Hi Bold Bakers!
What is aquafaba? This simple ingredient is Latin for “water bean,” and it turns out it’s a fantastic substitute for eggs and egg whites, making it perfect for anyone with allergies to eggs or who is vegan. Even better? It’s probably already in your pantry!
Aquafaba is the liquid that is leftover from cooked chickpeas. Yes, that liquid we’ve been pouring down the sink for years every time we opened a can of chickpeas to top a salad or add some protein to a good vegetable soup is vegan gold.
There are a number of egg substitutes for desserts, but few can whip up like egg whites into a delicious meringue, be made into fluffy marshmallows, or transform into macarons. Fancy vegan restaurants even use it in place of egg whites in classic cocktails like a good whiskey sour or gin fizz, and even works in cappuccinos!
Somehow, just a small amount of aquafaba can replace those recipes where eggs are essential and many more! And no, it doesn’t make your dessert taste like beans.
I love finding new ingredients—especially if they can make baking more inclusive—so I whipped up some aquafaba and this complete guide to the egg substitute.
What Is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is that thick, somewhat sticky water that’s left behind when you empty a can of cooked chickpeas. That liquid that most of us let pass through a colander down the drain is actually a great vegan substitute for eggs!
Aquafaba has characteristics of both an egg’s yolk and the white, but not all of the characteristics, so it can be used in places where other egg substitutes don’t hold up.
For one, you can foam aquafaba, meaning desserts like chocolate mousse and macarons are back on the table for those who are egg-free. (I, for one, am so excited for anyone who doesn’t eat eggs to be able to make a pavlova finally!) It can also emulsify, which means you can make egg-free mayonnaise and butter with it as well.
But it’s not a perfect egg substitute because it doesn’t cook like eggs. Luckily, there are other egg substitutes that work better in cakes, cookies, and brownies!
The History Of Aquafaba
I love talking about desserts, almost as much as I love eating and baking them (almost). If you read this website often, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I tend to mention some desserts that are so traditional they’ve originated from centuries ago!
Aquafaba’s history doesn’t go that far back.
According to Aquafaba.com, using chickpea liquid as an egg substitute in recipes may have kicked off in just 2014, when Joël Roessel shared on his vegan blog that the liquid from the chickpea can can form foam. Around that time, Goose Wohlt found that aquafaba could also be used as a stabilizer and shared a meringue recipe that used just aquafaba and sugar in 2015.
A Facebook community was born not long after, and people have been sharing their hits and misses since.
How Do I Bake With Aquafaba?
You can use aquafaba as you would eggs! Here are some tips:
- Just 1 tablespoon of aquafaba is about the same as one yolk, 2 tablespoons are the same as one egg white, and 3 tablespoons can stand in for the entire egg.
- Sometimes, your chickpea liquid may be too thin. If that’s the case, you can reduce it in a saucepan until it thickens to the same consistency as egg whites.
- If your recipe calls for whipped egg whites, you can whip aquafaba instead. However, keep in mind that it does take longer to whip than actual eggs. You can also bake aquafaba in meringues and macarons, make marshmallows, fudge, and icing, or even use it to help bind meatloaf and veggie burgers!
All Your Aquafaba Questions Answered
Whether you’re a vegan, baking for someone who has an egg-free diet, or one of the millions who have an egg allergy, aquafaba may be a great substitute for you! Here is a quick FAQ to help you with your aquafaba journey!
- Can I make my own aquafaba?
- If you don’t want to use the liquid from canned chickpeas, you can use the liquid leftover from cooking your own beans. This may be a bit too liquidy for your needs, but you can always reduce it!
- How much aquafaba is one egg?
- The equivalent of one egg is about 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, 2 tablespoons are about the same as one egg white, and 1 tablespoon is around the same as one egg yolk.
- Does aquafaba taste like beans?
- When it’s raw, it may slightly smell like chickpeas, but you won’t taste it at all once cooked!
- Do you use salted or unsalted beans for aquafaba?
- You can use both, but I would pay attention to the recipe. Salted beans could add an extra kick of flavor to desserts, but sometimes recipes already have enough salt. If you are new to using it, try unsalted first!
- How do I store aquafaba? Can I freeze it?
- Any leftovers can be kept in your refrigerator, in an airtight container, for around 2 days, but it also freezes super well! Freeze it in an ice cube tray, and once solid, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag for premeasured, ready-to-go aquafaba.
- Is aquafaba healthy?
- It’s is perfectly healthy, but it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of protein a real egg would. That said, if you are enjoying a cocktail that would typically use raw egg whites for foam, you aren’t going to risk getting Salmonella.
What Can I Make With Aquafaba?
There are so many recipes you can make with this in place of egg whites. Be sure to check back here as I experiment and develop more recipes! Until then, why don’t you try these recipes I have already that should be an easy swap for you:
And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!