What is Aquafaba? Why this chickpea juice will change your life

Aquafaba is trending, but what exactly is it? For a four-syllable word, it’s actually pretty simple. Aquafaba is a bean brine that has properties similar to egg whites. Traditionally derived from chickpeas, aquafaba forms a meringue-like consistency and provides a gentle, airy lift to a variety of baked goods. Bakers have seen stunning results using aquafaba to recreate delicate pavlovas, tender cakes and gooey vegan marshmallows, but it can be a little trickier to work with than your standard vegan egg substitute. Here’s how to master the art of aquafaba and impress your coworkers, family, and friends with your newfound vegan baking skills. They will never guess that your secret is a can of beans.

What is aquafaba?

Any legume (the edible seed from a plant in the legume family) can produce aquafaba. This is just the liquid used to cook a batch of these dried seeds. Examples of pulses include dry beans, lentils, dry beans, dry broad beans and chickpeas.

VegNews.ChickpeasAquafabaThe Getty

When you open a can of chickpeas, the starchy liquid you can usually discard is aquafaba. While adding chickpea juice to baked goods may seem odd, the very mild chickpea flavor can easily be masked with sugar and other ingredients.

Why use aquafaba instead of eggs?

While traditional baking recipes often call for chicken eggs, many choose to use a vegetarian alternative like aquafaba because of the ethical and environmental issues associated with the egg industry.

Most chickens are raised in industrialized factory farms where conditions are cramped, dirty and unsanitary. Birds have little room to exhibit their natural behavior or even to turn around. According to many reports, most chickens in factory farms have about the size of an A4 piece of paper. But it gets worse. When these chicks hatch, only females are kept in the industry. Since male chicks cannot lay eggs, they are considered unprofitable and undesirable and are therefore slaughtered. About 260 million male chicks are killed each year in the United States alone.

VegNews.LemonMeringuePieTarts.featureLaura’s Toyota

Animal agriculture is also associated with major environmental problems, including high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution. For example, in 2020, a report concluded that ammonia air pollution from chicken farms contributes 12 million pounds of nitrogen each year to the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. This not only negatively affects the underwater ecosystem but also the local communities who depend on the bay for drinking water.

Is aquafaba healthier than eggs?

Many people choose to use aquafaba or other vegan eggs for health reasons. Although chicken eggs contain cholesterol (high levels of which increase the risk of chronic disease), aquafaba is completely cholesterol-free. It is also low in calories and contains traces of calcium, B vitamins, folate and iron.

While aquafaba is more reliable than canned chickpeas when cooking or baking, you can make your own. If you’re already comfortable cooking your own beans from scratch, you’re set. Just be aware that the liquid left over from the cooked beans can be diluted a bit to achieve the best aquafaba results. The liquid should be syrupy and viscous like egg whites. To achieve that consistency, reduce the aquafaba in a pot on the stove until the liquid gels and thickens.


New to cooking beans? It’s easy, though admittedly time-consuming. Soak one cup of dry chickpeas overnight. Drain and rinse the soaked beans (you don’t save this liquid) then add to the pressure cooker with two cups of water. Cook on high for five minutes and add 20 minutes for natural release. Alternatively, boil the beans in a pot of water on the stove for 90 minutes to two hours until tender. For both methods, let the beans sit in the liquid until completely cool. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon, reduce the liquid to reach the consistency of egg whites in the same pot (if necessary), cool the liquid and your aquafaba is ready.

In tarahuro? Save the liquid from the can of chickpeas and you’re ready to bake, whip, bind and emulsify!

How to use aquafaba

By whipping for a few minutes (most effectively with an electric mixer), the aquafaba can reach a stiff peak. It can be added directly to some recipes without beating beforehand, although this depends on what the aquafaba is used for. If the goal is to achieve lift, beating is necessary. However, there is no need to beat the aquafaba if it is only acting as a binder.


To substitute aquafaba for whole eggs in a non-vegan recipe, use three tablespoons of aquafaba per egg. To replace egg whites, use two tablespoons of aquafaba per egg white. Note: A standard 15-ounce can of chickpeas yields between one-half and three-quarters of a cup of aquafaba.

Aquafaba Tips

While making vegan whipped cream from scratch isn’t as fatty as full-fat coconut milk (we’ve gone through a lot of “dude” cans), there are a few tips to keep in mind when working with aquafaba.

