What is aquafaba? Aquafaba is becoming more popular – and showing up in more and more recipes! – as a replacement for eggs in cooking and baking – for vegans and people with egg allergies. And if you’ve ever opened a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, you have probably just thrown the can’s liquid down the drain! You might want to save the liquid from that can of chickpeas after reading this post!
What Is Aquafaba? – FAQs About This Vegan Egg Replacer
Aquafaba is the leftover thick, starchy liquid that chickpeas (garbanzo beans) have been cooked in. It has a consistency similar to egg whites and can be used as an egg replacer in baking. Aquafaba is a Latin word meaning water (aqua) and bean (faba).
What to do with aquafaba?
Because aquafaba can be used as an egg replacer, it can be used to vegan-ize many recipes which typically call for liquid egg or egg whites! Like eggs, it acts as a binder, emulsifier, and stabilizer.
It can be used in recipes for foods such as:
- Baked goods – use to replace both egg whites and whole eggs
- Vegan whipped cream
- Vegan Meringue or pavlova
- Whipped desserts, such as mousse
- Vegan whipped cream
- Vegan mayonnaise or aioli
- Cocktails and beverages – drinks that have a foamy “head”, such as coffee drinks and whisky sour recipes
Where can I get aquafaba?
You can get aquafaba from canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Simply drain a can of chickpeas into a bowl, saving the liquid.
You can also cook dried chickpeas at home by soaking and then boiling in water. After cooking, save the chickpea cooking liquid.
How much of this liquid is in a can of chickpeas?
This will vary in each individual can AND by manufacturer. On average I have found that most cans of chickpeas have approximately 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of liquid.
Is aquafaba only from chickpeas?
Aquafaba is technically the cooking liquid leftover from any bean. However, for cooking, most people prefer chickpea aquafaba because it has a very mild flavor and is a light golden color.
What does it taste like?
Aquafaba has a slight taste like chickpeas. It has a mild “bean” flavor. But as an ingredient in food, its flavor is unnoticeable.
How to store aquafaba?
The liquid can be stored in a covered container or jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
You can also freeze aquafaba in ice cube trays. Once frozen, you can store in a freezer-safe bag and then thaw when you need some! Frozen and then thawed aquafaba works just as well in recipes as the fresh liquid.
Can it be used in baking? Cakes and cookies?
Yes! You can use it just as you would eggs in a recipe (see next questions!).
How to substitute for eggs in baked goods
The following measurements seem to be the most common measurements for substituting aquafaba for eggs in baked goods:
3 tbsp aquafaba = 1 whole egg
2 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg white
1 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg yolk
Can you scramble it like an egg?
No, it doesn’t work quite like that….BUT you can come close by adding a few more ingredients (check out the vegan scrambled egg recipe below!)
Is aquafaba toxic?
This seems to be a popular question on Google, so I thought I would answer it. I don’t know where the rumor started that liquid from cooking chickpeas is toxic, except that a few people have posted concerns on the following issues: – BPA and saponins.
- BPA – BPA in canned foods is a valid concern. I always try to buy ANYTHING canned in cans labeled “BPA-free”. BPA is a chemical found in the lining of some metal food cans (and also in some plastic bottles and containers) that can be hormone-disrupting. So using aquafaba from a can made with BPA could be concerning, but this is a much larger concern that involves ALL canned foods – not just chickpeas. But when possible it DOES make sense to choose BPA-free cans for ALL foods and beverages in cans and plastics – or to seek out foods in glass or cardboard packaging.
- Saponins – The other concern I found was around saponins in chickpeas. Saponins are bitter-tasting compounds found in a wide variety of plants including grains (such as quinoa), along with legumes (like chickpeas!), vegetables, and herbs. They are actually an amazing form of natural pest control made by the plants – the bitter taste of saponins makes the plants less appealing to insects, birds, and humans. The only negative I could find on saponins is that in some people saponins may cause stomach upset when eaten in LARGE amounts. In fact, studies (like this one) have shown saponins to actually be health-promoting by helping to reduce cholesterol levels, inhibiting tumor growth and the growth of cancer cells, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood glucose levels
What are the nutrition facts of aquafaba?
(Image from MyFitnessPal)