Your Guide to Aquafaba
Have you heard of the magical ‘aquafaba’ yet? It’s really just the liquid from a can of chickpeas or other legumes, but that doesn’t sound quite as appetizing, does it?
You’re probably wondering why anyone would consume that?! But once you find out about all the amazing things it can do, instead, you’ll wonder why no one thought of it before!
When cooked legumes are stored in water, some of their protein leaches out into that water. That’s why, when you open a can of chickpeas, the liquid is sometimes a little cloudy and viscous. We all used to pour that liquid down the drain, without knowing what a valuable resource we were wasting. But a few years ago, an enterprising vegan realized that it behaved a lot like egg whites, and soon Aquafaba Meringues were born, quickly followed by Macarons and lots of other goodies.
Aquafaba from just about any legume will do, though chickpea water generally works best. You probably wouldn’t want to use black bean water in a delicately flavored macaron, for example, but definitely give it a try in Black Bean Brownies.
Don’t think it’s just for desserts either – pretty much any recipe that traditionally called for egg whites can be made with aquafaba. Homemade Mayonnaise is easy. You can use it as an ‘egg’ wash or as a dip before breading fritters or tempura. It’s even been used in Cocktails.
If you cook your own beans at home, that water will work just as well, though you might have to reduce it a little first. Store any unused aquafaba in the fridge for up to a week, and in the freezer for up to a year. Try making aquafaba ice cubes, then you can grab just as much as you need.
NB. Make sure you use the water from cooked beans! The water used to soak dry beans contains should never be used.
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