1 Pay attention to consistency and temperature

As mentioned above, the liquid should always be syrupy like an egg white. If it is too loose, reduce on the stove until this consistency is reached. Before adding aquafaba to any recipe, make sure it is either cold or at least at room temperature.

2 Whip thoroughly

Before adding the sugar, whip the liquid for at least 3 minutes or until it turns a pristine white and has doubled in size. A handheld electric mixer can work in a pinch, but it really helps to use a stand mixer when preparing aquafaba—your arms will thank you.

3 Add a stabilizer

When you add sugar as called for in your recipe, add up to a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar. It acts as a stabilizer and will not only help the liquid whip up faster but also prevent it from deflating. Be patient during this process—a stiff peak stage may require up to 12 minutes of continuous beating. If you use a trusty stand mixer, prepare your other ingredients while the gadget does its work.

4 Do enough to finish

Let’s say you’re opening a can of chickpeas to add to your salad but you’re not quite in the mood to make a cake. You can store unwhipped aquafaba in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to five days. You can freeze it for up to five months and thaw it before using it.

For those who don’t know what to do with all those leftover chickpeas, we recommend these snackable Crispy Roasted Chickpeas and these Two-Step Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salads.

8 Vegetarian Recipes with Aquafaba

VegNews.amarettosourLike a vegan

1 Perfect Vegan Amaretto Sour

Raw egg whites in drinks never sit well with us, but a boozy cocktail with spiked and sweet aquafaba clouds goes down easy. You’ll need a cocktail shaker and some energy to create that signature foam, but the end result is worth the effort.
Get the recipe


2 Vegan Marshmallow Coconut Cream Popsicles

How does a marshmallow popsicle taste? Like cold marshmallow fluff on a stick. These great treats are sweet, fluffy, coconutty, and exceptionally good with a tipple of rum if you’re making it for the 21-and-up crowd. With just five ingredients and two steps, these delightful treats don’t take much to make.
Get the recipe

VegNews.Chocolate Pecan Cheesecakelittle pine

3 Vegan Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake with Toasted Meringue

Break out your culinary blow torch—you’ll need it for this five-star showstopper. From the kitchen at Little Pine — a celebrity vegan hotspot in Los Angeles — this recipe doesn’t hold back on decadence. Aquafaba is the key to creating a marshmallow torched meringue that sits atop a silken chocolate filling set in a brown sugar-infused graham cracker crust.
Get the recipe

VegNews.RedVelvetCakeChrissy Tracy

4 Vegan Red Velvet Cake

Created by Bon Appetit’s first vegan chef, this moist red velvet cake relies on aquafaba to provide lifting and binding properties. The original recipe calls for vanilla buttercream, but we prefer it with a more traditional cream cheese frosting.
Get the recipe

Pavalova dnutritious book

5 Mixed Berry Pavlova

A pavlova is a deceptively simple Australian dessert. On the surface, it consists of a very delicate, light-and-airy meringue served with fresh berries and sometimes a simple sauce or whipped cream. But achieving that meringue consistency is a challenge. The discovery of aquafaba for its egg-white-mimicking properties opened up the world of pavlovas to vegans. Just be sure to read the recipe beforehand and follow it. When it comes to pavlovas, precision pays off.
Get the recipe

VegNews.TempuraVeggies.LazyCatKitchenLazy Cat Kitchen

6 Tempura vegetables

Replicate your favorite tempura takeout at home with aquafaba. Master the simple vegan tempura batter and use it for any vegetable or plant-based protein you have on hand.
Get the recipe

VegNews.VeganMayo.OhSheGlowsOh that gloss

7 Vegan mayonnaise

Making mayonnaise can be tricky—in fact, anything that involves emulsification (forcing two insoluble liquids into a soluble solution) suffers. However, a can of aquafaba and an immersion blender take away the challenges of whipping up this creamy concoction. Make this five-minute mayo once, and you’ll never buy store-bought again.
Get the recipe

VegNews.Pancakes.It DoesnTasteLike ChickenIt doesn’t taste like chicken

8 Vegan Pancakes

For fluffy, pillowy pancakes that melt in your mouth, choose a recipe that uses aquafaba. The ingredient provides a light and airy lift unmatched by other leavening agents such as baking soda or powder. These flapjacks are best served in their purest form — adding mix-ins like bananas, berries or chocolate chips can lighten them up. If you’re not a typical pancake person, reuse your go-to mix-ins as toppings instead.
Get the recipe

Read more about vegan eggs and baking:

Source link