Don’t drain the liquid the next time you soak beans or open up a new can of chickpeas! Keep that liquid in your fridge and use it as an egg replacement. That goop known as Aquafaba is the secret ingredient for vegans looking to make fluffy meringues.
What is it
The word Aquafaba literally just means “watery bean” and was invented only a little over a year ago. According to aquafaba.com, a French cook named Joel Rossel began experiementing in 2014 with the liquid from canned goods in search of finding an egg replacement. In 2015, two French scientists took the liquid from canned chickpeas, whipped it into foam and used it to make chocolate mouse. Finally, Goose Wohlt, an American engineer discovered that the liquid could replace eggs to create a vegan meringue! It was after his success with the vegan meringue that he, along with an excited vegan community, coined the term Aquafaba.
How to use it
There are two ways to get Aquafaba. It can be the water you used to boil beans and peas for an extended amount of time, or it can come from the liquid of the canned versions of these foods. Once you have separated the liquid from the beans (chickpeas seem to work best), whisk it until it turns white and foamy. Use a wooden spoon to fold it into the batter you are making. If your aquafaba seems too watery, you will have to reduce it until it resembles the consistency of egg whites.
Here is the general rule for using Aquafaba:
- 1 TBSP to replace one egg yolk
- 2 TBSP to replace one egg white
- 3 TBSP to replace on whole egg
There are plenty of recipes online using Aquafaba that you can try depending on what you are looking to make!
- Raw: Fluffs, whips, nice creams, and drink and pie toppings
- Baked: Meringues, macarons, and pavlovas
- Confectionery: nougat, marshmallows, fudge and icing
- Savory: cakes, waffles, cookies, mayo, burgers, cheese, butter, breads
Are there any health benefits?
Because Aquafaba is such a new trend, there is little available nutritional analysis. Aquafaba.com is the only source I can find which has raised the funds and tested the liquid. They found that Aquafaba from chickpea contains about 3-5 calories per TBSP. It is not a significant source of carbs, protein, fat, or vitamins. It’s possible that we may find more nutritional benefits with further research but, for now, the biggest benefits of Aquafaba are that is it entirely plant based, it’s gluten free, low in calories and mimics the consistency of eggs!