What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is a relatively recent discovery that’s expanded the possibilities of vegan baking and cooking. For a long time, the unique qualities of egg whites were difficult to replicate without using animal products. Vegan versions of recipes that called for whipped egg whites, like meringue, were difficult or impossible to make.
Then, along came aquafaba. It’s made by whipping the liquid that beans (typically chickpeas) are cooked or canned in. Protein from the beans is suspended in liquid, and behaves similarly to egg whites when whipped. Since whipping incorporates enough air to form soft or stiff peaks, aquafaba has opened up a whole category of vegan cooking and baking.
How to Make Aquafaba
Aquafaba is incredibly easy to make. We recommend starting with the chilled liquid from commercially canned, no-salt-added chickpeas (Eden Organic and 365 Everyday Living brands performed best in our test kitchen). Alternatively, you could also use the cooking liquid that’s left after boiling dried beans, but we find that canned beans provide a more consistent result.
Just like whipping egg whites, the key is to incorporate air until it reaches the desired firmness. Many aquafaba recipes also call for cream of tartar, which helps give the mixture some extra volume and firmness.
You could whip aquafaba by hand with a whisk, but we recommend letting a kitchen tool do the hard work for you. A Vitamix Immersion Blender with Whisk Attachment is perfect for making aquafaba in just a few minutes. You could also use the Aer disc container on a Vitamix countertop blender if your recipe calls for soft peaks.
- ¾ cup (175 ml) chilled liquid from canned, no-salt-added chickpeas
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Using a Vitamix Immersion Blender with Whisk Attachment or Aer disc container, whip for approximately 1 to 3 minutes, until peaks form, or until desired consistency is achieved.
What You Can Make with Aquafaba
There are a lot of recipes where aquafaba can stand in for whipped egg whites, but keep in mind it’s a different ingredient and won’t work perfectly in every situation. If you’re substituting aquafaba in a traditional recipe for the first time, we recommend doing a test run before serving it to guests.