Are you wondering what is aquafaba and whether or not it is one of the best egg substitutes you should try cooking with? Or what to do with aquafaba and how to use it in your kitchen or in your favorite recipes?
This mysterious liquid is a pretty amazing ingredient that everyone should know about. Whether you are vegan or not!
It is a staple in many kitchens and you probably weren’t even aware of it or how it could be put to good use.
So, if you are wondering how to start using up that liquid gold a.k.a aquafaba. Then keep reading because here is everything that you need to know!
What is Aquafaba?
Before we start talking about how you can use aquafaba we should probably first cover what it even is.
Aquafaba is the viscous slightly yellow tinged liquid that comes in cans of beans. Most commonly chickpeas though black beans and navy beans can also be used.
But chickpeas is the ideal option when we refer to aquafaba as the flavor is lighter and the color is more transparent. Any other kind of bean will give a much stronger flavor and will most likely have a darker colored liquid.
The liquid from cans of chickpeas is the most commonly preferred because it has the lightest flavor profile. Making it less likely to overpower other flavors in your cooking or to give them a strange color. It is also completely white when whipped up, giving the most resemblance to whip egg whites.
This liquid closely mimics egg whites which makes it one of the best egg substitutes for vegans in all kinds of recipes!
What to do With Aquafaba?
There are so many ways in which you might want to use aquafaba in your cooking whether you are vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, or none of the above!
When wondering what to do with aquafaba you can use it in just about any way that you would typically use an egg white. From binding to leavening to whipping up for a lovely, stiff meringue foam.
It is not only an amazing option for those who don’t eat eggs but also for those on a tight budget. It is a great way to reduce your food waste since you can easily use that liquid that would normally end up going down the drain.
This brand of canned chick peas is the one that I always buy as it yields consistent results. This is important as some brands might not work as well as others. Or they might taste slightly differently.
Use it in Baking
When discussing what is aquafaba we have to acknowledge that it is one of the best egg substitutes in many kinds of baking!
You can easily use that extra liquid from a can of beans to replace an egg white in a muffin or cake recipe. Getting pretty accurate results!
Most baking recipes that call for egg whites are using them as a leavening agent to create light and fluffy baked goods. Aquafaba works in much the same way and can take the place of egg whites in traditional baking recipes.
It helps you to avoid getting dense or flat baked goods.
This makes it so much easier to bake vegan goods as you don’t even need to find a veganized recipe of what you are wanting to make! Just keep in mind that some recipes will be trickier to make the others, as eggs can have many different roles in baked goods.
Related: Vegan Leavening Agents in Baking
Wondering what to do with aquafaba after using a can of chickpeas? Why not pull out your grandma’s old candy recipes?
This is one of the most interesting ways that you can use up that leftover aquafaba as there are many candy recipes that call for egg whites. Such as nougat, fudge, and divinity just to name a few.
This will especially come in handy during the holidays when you still want to enjoy those traditional holiday candies. But you also want to veganized them.
As far as I am aware this is the best way to recreate those kinds of recipes as candy making can be difficult and aquafaba provides the most accurate results.
Other vegan egg substitutes just don’t yield accurate results because candy making is already very finicky. Let alone when you are replacing certain ingredients.
This is probably the most popular way of putting aquafaba from canned chick peas to good use and that is to whip it like you would egg whites!
Amazingly, aquafaba whips up just like egg whites would, which allow you to get extra creative in your vegan kitchen.
With whipped chickpea liquid you can create crunchy meringue cookies, marshmallow fluff, buttercream, ice cream, pavlova, and fluffy lemon meringue pie! And those are just the delicious recipes to start with!
The options are endless when it comes to making desserts from whipped aquafaba! This method also tends to give more accurate and tastier results then whipped egg whites do.
If you plan on whipping chickpea liquid to create any kind of meringue dessert. I would highly recommend that you either use a heavy duty hand mixer or a Kitchen aid. Mixing Aquafaba by hand just requires too much work and will have a less impressive result.
You can use aquafaba in traditional bread making much like you would in baking desserts.
You can easily transform any normal bread recipe into a vegan friendly one by replacing eggs with chickpea liquid. With nearly perfect results.
This acts as a leavening agent that helps to create lighter and airier bread. It could also be used in the place of an egg wash to give your bread that glossy golden appearance on the top.
If you enjoy bread making this can be a game changer since you can easily veganize any normal bread recipe to wow your family and friends!
Because aquafaba acts so much like an egg white, it goes without saying that it makes an excellent binder in cooking.
