- fine and gross motor skills
- building and expanding vocabulary
- engulfing into experimental learning
- cognitive development
- observation skills
- calming anfd theraputic skills
Trust me, taste safe, multi sensory aquafaba foam is fabulous! Let them Play!
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