Looking for the perfect substitute for egg that’s vegan, easy to source, and replaces delicate egg whites in recipes like meringues? Your search ends here — because aquafaba is just what you need!
As a simple and healthy substitute for egg that follows a whole-food approach, aquafaba tastes great. And it can successfully be used as a substitute for egg in almost all possible recipes. But wait….what on earth is Aquafaba?
While the name may sound a bit fancy, aquafaba is actually made with one real simple, accessible and cheap kitchen staple – chickpeas. It is nothing but the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas, though cooking liquid from any beans or legumes will also do the trick. Discovered by a community of like-minded people looking for the perfect substitute for egg, Aquafaba came into being through experimentations conducted by people like Goose Wohlt and Joel Roessel.
There are two ways of whipping together the perfect aquafaba.
However, in my opinion, the first method yields a thicker, creamier aquafaba with the perfect consistency without putting in much extra work.
That in no way means you can’t get the desired consistency of Aquafaba as a substitute for egg when you use liquid leftover from cooking your own chickpeas, though. If the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas (or beans or other legumes) is too thin, you can cook it down to thicken it until you get the desired consistency.
If you are a beginner to working with this vegan substitute for egg, it’s best to start experimenting with the reserved liquid from a can of chickpeas…for mere ease.
Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, allergic to eggs, or simply don’t like their smell, Aquafaba is the silver bullet to whipping together airy meringues, expert cupcakes and delicious whiskey sours without using eggs at all. Not only is it great to cook with, it is also the perfect way to make plant-based foams and cocktails.
When veganism first became popular, a variety of egg substitutes were put to test. While flaxseeds, bananas, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds or apple sauce have been traditionally used as a substitute for egg in vegan recipes, none can hold a candle to aquafaba. Plus, these egg substitutes simply lack the texture of delicate egg whites to work as their substitute for recipes such as think airy meringues, Pavlova, fudge, soufflés, mousse, and frostings.
Additionally, most of the commercially available egg substitutes contain gluten, concentrated soy proteins, processed starches and other nasty additives that health-conscious eaters prefer to avoid. Aquafaba is not just easily accessible; it’s also a far healthier (and reliable) substitute for egg.
Aquafaba is the ideal substite for egg that replaces whole egg or egg whites – whatever the recipe calls for. This starchy liquid is a great binder that whips together to create the perfect foam. And just like egg whites, Aquafaba can be whipped to trap air, giving your vegan recipe the perfect structure, complete with the fluffy crumb and lift.
Aquafaba can be used as a substitute for egg in a variety of ways. Use it un-whipped as a binder for cakes, brownies and cookies. You can also whip it up to form semi-stiff foam for muffins, waffles and pancakes. Or add sugar and whip it up into stiff peaks for meringues and macarons. It also works perfectly for mayonnaise, aioli and hollandaise sauce.
If you are a baker and have worked with egg-whites, you’d probably already know that adding cream of tartar adds stability to whipped egg-whites for macarons and meringue. The same holds true for aquafaba as well, as the acidity from cream of tartar prevents the proteins from binding too tightly. This allows air bubbles to be trapped into the foam to form perfect stiff peaks. And if you’re baking with aquafaba, it also results in a fluffier crumb.
The best way to get thick aquafaba is to shake an unopened can of chickpeas vigorously so that the starches in the chickpea liquid aren’t settled at the bottom. Open the can – drain – and you have your aquafaba ready to use.
The rule of thumb to measure aquafaba as a substitute for egg in your favorite recipes is:
If you’re making homemade aquafaba by cooking whole chickpeas, its best to thicken the watery liquid by gently simmering on the stovetop until you have a thick syrup-like consistency.
Now that you know how great aquafaba is a substitute for egg, you have reason to learn how to store the extra reserve liquids from an opened can of chickpeas. To store aquafaba, portion it out in ice-cube trays for ease and freeze it. Once frozen solid, the cubes can be put into any freezer bag for future use. Each cube equals 1 Tablespoon – simple! To use frozen aquafaba, thaw the desired portion down to room temperature until its liquid again, and whip it up as the recipe requires.
If you’re making homemade aquafaba, the reserved cooking liquid can be stored in your fridge for up to a week. If not used within 7 days, go ahead and freeze the remaining for future use.
Now that we have established that aquafaba is an ideal egg substitute, let’s get your culinary creativity fired up with these 20 fun recipes to try!
To be honest, aquafaba is so new to the culinary world that not all of its uses have been discovered and identified yet. Is it healthier than eggs? No one knows. What we do know is that aquafaba is about 1% protein, compared to an egg white which is about 10% protein. Though it comes from legumes, it lacks all that fiber available in an egg. Nutritionally, there’s a lot more to discover about aquafaba before it can be termed as a ‘health food’.
However, even if you do eat eggs, aquafaba can be the ideal substitute for recipes that call for raw egg whites – like cocktails, smoothies, eggnog, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise and aioli. That can greatly reduce risk of foodborne illness that comes from raw egg whites.
For more information, check out the official Aquafaba website to know more about its uses.