Vegan Wonder

Unlock the Magic of Aquafaba: The Versatile Vegan Egg Substitute

The humble chickpea has given us many gifts over the years – fiber-rich hummus, satisfying falafel, and delicious, creamy tahini. But did you know that the liquid that chickpeas are cooked in, so-called aquafaba, has magical properties of its own? That’s right, folks – it’s time to get excited about bean water.

What is Aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the cooking liquid that chickpeas are usually cooked in, but it can also come from the can. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a vegan ingredient that can replace eggs in a variety of dishes. It’s high in protein and has a natural thickening ability, making it a valuable addition to any plant-based kitchen.

Why Use Aquafaba?

While flax eggs and applesauce have their place in vegan baking, they can’t always replicate the texture and binding properties of eggs. That’s where aquafaba comes in, offering a more versatile and often more effective solution.

Not only does it work in baking, but it’s also great for savory dishes like mayo and dressings.

Plus, using aquafaba is a great way to reduce food waste. Instead of draining the chickpeas and throwing away the cooking liquid, you can use it in a recipe.

Aquafaba Meringues

Perhaps the most impressive use of aquafaba is in meringues. Yes, you read that right – bean water can be whipped up into stiff, glossy peaks that can be used to make vegan meringues.

The secret is in the protein and starch content of aquafaba. While fresh chickpeas have too much fiber to make good meringues, canned chickpeas have the perfect balance of protein and starch. And unlike egg whites, aquafaba doesn’t contain any fat, making it easier to whip up into stiff peaks.

So how do you make aquafaba meringues? It’s pretty simple – just whip some aquafaba in a stand mixer until it forms stiff peaks, then add in some sugar and whip some more. You can flavor it with vanilla or other extracts, or even food coloring if you’re feeling fancy.

Once you’ve whipped up your aquafaba meringues, you can use them to make all sorts of delicious vegan treats – from pavlovas to macarons to simple cookies. Just be sure to use a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk attachment to get the best results.

Replacing Eggs with Aquafaba

But meringues are just the beginning. Aquafaba can also be used as a direct egg replacement in all sorts of baking dishes – cakes, cookies, breads, and more. It can even help the baked goods rise and be more moist.

In savory dishes, aquafaba can be used as a mayonnaise base, or in dressings and dips to help them thicken and emulsify. Just blend it up with some oil, an acid like vinegar or lemon juice, and any seasonings you like, and you’ve got a delicious vegan condiment.

When using aquafaba as an egg replacement, you’ll want to use about 1/4 cup for every egg. So a recipe that calls for two eggs would use 1/2 cup of aquafaba. You may also want to add in some salt, to taste, as aquafaba can add a savory note to dishes.

Tips for Using Aquafaba

If you’re using aquafaba from a can, make sure to shake it up before using. The protein and starch can settle at the bottom, so you want to make sure you’re getting a good mix.

Also, be sure to let your aquafaba come to room temperature before using it in recipes. Cold aquafaba won’t whip up as well as room temperature aquafaba.

You can store any leftover aquafaba in the fridge for up to a week. Use it to make more mayo, or add it to smoothies or soups for extra protein.

And if you want to freeze your aquafaba, you can. Just make sure to let it thaw and come to room temperature before using it in a recipe.

The Future of Aquafaba

As aquafaba gains popularity, we’re starting to see more and more plant-based companies create products made with it. There are pre-made aquafaba mayonnaises and dressings on the market, and even some plant-based eggs that use aquafaba as their base.

We’re sure we’ll see even more innovative uses of aquafaba in the food industry as it continues to gain traction. And as people become more aware of the environmental benefits of reducing food waste, we expect aquafaba to continue to rise in popularity.

So the next time you’re cooking chickpeas, be sure to save the liquid. You never know when you might need some magic bean water.

1. Origin and Properties of Aquafaba: Aquafaba is the liquid in which chickpeas (or other legumes) are cooked or stored in a can. It is composed mainly of water, with small amounts of proteins (approximately 0.7 g/100 ml), carbohydrates (approximately 0.5 g/100 ml), fiber (approximately 0.1 g/100 ml), and starches (approximately 1 g/100 ml). The unique composition of aquafaba allows it to mimic egg whites when whipped, making it an excellent vegan substitute for meringues and other dishes that require egg whites.

2. Rise of Aquafaba in Vegan Cooking: With the increasing popularity of plant-based diets, aquafaba has gained attention as a versatile and sustainable egg substitute. It offers the same volume as egg whites when whipped, and its binding properties make it suitable for various recipes. Using aquafaba instead of eggs can reduce food waste and save costs, as it is derived from the cooking liquid of chickpeas rather than requiring separate eggs.

3. Aquafaba Meringues: Aquafaba can be whipped into stiff peaks, similar to egg whites, to create vegan meringues. When whipping aquafaba, it is essential to start with a clean, grease-free whisk and bowl. Room temperature aquafaba whips better than cold aquafaba. To make aquafaba meringues, you can add sugar, flavorings, and food coloring to taste. The meringue can be used to make various desserts, such as pavlovas, macarons, and mousses.

4. Replacing Eggs with Aquafaba: Aquafaba can be used as a direct egg replacement in various recipes, including baking goods like cakes, cookies, and breads. In savory dishes, it can be used to make mayonnaise, dressings, and dips. For each egg, you will need about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of aquafaba. Be sure to let the aquafaba come to room temperature before using it in a recipe.

5. Troubleshooting and Additional Tips: When using aquafaba in recipes, you may need to adjust the liquid or thickeners to achieve the desired consistency. For example, if using aquafaba in baking, you may need to add more flour to the recipe to compensate for the added moisture. Aquafaba can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Any leftover aquafaba can be used to make more mayonnaise or added to soups, smoothies, or other dishes for extra protein.

6. Future of Aquafaba: As aquafaba continues to gain popularity, we can expect to see more vegan products made with it, such as plant-based eggs and mayonnaise. The use of aquafaba in the food industry not only reduces food waste but also provides a more sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional egg-based products. With its versatility and numerous applications, aquafaba is poised to become a staple ingredient in plant-based cooking and baking.