What is Aquafaba? Aquafabulous! 

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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!

About The Author

Margaret Boyles

Margaret Boyles is a longtime contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She wrote for UNH Cooperative Extension, managed NH Outside, and contributes to various media covering environmental and human health issues. Read More from Margaret Boyles

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