Egg White Replacement
Aquafaba is the name for the viscous water in which legume seeds such as chickpeas have been cooked to replace egg whites.
Due to its ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites in cooking, aquafaba can be used as a direct replacement for them in some cases, including meringues and marshmallows. Its composition makes it especially suitable for use by people with dietary, ethical, or religious reasons to avoid eggs.
The most common use of aquafaba is as a replacement for egg white. The general recommendation for use is to replace one medium egg white with 30 millilitres (2 tablespoons) of aquafaba in a recipe, or to replace one medium whole egg with 45 mL (3 tbsp).
The simplest way to use it is to decant the liquid from canned or boxed legumes such as white beans or chickpeas. Alternatively, it can be made by boiling, steaming, pressure cooking, or microwaving pulses in water until they are cooked.
Sweet applications where a direct substitution for egg whites has been found to be successful include meringues, macarons, nougat, icing, ice cream, fudge, and marshmallows.
Organic Aquafaba from Dried Beans
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 5 to 16 hours depending on soaking period for beans. Makes about 1 1/2 cups aquafaba and 6 1/2 cups chickpeas or 5 cups black beans.
- 1 pound dried chickpeas or black beans (454 grams) (Try other beans too, especially white beans and butter beans.)
- 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pick through the dried beans and rinse very well. After all, you will be eating the liquid! Add water and salt, soak for two to twelve hours, and cook until tender. (I’ve tried skipping the soaking step but found that the resulting aquafaba didn’t whip up as well.) If the beans start to surface, add enough water to barely cover them.
- When beans are tender, carefully pour cooking liquid through a sieve into a container. I put a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup in the sink and aim for that. Any splashes clean up in a snap.
- Check the thickness of your aquafaba if you got more than 2 cups of liquid from a pound of beans. It should be a little goopy when chilled, like a raw flaxseed egg or the goopy liquid in canned beans. If your aquafaba is watery, boil it uncovered until some of the water goes away as steam. Save the beans for other recipes.
- If your recipe calls for whipping the aquafaba, chill it first to cut the whipping time. I chill the bowl and whisk too.
- Unwhipped aquafaba keeps refrigerated for seven days and frozen for a year. Try freezing it in ice-cube trays and then popping cubes into a freezer-safe bag.