To some vegans out there, this is old news. For others, this might be a confusing title. Just to clear the air, aquafaba is the liquid that comes from a can of beans. The liquid from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or white beans is very useful as an egg replacer in the vegan world. I was incredibly skeptical about this one, until I tried it!
Aquafaba is a relatively new discovery, within the last few years. About two years ago, I started seeing videos about vegan meringue and marshmallow fluff on the internet and I really thought that it was too good to be true. I watched people whip up this magic liquid into amazingly fluffy meringues, frostings, and mayonnaise alternatives. Despite seeing each video from the beginning to the end, I wasn’t so sure that bean water would really turn into something so incredible.
After much disbelief, I tried it for myself one day. I decided to make the meringue cookies that I loved as a child. When I poured the bean liquid into my Kitchen Aid, I just stood back and held my breath hoping that it would work for me. After about five minutes, I had a big bowl of exactly what I wanted. The mixture was fluffy and shiny. I’m pretty sure it was one of the most exciting days in my vegan baking life. Anyway, I baked the meringues just as I would with their non-vegan counter part, and they came out perfectly light, airy, sweet, and crisp! I knew I had something special.
Ever since then, I have been experimenting with aquafaba. I have developed a really great brownie recipe, a gluten-free cupcake recipe, and the perfect peppermint meringues! There is one problem though, in order to get that much bean liquid, I have to consume a lot of chickpeas or white beans! Sometimes I need to cook a giant batch of beans just to get the liquid for the baking I have to do for the week! Luckily as a vegan, I can find hundreds of uses for chickpeas!
Needless to say, aquafaba is some seriously magic stuff. It is the best egg replacer I have found to date. It doesn’t make desserts discolored like flax eggs and it doesn’t have a ton of weird ingredients like powdered vegan “egg” alternatives. It works well for pretty much all of my baking needs. Save the bean liquid next time, instead of throwing it out. Lastly, have fun experimenting!