May We Recommend: Aquafaba for Eggless Cooking?
Protein-rich chickpeas can enhance any dish, from soups and stews to salads. Whether you are cooking fresh chickpeas or opening a can, don’t toss out the bean water, called aquafaba. It can be repurposed as an egg white substitute in recipes.
“Like eggs, aquafaba is a nice binding ingredient; it emulsifies oil into a mayonnaise, adds lightness to baked goods and creates the foam in a meringue. You can use any bean water, but chickpeas create the best consistency and neutral taste,” said Chef Diane Forley, owner of Meringue Shop in Scarsdale, NY.
Cooking with aquafaba takes a little practice. My meringues fell flat for my first attempt. Here are tips from two experts:
“When I make aquafaba from fresh chickpeas I usually need to reduce it down to achieve the same viscosity as canned chickpea liquid,” said Chef Kathy Gold, owner of In the Kitchen Cooking School in Philadelphia. Gold notes the ratio for home cooks is three tablespoons of chickpea liquid for one egg.
Author Lindsay-Jean Hard writes in her book, Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels Cores, Rinds and Stems into Delicious Meals, “It (aquafaba) takes much longer than whipping egg whites but keep trying. If you’re still having trouble, try a different brand of beans.”