Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about aquafaba, the amazing vegan egg substitute! What is it? Why does it work? How to whip it? What recipes does it work well in? PLUS learn how to make basic vegan meringue!
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is simply the liquid that you usually discard after draining a can of chickpeas. It’s viscous and has similar properties to egg whites, making it the most amazing egg substitute of all time!
Some people might think this sounds a little weird, using bean water in dessert recipes, but honestly how gross are raw egg whites!? While at first you will smell a bit of “beaniness” from the liquid, once it’s whipped up or used in a recipe, the taste and smell is undetectable.
Using aquafaba is nothing like making bean based brownies. You can create the lightest cakes and fluffiest vegan meringue using the stuff, and no one will guess what they are enjoying is 100% vegan! Unlike using flaxseed meal, there will be no flakes or seeds visible when a recipe calls for aquafaba.
How to substitute aquafaba for eggs
The most common suggestion is to use 3 tablespoons for 1 whole egg or 2 tablespoons for 1 egg white. This is not an exact science, but it’s a good place to start. In my dessert recipes, I often use some trial and error to find the correct amount.
Aquafaba works best in cake recipes, brownies, cookies and of course meringue pies. Scroll down to learn how to make a simple meringue.
Frequently asked questions
- Can you freeze it? Yes, it freezes well. So when you open a can of chickpeas for another recipe like my Chickpea Tikka Masala or Chickpea Curry, freeze the liquid for later. Simply thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, and use like normal.
- How long can aquafaba be stored in the refrigerator? It will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a covered container. If you won’t use it up in that time, freeze it instead.
- Does the liquid from homemade chickpeas work just as well? Sort of. It will work best if you let the cooked chickpeas cool in the water they cooked in for a half hour or so, and you may need to cook the liquid further to reduce it and make it thicker. For consistent results, use canned chickpea water.
- Should I use salted or unsalted beans? Honestly, I can’t tell the difference, so I use both interchangeably. If you are worried about it, use unsalted canned chickpeas.
- Does it work with other beans, such as black or pinto? The results can be a little inconsistent using other canned bean liquid, so I would stick to chickpea. Plus other beans have darker colored liquid, which would not be pretty if you are making meringues or anything light in color.
- What if my liquid is very thin and not viscous? If your liquid is not very thick (and it should be similar to egg whites), you can reduce it in a pan on the stovetop. I don’t usually need to do this.
One of the best ways to use chickpea liquid is to make vegan meringue! You can use it on top of lemon meringue pie, to make meringue cookies and anywhere else you like.
Simple add 1/2 cup of aquafaba liquid and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to a large bowl, and beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add 3/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks have formed. That’s it!