Aquafaba is a vegan egg replacer that totally changed the world of vegan cooking. Not only does an aquafaba egg replace animal egg in recipes like a dream, it's basically free. Here's a guide to getting started with this magical egg replacer, plus some amazing aquafaba recipes!
What is an aquafaba egg?
Aquafaba is just the liquid you'd normally drain and toss from a can of beans. It turns out that bean liquid has a similar protein profile to egg, which makes it an amazing egg replacer. It was discovered by Goose Wohlt.
Replacing eggs with aquafaba is easy! In any baked recipe (or for breading), simply use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba per egg. If your recipe calls for a large egg, use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup).
You can use aquafaba in any baking recipe that calls for one to two eggs. Sometimes it will work in a three egg recipe, but I wouldn't push it further than that.
What kind of bean liquid will work?
As I mentioned above, this is for the liquid from canned beans only.
If you cook beans from scratch, you need to simmer the leftover cooking liquid until it reaches a thick, egg white-like consistency before you use it as an egg replacer. Once you simmer it to a good thickness, you can use it just like canned.
I have not tested every type of aquafaba out there, but I can tell you about the ones that I have used:
- chickpea or white bean liquid - I consider these the gold stars. Use them with abandon! They're a neutral color, so your baked goods won't take on a tint. White beans aquafaba has a slightly milder flavor, which makes it best for something like a meringue.
- pinto, red, or black bean liquid - As long as you don't mind a bit of discoloration, you can use these without issues. They work best in darker items, like muffins, quick breads, and breading.
How to use aquafaba
There are so many ways to use this stuff. It's a relatively new discovery, so folks are still testing, experimenting, and creating amazing vegan recipes with this all natural, inexpensive egg replacer.
Use it in any recipe that calls for one to two eggs. For something like quiche or an omelet, aquafaba alone is not going to work. You're better of using something like tofu or chickpea flour and following a tested vegan recipe.
I have used aquafaba with boxed cake mixes that call for three eggs. While it does work, your cake won't have exactly the same structural integrity it would if you used animal eggs or followed a tested from-scratch vegan cake recipe.
Here are some ideas for how you can use aquafaba:
- in baking (see the first part of this section for caveats)
- as a binder to make breading stick to baked or fried food
- to make vegan meringues
- to make vegan marshmallows
Folks are still testing things like quiche, strata, and other recipes where eggs play a bigger role. I haven't played with aquafaba quiche yet, but it looks like some people are having success there using aquafaba, chickpea flour, and black salt. I'll definitely post if I come up with my own aquafaba vegan quiche!
Making vegan meringue with aquafaba
If you're familiar with how to make meringues, these tips will help you make aquafaba meringues!
For a vegan meringue recipe, your ratio of bean liquid to sugar should be around one part liquid to 1 1/3 parts sugar. You can get away with 1 1/4 parts sugar, if you prefer.
Start low - You can always add more sugar if you're not getting the stiff peaks you want! I see recipes that say to add the sugar after you have soft peaks, but I had success adding most of the sugar right from the get, then adding more as needed.
I know - this is a lot of sugar. Meringues are mostly sugar, and so far no one's found a way around that. Whether you use egg or aquafaba, sugar plus the protein is what gives you stiff, shiny peaks.
How to freeze aquafaba eggs
You can freeze aquafaba. It will keep for a few days in the fridge, but to store it for longer, you can keep it in the freezer. To freeze:
- Pour into ice cube trays and freeze completely.
- Pop out the frozen cubes and transfer to an airtight container to freeze long-term.
Your aquafaba cubes will keep for about six months in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the fridge or for about 30-60 seconds in the microwave.
Since one standard ice cube tray section holds two tablespoons of liquid, you can use two aquafaba ice cubes for one large egg.
OK, so those are the basics, but with anything new, it's nice to have recipes to jump off of. Below are vegan aquafaba recipes to get you started.
Using aquafaba to make vegan meringue was how this all started, so I wanted to share a few vegan meringue recipes that folks have been making first.
The recipe above is for classic aquafaba meringues. If you're looking for variations, Dianne's Vegan Kitchen has options for making chocolate or swirled meringue cookies using aquafaba!
Lucy at Supergolden Bakes shows you how to create gorgeous macarons using aquafaba in place of eggs!
Somer at Vedged Out wanted to see how aquafaba worked as a straight up egg replacer, no whipping. And she made the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. This is the recipe that proved that straight, unwhipped bean liquid could replace eggs in baking.
Kohlrabi & Quince used a mix of chickpea and pinto bean liquid to re-create her favorite Easter cookie recipe from her childhood.
Marshmallows and marshmallow fluff
Why buy expensive vegan marshmallow fluff at the store, when you can use Seitan is My Motor's five ingredient recipe?
This marshmallow party is pretty awesome, and Seitan Beats Your Meat (best blog name ever?) blew my mind with her homemade Lucky Charms.
Serious Eats uses aquafaba to create a super easy vegan mayo!
Sarah from Fried Dandelions uses aquafaba to create crisp-yet-soft, perfect pizza crust.
I made these aquafaba latkes for my whole family a few Hanukkah's ago, and they were a smash hit!
For a Cool Whip-style vegan whipped cream, aquafaba is your friend! Try this amazing recipe from The Hidden Veggies.
An egg-free binder
Aquafaba is fabulous for getting breading to stick to things! It's what I use in my Avocado Fries:
And Cadry uses it as the binder in her recipe for Fried Ravioli!
You can also use it as the binder for patties, like my Yellow Squash Patties:
Have you done any experimenting with bean liquid in place of eggs? I'm so impressed with how people are working aquafaba magic!