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What is Aquafaba? Your Guide to Cooking With the "It" Ingredient.

Jessica N September 29, 2022

Aquafaba has taken the plant-based world by storm, but you don't have to be vegan to appreciate aquafaba in the kitchen. 

In fact, we think everyone should know how to use this dynamite ingredient. 

What is Aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the liquid in which beans or legumes are cooked. During the cooking process, the liquid becomes viscous, similar to egg whites. As a result it is able to be whipped into a fluffy stiff mixture that can be used in many dishes which were once difficult to create without eggs. Think meringue, mayonnaise, whipped topping, angel food cake, or even macarons—all of this and more can be made convincingly with a small bit of aquafaba. 

Chickpea aquafaba is the most commonly used type. This is likely due to it being neutral in flavor, odorless, and completely white when whipped. 

Where can you get Aquafaba?

The easiest and most common way to get aquafaba is to buy a can a chickpeas, and strain the liquid away from the legumes. It is just that simple, and yes, this ingredient really has been hiding in plain sight all these years. We bet you might even have a can sitting in your pantry right now. 

A typical 15-ounce can of beans will yield 1/2 to 3/4 cup aquafaba. Sometimes more depending on the brand.

Using Aquafaba as a Substitute for Egg

The most practical use for aquafaba is as an egg replacer or substitute. 

Imagine this.

You're in the kitchen, and decide to bake a batch of homemade cookies. Just as you start creaming your butter and sugar, it dawns on you: "I forgot to buy eggs." Rather than heading out the door, you might instead check to see if you have a can of chickpeas in the pantry. Aquafaba to the rescue. You can substitute some of the water from your can of chickpeas for the eggs, and your cookies are saved. That's convenience anyone can appreciate.

You might also be interested to know that swapping aquafaba for eggs could be healthier. In fact, aquafaba is free from fat and cholesterol, and very low in carbohydrates.

Here's a nutritional comparison of eggs and aquafaba.

Aquafaba (4 TBSP) Egg (1 Large)
Calories 12 cal 78 cal
Fat (g) 0 g 5 g
Cholesterol (g) 0 g 187 g
Sodium (mg) 0 mg 62 mg
Fiber (g) 0 g 0 g
Sugar (g) 0.8 g 0.6 g
Calcium (mg) 4.4 mg 25 mg

The Aquafaba to Egg Ratio

If you're using aquafaba as a substitute for eggs in baking, these are the magic numbers. 

4 Tablespoons Aquafaba = 1 Large Egg

Write this down, add it to your kitchen equivalent cheat sheet, or save this image. It will come in handy one day, we promise. 

How long does Aquafaba last? 

If you're storing aquafaba in the fridge, it will last about 5 days. This is about as long as you could expect the beans from the same can to last in the fridge.

If you don't have plans to use the aquafaba right away, we recommend freezing. Use an ice cube tray to pre-measure portions of aquafaba, and store in a freezer bag once frozen. This saves your future self a lot of time.

3 Must-Try Aquafaba Recipes

Now that you know all of the basics about aquafaba, it's best to experience it for yourself. Here are 3 ridiculously simple must-try recipes using chickpea aquafaba. 

Aquafaba Mayonnaise

Lucious and tangy, this mayo contains zero eggs but whips up like a dream thanks to aquafaba. Use on sandwiches, salad dressing, or for an incredible potato salad. We doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference. You'll never go back to store bought mayo.

Aquafaba Whipped Cream

Aquafaba Whipped Cream is a satisfying sweet treat with a lighter, fluffier texture than its dairy counterpart. It can be used on berries, in shortcake, or even as the foam on a cocktail.

Fluffy Aquafaba Hummus

The addition of whipped aquafaba makes this hummus the creamiest, dreamiest of all time. The texture is downright fluffy, and it spreads beautifully on a pita or sandwich.

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