What is Aquafaba and How Do I Use It?

Here's a great question from a reader about aquafaba. Have you heard of it? Wondering how to use it as an egg substitute? We have the answers!

READER QUESTION: I've been seeing aquafaba on many of the healthy recipe sites lately. Can you tell me what the deal is with this?

Of course! Plain and simple: aquafaba is the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. It's super starchy, so when it's whipped it becomes velvety and foamy. Ok, ok, so that's nice and all, but why are we whipping the liquid from a can of chickpeas?

Aquafaba is really popular in vegan cooking and baking — mainly as an egg replacer. It's a great binder and helps add structure (and lightness) to baked goods and meringues. I've also seen it used in vegan mayonnaise and I have friends that swear by it in their Whiskey Sours (full disclosure: I haven't tried this!)

How Much Aquafaba to Use?

When reading a recipe and deciding to use aquafaba instead of eggs, a good rule of thumb is to use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba for each whole egg.

So, How Do You Make It?

Good news is there isn't a ton of technique here. You simply whip up the liquid left in your can of chickpeas. You want to use hand beaters if possible, and be patient: it typically takes about 5 minutes to get nice and foamy. A hot tip is throwing in a pinch of cream of tartar, which will help it come together even faster.

Can You Store Leftover Aquafaba?

Yes, yes you can! If you've got extra aquafaba on hand, freeze it in your ice cube tray then pop them out into a resealable freezer bag. You can keep the frozen cubes in the freezer for a good 3 months, and when you're ready to use them, just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and whip until fluffy!

~Megan Gordon, author of Whole Grain Mornings, and vegan cooking aficionado

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