Are you familiar with aquafaba? Relatively new to the culinary scene, aquafaba is the water drained from cooked chickpeas (or other legume). It has the fascinating properties of fluffing up when whipped, just like egg whites. It also works great in a recipe to bind the ingredients like a whole egg. This is such a novel and exciting alternative for eggs or egg whites in a recipe.
This incredible discovery was an unintentional collaborated effort. In France in 2014, Chef Joel Roessel was the first to post about aquafaba on a blog. He was fiddling with the capabilities of chickpea water in baking. With starch and gum, he produced a foaming whipped topping and shared these results. Months later, 2 different French cooks participated in a chickpea challenge. They managed to integrate the liquid in its foam form into a chocolate ganache dessert. The method hadn’t gained much popularity just yet, though. In early 2015, an American fellow, Goose Wohlt, stumbled across the video. In his effort to replace eggs in his vegan diet, he tested out the use of aquafaba. Wohlt figured out that the aquafaba on its own had some similar characteristics in its makeup to an egg. He discovered that it wasn’t necessary to include the additives as Roessel had done. He shared this online and the approach has now spread worldwide.
Great Egg Replacement for Vegan Recipes
Vegans are lucky with the many products available for substitutions but aquafaba is special. It is inexpensive, healthy, and very easy to find! Just boil up some chickpeas (or white beans), drain, and reserve the liquid to use in your cooking. Aquafaba has a unique quality that you can store it frozen. Unlike other substitutes, freezing doesn’t ruin the ability of the aquafaba to become fluffy or binding. Chickpeas are a common ingredient in plant-based eating so most household have some on hand.
Aquafaba is readily available from a can of chickpeas as well, but we encourage readers to make it themselves. Homemade aquafava is healthier as it is fresh and there is no risk of contamination from the lining of a can. The best part is, you can make a large batch at one time and store portions for use in the future. A crafty tip is to measure out your liquid and freeze it in an ice tray. This trick will make it super easy to defrost and integrate into your cooking. Aquafaba has the ratio of 2 tablespoons of liquid to replace 1 egg white. To replace one whole egg, use 3 tablespoons of liquid. If the aquafaba is to be used as a cream (like a meringue or icing), you’ll need to whip the liquid. Otherwise, there is no preparation required to add into a recipe. Just replace according to the ratios provided.
- 1 cup Chickpeas, dried
- Soak a cup of dried chickpeas overnight. This step is actually optional if you are short on time. The soaking helps the chickpeas cook faster. The unsoaked chickpeas will yield results just as well without overnight soaking.
- Add chickpeas to a pot and cover with water approx. 2 inches above chickpeas. Once your water reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow your chickpeas to cook until soft (think the consistency of canned chickpeas).
- When your chickpeas are soft, remove them from the water but keep the water on the stove to reduce.
- The remaining water should cook until reduced to about 2 cups. Allow to cool and refrigerate or freeze for storage.
Aquafaba in Desserts and Savory Dishes
Aquafaba is a versatile ingredient. It works in vegan desserts like meringues, mousse, brownies, macaroons, and cake. It can be used to make marshmallow fluff alternatives, icing, and even whipped topping for coffee. When you encounter a recipes that calls for an egg, just measure out and use the aquafaba for a healthy vegan alternative. There are so many great uses for aquafaba. Here are a few whole-food recipes for you to try!
(click to access the full recipes with instructions)
Have fun creating wonderful recipes with aquafaba. Remember, you are not limited to the “juice” from just chickpeas – any low-sodium white beans tastes fine however chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are preferred by many vegan chefs. Make it yourself or take it from a can (be sure it has a BPA-free lining)!