I can’t believe it’s been two years since I’ve talked about Aquafaba! In that time it has become mainstream and is even popping up in products all throughout the grocery store. I’m super thankful to find it showing up in products I love because having to be gluten-free and egg-free made for a lot of pre-made products off-limits for my consumption.
We still use Aquafaba on a semi-regular basis, but have found alternatives for different food recipes depending on the item we’re using it with.
If you haven’t heard of aquafaba before, it’s a pretty simple and FREE ingredient to use to replace eggs in a variety of dishes. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas.
Any bean will do, as the liquid from canned or cooked beans provides a high starch/protein mixture that acts quite a lot as eggs do. Chickpeas are the primary choice for aquafaba, as they don’t provide any color change to a final product as would other types of beans, and they have a mild to no flavor when using their liquid.
To use aquafaba as a replacement for eggs, just replace 1 egg with ¼ of the aquafaba liquid. You use less for egg whites and/or egg yolks that are called for in a recipe.
I’ve made aquafaba by cooking dried chickpeas in a crockpot for hours and saving the liquid. The next time you open a can of chickpeas, don’t dump it down the drain! Save that liquid for some great vegetarian uses in the kitchen to replace eggs.
I suggest making your own, as you can control the amount of water to bean ratio to make it a little thicker or thinner depending on your use and experience with it. In addition, you get to control the salt or sodium levels in the chickpea water when you make it at home.
We don’t use aquafaba as often as we used to, as it was the only alternative to eggs in gluten-free baking and cooking that seemed to work well. Now, more often we use Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer that works well for a variety of uses.
Aquafaba is still great to use in place of eggs in cakes, meringues, and we’ve even made royal icing.
I’ve previously tried to use it in a breaded chicken or fried chicken recipe in place of the egg dip. While it works well, whole milk works just as well in that spot, too. I’ve learned with breaded chicken to dredge it in flour, then either aquafaba or milk, and then put it in the breadcrumbs.
After they are breaded, instead of cooking right away, I have learned to let the chicken rest and dry out for a half-hour to activate the proteins in the aquafaba or milk to help the breading adhere more to the chicken.
Last year, I made gingerbread cookies in the fall and used aquafaba as an egg white replacement for the royal icing to put on the cookies. It worked out very well, but I chose to beat it with a mixer first to make it fluffier before mixing with confectioner’s sugar.
Our use has varied with aquafaba. What I’ve learned is that I more often than not beat it with a fork or a mixer before adding to a recipe. This appears to help it hold up shape within gluten-free bread or other items that don’t have the gluten to help with stability and elasticity.
In addition, I have found that aquafaba does not always offer the same as a premade egg replacer when it comes to lifting. I’ve experimented and learned to add a little more baking powder to a recipe if I’m using aquafaba, as eggs have a natural ability to add lift to a recipe.
All in all, I’m still very thankful I discovered aquafaba prior to it taking several years to become a more widely used ingredient. I recommend if you find products that use it, to see if it’s something you can easily make at home. Aquafaba is literally a bi-product of other food production, so to pay a higher price for a food manufacturer to use it seems a little silly to me.
For example, there are quick simple recipes for vegan mayo online using aquafaba to replace eggs. Aqaufaba, oil, and seasonings are easy enough to use at home to create a fresh mayo you’ll love more than a shelf stabilized product.
Experiment with it and see where it fits into your life. Especially if you love chickpeas, you can save yourself extra costs on eggs if you’re not a fan or if they bother your gut. A lot of people I know don’t like to eat eggs by themselves, but keep them for recipes. Now, you have another option, a pretty much free option, to all your cooking needs right in your cabinet!