A Practical Guide to Aquafaba (An Egg Substitute)

The word “aquafaba” is the common name used to refer to the liquid you can find in chickpea cans. The term comes from a combination of the Latin words aqua for “water,” and faba for “bean.”

Usually, you’d just discard this thick, yellowish liquid down the drain with an upturned nose.

From now on, using the tips from this guide (tested by the nutritionists from Science & Fourchette!), you’ll instead use aquafaba to replace eggs in several recipes if you’re allergic to eggs (or even if you aren’t!), or want to fight against food waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 important things to know about aquafaba

We wanted to know how far aquafaba could be used to substitute the properties of eggs in our recipes. Muffins, cakes, meringue, pavlova, vegenaise—we put an incredibly wide variety of recipes to the test. Twenty cans of liquid later, we were surprised at the level of success we achieved with the recipes we tested, which were carefully selected from the web.

Since the popularity of aquafaba is still quite new, the chemistry behind its properties is still relatively unstudied. While we’re waiting to find out more, there are still a few basic recommendations to follow.

 

1. Equivalences

Generally speaking, you can use the following equivalences to replace whole eggs with aquafaba in most recipes to get good results:

1 whole egg = 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of aquafaba

1 egg white = 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of aquafaba

 

2. Choosing the right can

The consistency of aquafaba will change depending on the brand of the canned beans. The texture of the liquid at room temperature should be gelatinous, something like egg whites. If the aquafaba is too runny, it is preferable to reduce it on low heat until 25% of the liquid has evaporated. We got better results with cans from organic brands.

One (1) 540 ml (19 oz.) can of chickpeas contains 180 ml (¾ cup) to 250 ml (1 cup) of liquid. It is preferable to choose unsalted varieties.

 

3. DIY aquafaba

You can also use the cooking water left over from cooking dry chickpeas (or other pale legumes such as white beans). This alternative method is much less reliable because the consistency of the cooking liquid will vary considerably, so only try this if you have some experience with aquafaba.

 

4. Storage

Aquafaba can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 10 days depending on the brand. Its smell is a good indicator of its freshness. Aquafaba freezes very well: pour it into ice-cube trays, using 15 ml (1 tablespoon) per cube. Use aquafaba at room temperature.

 

5. Whipping aquafaba

Whipping aquafaba will produce a pure white foam that looks exactly like whipped egg whites. Depending on the consistency of the canned liquid and the equipment you use (we tested using a Vitamix mixer, a hand beater, a stand mixer, and a food processor), you’ll need about 4 to 8 minutes to get soft peaks, and 3 to 6 additional minutes to get stiff peaks.

Put yourself into “slow living” mode and don’t give up! It takes patience to get perfect aquafaba foam!

This recipe for aquafaba foam is your starting point for a multitude of culinary discoveries. Be creative and share your experiences on Facebook!

BASIC AQUAFABA FOAM

For 3 to 4 cups of foam.

 

Ingredients

The liquid drained from 1 can of 540 ml (19 oz.) of chickpeas (reserve the chickpeas to use later)

1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) of cream of tartar

 

Procedure

Whip* the aquafaba for 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and whip for another 4 to 10 minutes, or until you get stiff peaks.

Use as an egg substitute in any recipe calling for whipped egg whites.

 

NOTES

  • Using an electric mixer (such as a Vitamix) is the easiest way to make aquafaba foam. It’s easy, produces virtually no dirty dishes, and creates a stable foam that can be used in most recipes requiring aquafaba foam.
  • The hand beater and stand mixer tend to incorporate more air into the mousse, which is preferable if you’re making a meringue. Still, the chickpea liquid is held less firmly between the air bubbles and will quickly sink to the bottom of the bowl, so you’ll need to use this mousse quickly.
  • Using the food processor works well too, but it was not our favorite tool.
  • The hand whisk method is strongly discouraged. It takes too much time.

I’d like to thank Vitamix Canada for giving me a mixer from the Ascent series so I could do the cooking tests I needed to create a series on aquafaba, and to take part in the success of Science & Fourchette!