You know the canned beans liquid that most people just dump down the drain? It turns out that the leftover “juice” is the perfect egg replacer called “aquafaba.”
When I heard about aquafaba, I was filled with such disbelief that I had to get up and make some right away! Here’s how:
- Use the liquid from a can of beans or the liquid left after you cook dried beans.
- Any bean will do, but most folks find that using the juice from low-sodium white beans or chickpeas is best.
- I drained some cooking liquid from a pot of chickpeas on the stove and reduced it until it looked slightly viscous (like the liquid in a can of chickpeas, which I could also have used).
- Using an immersion blender, I whipped half a cup or so of the liquid (aquafaba) and transformed it into a stiff, pure-white froth, that looked very much like egg whites or heavy cream. The pillows of foam filled a good-sized mixing bowl. Bowl me over!
- I slowly drizzled a bit of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon into the foam as I finished whipping. Delicious!
Aquafaba is a growing food trend! It even has its own web site with a frequently asked questions page, so I don’t have to answer them here. There are Facebook communities, too, where you can find recipes using aquafaba as an egg or whipped-cream substitute.
- Merinque is one of the more popular uses. See a recipe for Merinque Aquafaba.
- Aquafaba recipes also abound for mayonnaise, marshmallow fluff, whipped toppings, sour cream, frostings, mousse, ice cream, fillings, and more.
I simply added a bit of maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon and served it for supper on apple crisp straight from the oven. Delicious! (Okay, I have to admit I ate almost half of it immediately, scooping it right out of the bowl. Pretty much all of the calories came from the syrup.)
A few facts about making and using aquafaba
- You can repeatedly freeze, thaw, re-liquify, and heat it without any loss of whippability.
- Unlike with raw egg whites, there’s no danger of pathogens from use at room temperature with no further cooking.
- It doesn’t contain much in the way of conventional nutrients.
- If you use canned chickpeas or white beans (which do not leave a bean-y flavor), choose a salt-free product. Otherwise, it’s too much salt for dessert recipes.
- Experienced cooks suggest substituting three tablespoons of whipped aquafaba for each egg in a recipe.
I’ve made no secret of my love for beans and pulses (including chickpeas). I cook and eat them often—it’s inexpensive, versatile, and high-powered nutrition. When I wasn’t making soup, I often poured the bean-cooking water down the drain. No more!
I may be new to aquafaba, but his holiday season, I’ll start whipping that liquid into new and amazing dishes. If I find an especially spectacular one, I’ll share it here. Please do the same if you have one.
And here’s a recipe for those chickpeas: Make hummus!