Aquafaba: The "Aquafaba-lous" New Substitute for Eggs

Having an egg allergy means more than just having to skip a plate of freshly cooked eggs or a home-made frittata. That is the easy part, as there are many other breakfast options to fill your hunger. What it often means is passing up on delicious cookies, rich cakes, or other scrumptious desserts where eggs are among the ingredient list.

For so many people who have an egg allergy, many desserts are completely off limits.

Well, what if there was another option right in front of you that might actually solve this problem, letting you enjoy old favorites? An ingredient that can safely be used in many recipes to replace eggs? Think no further, just think: Aquafaba.

What Is Aquafaba?

Is that really a word? In fact it is, and when people realize what it is and where it comes from, they are often shocked. It is a name coined by Goose Wohlt, a vegan baker, back in February 2015. Since then it is becoming a popular substitute for eggs in the culinary world.

Aquafaba is a word derived from latin, with aqua meaning water and faba meaning bean. It is actually the name of the liquid/juice/brine found in a can of beans, such as garbanzo beans. (If you don’t like garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas, or are allergic, you can opt for the liquid found in white beans or northern beans. Keep in mind that you cannot be allergic to all legumes to use the other beans.

And additionally, the liquid in the garbanzo beans has been found to work best.) If you prefer not to use the canned variety, you can also opt to soak and boil dried chick peas and collect the bean water yourself. Aquafaba is free of all top 8 allergens, including eggs. It is also vegan, so it appeals to those who are vegetarian as well.

What Makes Up Aquafaba?

It is a combination of protein, starch, and plant solids. It can be used in recipes to bind, thicken, stabilize, and emulsify. When using it as an egg substitute, the equivalents are as follows: 

                 1 egg = 3 tbsp Aquafaba

                 1 egg white = 2 tbsp Aquafaba

                 1 egg yolk = 1 tbsp Aquafaba

It is the perfect substitute as you can keep it in the refrigerator for as long as you keep a carton of eggs, or you can pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it for use at a later date. If you are skilled in the kitchen, you can also dehydrate it so that it lasts even longer. Aquafaba in recipes has been found to add moistness to cakes and a better texture to make things smooth and fluffy.

Where Is Aquafaba Being Used?

The answer seems to be anywhere and everywhere! It can be used in making many delicious treats such as meringues, macarons, marshmallows, and icings. It is also used in recipes for pancakes, waffles, cookies and cakes. Aquafaba has also found its place in the production of plant based butters, cheese, mayo and ice cream.

One of the most popular uses of Aquafaba to date is in recipes for meringue cookies. Meringues traditionally were known to be a very easy cookie to whip up with egg whites being the main ingredient.  Now, everyone, even those with an egg allergy, can enjoy a delicious batch of this favorite melt-in-your-mouth cookie.    

Aquafaba Meringue Recipe

Try these egg-free meringue cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup liquid (Aquafaba) from can of chick peas. (A 19-ounce can should give this amount)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine aqufaba and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Use a hand mixer and beat until foamy, which will take about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Mix on high speed until mixture starts to thicken. It will also become more opaque as it is mixed.
  5. As you continue to mix, slowly add in sugar, keeping the mixer on. Stop the mixer every now and then until the stiff peaks hold without it collapsing.
  6. Line the baking sheets with dollops of the mixture.This can be done with a spoon or with a pastry bag.
  7. Bake for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the cookies dropped on the baking sheet.  Then turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside for 45 minutes to 1 hour until firm to touch.  Then remove and let cool at room temperature.
  8. Store leftover cookies in closed container in refrigerator.
  • Up Next