You may have heard of aquafaba (‘water-bean’) by now. Who would have thought that only two years ago the big thing to sweep across the vegan world would have been something as simple – as the brine from legumes? It might have something to do with the fact that not only is this liquid shaping out to be the perfect egg replacer, it’s also one of the cheapest and most accessible replacers around – all you need is a can, or packet, of legumes, chickpeas being the bean du jour.
As I mentioned last week, eggs have become a less than perfect food. When I came to this realization it was a massive bummer. I love eggs but I typically only eat them sparingly and try to avoid using them as an additive in baked goods. For most clients I see, I recommend cutting out eggs completely, at least for a short period and for some of them, that’s a pretty big ask. It can be overwhelming to change your diet and lifestyle. As you realize the foods you love no longer serve you, letting go can be surprisingly hard. It was really challenging for me too, at first. However, almost every time I hit a nutrition obstacle, a creative solution always pops up around the bend.
The issue many people have when it comes to cutting eggs is in baking and sauce recipes. Eggs have the ability to bind ingredients as well as create things like merengue or mayo. It’s pretty difficult achieving adequate textures when moving towards a more plant based baking/cooking style. Then I discovered aquafaba, it was like finding whole new world of possibilities. Aquafaba is basically just the leftover bean water you’d find in a can or box of beans. It’s incredibly versatile, easy to make, and easy to find.The proteins and sugars from the beans concentrate in the water making a thick watery substance, similar to the texture of egg whites. When it’s whipped up, it can create a thickness that resembles the consistency of mayo. When added with a little sweetener, it makes a great merengue substitute.
When I tried using it for the first time, I couldn’t believe how similar it was to actual egg whites. I could hardly tell the difference.
To make aquafaba, simply save the strained bean water you’d have left over out of cooking beans. With a hand mixer or immersion blender, mix the liquid for 7-10 minutes. You’ll notice it thicken to a more dense consistency. You can stop when you feel you have the right texture for whatever you happen to be making. It’s best to use water from organic, home cooked beans (my favorite is chickpea). However, if you’re short on time, water from boxed beans is another quick and easy option. Be careful to not use water from canned beans containing BPA.
Check out the recipe I’m posting today to try using it and I promise you, you won’t miss the eggs!