When you use canned beans, you probably pour the liquid in the can down the drain. But did you know that you can use it in recipes? The liquid, called aquafaba, can function as an allergen-free, vegan egg replacer.
Aquafaba is created when beans are cooked. As the beans cook, the starches absorb water, which makes them expand and then break down. As the starches break down, they release into the water along with a small amount of protein, sugars, calcium, and iron. The canning process allows for more of the starches to be pulled into the liquid, making it more viscous. Once the aquafaba is whipped, it can provide the lift and structure that eggs do in baked goods and more!
To replace eggs in certain recipes, use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba to replace 1 whole egg, 2 tablespoons to replace an egg white, and 1 tablespoon to replace a yolk.
Here are some pro tips from SAGE Executive Chef Rob Coutu:
- Although you can use aquafaba from any type of bean, the liquid from canned chickpeas seems to perform the best.
- Before you drain the aquafaba from the beans, shake the can first! This makes sure the starches are distributed throughout the water.
- Choose beans that are low sodium or organic to get the best aquafaba.
- Aquafaba can replace eggs in baked goods, be used to make meringues, and replace mayonnaise.
- For a more concentrated effect, reduce the aquafaba by 75%, then cool and whip.
Although aquafaba can be a culinary replacement for eggs, it’s not nutritionally equivalent. Eggs are nutrient dense. They’re a good source of high-quality protein; fat; B vitamins, including choline and selenium; and antioxidants, including lutein, which are good for eye health.
To try out aquafaba for yourself, make this delicious Vegan Meringue recipe.
1 cup aquafaba from canned chickpeas
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200°F.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, pour the aquafaba. Add the cream of tartar.
Step 3: Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the mixture until fluffy.
Step 4: Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat.
Step 5: Slowly add in the sugar, mixing between each addition.
Step 6: Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Step 7: Bake in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours. Meringues will be dry to the touch when finished. Let them cool, and enjoy!
*To prevent food waste, cook the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Toss the chickpeas with oil and your favorite spices. Roast them in the oven until they’re crispy, about 30 minutes.