What is Aquafaba?

Article by: Jerry James Stone | Written March 2, 2019

What is aquafaba? In short, it’s the reserved liquid from a can of chickpeas. But it is more than that…it’s used as a vegan substitute in both sweet or savory recipes. The name is water bean. Aquafaba can mimic the functional properties of egg whites in cooking, it can be turned into whipped cream, marshmallow, merengue, egg whites, omelets, and so much more. The starchy liquid is a great binder directly from the can, but what really makes it magical is that it whips and creates a foam. Aquafaba is therefore able to trap air, giving items structure at the same time it delivers a fluffy crumb and lift.

HOW TO MEASURE AQUAFABA

To measure the amount of aquafaba called for in a recipe, begin by vigorously shaking the unopened can of chickpeas. Next, drain the chickpeas through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl, and reserve the beans for another use. Whisk the aquafaba and then measure. While it may not be visible to the naked eye, the starches in the chickpea liquid settle in the can—in order to take advantage of them, you’ll need to agitate them to ensure they’re evenly distributed throughout the liquid.

HOW TO USE AQUAFABA

The general recommendation for use is to replace one medium egg white with 2 tablespoons of aquafaba in a recipe or a medium whole egg with 3 tablespoons. As with egg whites, adding a stablizer really improves the structure of whipped aquafaba. Cream of tartar prevents the proteins from bonding too tightly so that they create a foam that traps air bubbles and water more quickly, and holds them in place. Though aquafaba is not as protein rich as eggs. Its about 1% protein where an egg is about 10.

HOW TO STORE AQUAFABA

For ease, we like to freeze aquafaba in 1-tablespoon portions in ice cube trays. Once the bean liquid cubes are frozen solid, they can be transferred to a freezer bag for future use. Frozen-then-thawed aquafaba whips just as well as fresh aquafaba. You can also defrost the aquafaba cubes in the microwave to speed the process along. Fresh chickpea liquid can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Stop throwing that chickpea liquid in the trash. Aquafaba is your next ingredient!