These scrumptious black bean balls have been waiting to be unveiled for months. Why? Because as much as I loved the taste of them, they just didn’t hold together when they hit the sauce. Lay off the sauce, you say? Never! Balls need sauce. So I kept searching for a good binding agent, and my friends, I finally found one. So without further ado, meet my simple vegan black bean “meatballs,” that actually maintain their ballish shape when plunged into a spicy sauce.
Should I have rewritten that introduction to sound less erotic? Yes. But no. 😉
For all of you beautiful vegan people reading this, you know what I’m talking about when I get excited about finding a good binding agent to hold those vegan balls together. So what’s the secret ingredient? Tapioca flour (affiliate), and aquafaba.
This brilliant idea came to me when I was making Somer’s awesome vegan mozzarella from Vedged Out for my flatbread pizza. The recipe calls for tapioca flour (affiliate), which is a magical, starchy flour. As I was stirring that thick and stretchy cheese I thought, “hmmm, I should try using this in my bean balls.” So I did, and this is what happened.
They rolled into balls with ease. They didn’t crumble when I browned them. And best of all, they kept their form while they simmered in the marinara sauce. Victory!
Since I’ve already addressed my beautiful vegan friends, let me address my beautiful non-vegan friends who haven’t had black bean “meatballs” before. Don’t expect them to have the same texture as real meat balls. They won’t. But they’re really good, so don’t be afraid to try them.
Bean balls are delicious. Mine are made with shallots, garlic, sautéed Portobello mushrooms, parsley, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. They’re full of savory flavor and protein. The texture is slightly crusty on the outside (because I brown them before simmering them in the sauce) and moist and firm on the inside. But remember, these are made out of beans, and beans don’t have that chewy consistency that meat does, so don’t expect that.
As we head into autumn—say it isn’t so—your stomach is going to be requesting warm and hearty meals. Make these heatlhy and simple vegan black bean “meatballs” with my spicy marinara, and then pour it over a big pile of spaghetti. If that doesn’t satisfy you, nothing will.
Or if pasta isn’t your thing, just eat them as is with some crusty bread and a salad. Soak up the sauce with the bread, but be careful because you could eat an entire loaf before you even know what happened. How would I know that? I’ll never tell.
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