If you’ve ever opened a can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, you’ve already encountered aquafaba--you just didn’t know it! Aquafaba is the slightly vicous liquid found in canned garbanzo beans and it’s a magical ingredient that can be used as a vegan egg replacer in baking. "Aqua" and "faba" literally translate to "water" and "bean" and the term "aquafaba" was coined by Goose Wohlt back in 2015.
The cooking liquid is full of starch from the canned chickpeas and therefore makes it a great binder in baked goods. You can also whip it up into a foam (similar to egg whites) to give baked goods great lift and a fluffy texture.
Aquafaba is different from other vegan egg replacers because of its properties and texture. Unlike "eggs" made out of flax seeds or chia seeds, aquafaba has the ability to bind and create lift. The foamy whipped texture will give vegan pancakes a light airiness and might also be the key to nailing your vegan brownie recipe.
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the cooking liquid found in canned garbanzo beans
You can make your own aquafaba by cooking garbanzo beans from scratch and reserving the liquid, but you may have to cook down the liquid to get to the right consistency.
If it’s your first foray into aquafaba, I’d recommend using canned chickpeas for more consistent results.
What does Aquafaba taste like?
Aquafaba is nearly flavorless when baked!
When you first open the can of garbanzo beans it will, obviously, smell like beans. The aquafaba will have a slight bean flavor/smell when unbaked. Once baked into your recipe it’s undetectable. Magic!
How do you use Aquafaba?
Aquafaba can be used as a whole egg or egg white replacement.
Vigorously shake unopened can of garbanzo beans to lightly froth liquid and evenly distribute particles that may have settled (starchy bits and proteins).
Strain beans and aquafaba through mesh sieve or cheesecloth to separate.
I found these measurements to be good guidelines for using aquafaba as an egg replacer in vegan baking if you want to switch it up from our vegan egg replacement. Note that these measurements are of the aquafaba straight from the can, not whipped.
1 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp aquafaba = 1 egg white
3 tbsp aquafaba = 1 whole egg
How do you whip Aquafaba?
Use a stand mixer or electric hand mixer to whip aquafaba to medium peaks.
Add cream of tartar to stabilize the whipped aquafaba and prevent liquid loss (breakdown of foamy bubbles you’ve created!)
For every 8 tbsp of aquafaba (or 4 egg whites you’re replacing) add ⅛ tsp of cream of tartar.
It takes about 10 minutes of whipping (medium-high) to achieve medium peaks so for your arm’s sake, don’t attempt to whip by hand.
How do you substitute Aquafaba for eggs?
Follow the guide to measure aquafaba and use as an egg white or whole egg substitute.
When using aquafaba to replace whole eggs, measure out 3 tbsp per egg and lightly whisk to aerate. Use just as you would eggs in your recipe.
When using aquafaba to replace egg whites, measure out 2 tbsp per egg white and whip using stand mixer or electric hand mixer until medium peaks form (about 10 minutes at medium-high).
How well does Aquafaba work as an egg replacer?
Pretty well! I used unwhipped aquafaba to replace the eggs called for in our Gluten Free Muffins Mix. The texture of the muffins was light and airy and they had a nice golden dome on top!
I also used whipped aquafaba in place of eggs in a simple Gluten Free Muesli cookie. I whisked in sugar to create a sticky vegan meringue and it worked very well to bind together the cookies and give them a nice crispy crunch.
For reference, I used a 15 oz (425 gram) can of garbanzo beans and this yielded 7 ½ oz (213 grams) or roughly 1 cup of aquafaba. This would be enough to replace about 5 whole eggs or 8 egg whites.
Aquafaba is still very new to the world of baking. Even if you’re not vegan, it’s an interesting way to use up something you would likely pour down the drain or into your compost - and that’s pretty cool!
Ready to experiment or have more questions about aquafaba? Let us know in the comments.