This can come in handy when it comes to making things such as cookies, vegan patties, and vegan meat loafs.
Many vegan recipes fail purely due to a lack of binding agents and chickpea liquid can completely resolve that issue! helping your foods to hold together better and become more compact.
Tips and Tricks
- Buy organic canned chickpeas for the healthiest option.
- Use cans that are either marked as low sodium or no salt added for the best flavor.
- Once you find one brand of beans that you know works well, stick to that brand for reliable results.
- If you are whipping your chickpea liquid always add a bit of cream of tartar to stabilize it.
- Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip aquafaba as it doesn’t whip well by hand.
- If you want the aquafaba but don’t want to use the beans immediately you can freeze them for later in an airtight container.
How to Measure it
Since you will most likely be using your aquafaba in the place of eggs in your recipes it is important to know how to properly measure it.
You also want to make sure that you are shaking your container of aquafaba in order to combine everything that might have floated to the bottom.
We don’t want any bean particles in your baking of course. But the starches that might have settled at the bottom are part of what makes chickpea liquid so effective. Helping the liquid to properly whip up without issue.
- 3 Tablespoons is equivalent to 1 whole egg
- 2 Tablespoons is the equivalent to 1 egg white
A normal sized can of beans will typically yield about ½ a cup of liquid which will give you 8-12 tablespoons. More than enough to use in your recipe and save some for a later date.
Can I Make Aquafaba at Home?
If you were wondering what is aquafaba you might also want to know if it is possible to make it yourself at home. And it is indeed possible to make at home!
With a bit more effort and time you can achieve a more budget friendly version of aquafaba.
This brand of dried chick peas is non-GMO and is an amazing price for the amount that you get. Just think, you get all of the chickpeas as well as the aquafaba!
Making your own is also a healthier option as it won’t contain preservatives or any remnants from the can. It will also be lower in sodium.
How to Make Aquafaba at Home
- 3 cups dried chick peas
- 12 cups water
- Begin by soaking your chickpeas in water overnight. Discarding the water, the next day to replace with the 12 cups of water.
- Put your pot on the stovetop on high and bring the liquid to a boil. Once boiling turn down to medium high heat and skim the froth off of the top as needed.
- The chick peas will need 60-120 minutes before they become tender.
- Once your chickpeas are soft enough to put a fork through turn of the heat and allow them to cool down with the water.
- Once cooled strain out the chickpeas and set aside for later. Depending on how think your liquid is or what you intend to use it for you may need to reduce it further.
- To do so, place back on medium high heat for 30-40 minutes.
Pros and Cons of Making Aquafaba at Home
Though you most certainly can make chickpea liquid at home you may not want to sometimes.
I personally prefer to just use the canned version as I find it to be more dependable and generally so much easier! Boiling large amounts of chickpeas is very time consuming and just wasn’t my favorite thing to do.
- You get much more liquid to work with
- It’s a cheaper option
- It is healthier than the canned version
- It is time consuming
- Can have a stronger bean taste
- Is less stable and dependable
If you plan to use aquafaba to create fancy desserts such as candies, macarons, and meringues you might want to stick to the canned stuff. It is much more reliable and provides more stable results that you can depend on.
Even when reduced, your chickpea liquid might still be unreliable when it comes to finicky recipes or whipped desserts. And it is often just safer to go with the canned version for reliable results.
How to Save Aquafaba
Whether you decide to use the canned or homemade version of aquafaba you will most likely find yourself needing to save it for later.
This can be tricky as chickpea liquid does not have a long shelf life once it has been made or a can has been open. It will typically only be good for about 5-6 days in the fridge.
The best way to be able to save your chickpea liquid for a later date is to freeze it! This lengthens its shelf life for at least a few months if not longer.
To do this you can either pour it all into an airtight container to be thawed out when needed. Or for an even handier option you can freeze it in ice cube containers and store in an air tight zip lock bag for later.
This is also the perfect option for storing as aquafaba is more effective when slightly chilled anyway.
Have I convinced you yet? Are you now going to rush to your pantry to look for a can of chickpeas?
I hope that this article has answered all of your questions about what is aquafaba as well as what to do with aquafaba.
Now all that’s left to do it try it out for yourself and see just how creative you can get with this surprising ingredient. Will you make a meringue pie or a fluffy cake?
Chickpea liquid is a game changer when it comes to vegan cooking and if you haven’t taken advantage of it, yet you definitely should!
Let me know in the comments if you have ever used aquafaba in your recipes and how it turned out! What is your favorite recipe that includes aquafaba?