What is Aquafaba, you ask? Have you ever opened a can of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) and drained off that nasty, viscous liquid surrounding the beans? That stuff you poured away – it’s liquid gold! Aquafaba. Aquafaba is a perfect substitute for egg whites. It whips up into delicious meringues, mousse au chocolat, Baked Alaska, buttercream—you name it. It can do anything egg whites can do, with the bonus that you can serve it to your vegan friends.
One can of chickpeas yields about ½ - ¾ cups of aquafaba. (3 Tablespoons is equivalent to one whole egg; 2 tablespoons equal to one egg white.) Better yet, save 50% in cost and cook one pound of dried garbanzos (I used my Instant Pot, my other favorite thing…) to create about 32 ounces of aquafaba, enough to serve delicious meringue shells and fruit to your dinner party, experiment with other recipes, or freeze for future use. (Yes, it freezes well, just like egg whites.)
After getting over the euphoria of discovering a use for this formerly-discarded product, I stopped to ask myself the big question: why, other than serving my vegan friends, would I use aquafaba? A few good reasons: 1) Let’s say you’re baking something that calls for several egg whites. If you use real eggs, you’re left with several egg yolks which, unless you have a dog, you will have to eat or serve to your family, which may be a bad idea. 2) You’re about to prepare the dessert for a dinner party and suddenly realize you’ve run out of eggs. Rather than drive to the store, you reach into your freezer and remove a few ice cubes of aquafaba, or open a can of garbanzos. 3) Your dinner party is dragging and the conversation has drifted to politics. After the guests have taken a bite of the delicious meringue dessert, you tell them they’re eating garbanzo bean water, and the party will be instantly revived. 4) Just because you can.