Vegan Daughter Paleo Son

Aquafaba – without the can!

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Aquafaba – without the can!

Aquafaba, aka bean water, is the new egg replacer that has recently taken the vegan world by storm. Simply whipped as you would whip egg whites into a meringue, it beautifully mimics the fluffy, airy, barely-there mouthfeel and flavor that you get from eggs. It is magical!

Over the last few weeks, eager vegans have been purchasing cans of chickpeas for the brine that is usually discarded. With this simple throw-away ingredient, one can make meringue, pavlova, cookies, cakes, mousse, marshmallow fluff, mayo, pretty much anything for which one would use egg whites. How intriguing!

Three easy steps for meringue:

  1. Open a can of chickpeas
  2. Drain the chickpeas
  3. Beat the water into fluffy meringue

There is no confirmation yet as to why this works… so far a lot of speculation. My only real question is: Do we really need to get this miracle ingredient from a can? ‘Not a fan of the can.

Why go can-free?

  • More nutrients! Anything that sprouts still has life in it, and more nutrients. Canned beans are convenient, but they wont sprout. Dried beans do!
  • Some canned foods contain unwanted ingredients.

If dried chickpeas produce the same result, with no weird canny chemical reaction involved, no BPA, no salt, and no miscellaneous unwanted ingredients, I’m in!

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The history:

First, credit where credit is due… for the back story on Aquafaba, please click here.  There is already an entire community devoted to understanding the properties and uses for aquafaba. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble by reading up on fails and successes in the community.

Bean water, as an ingredient, is not new. It makes a GREAT vegetarian broth for soups and stews, in lieu of chicken broth. The froth on the water of cooked chickpeas can be used as a leavening agent to make bread. Apparently, this was a technique used by Greek grandmothers in times of poverty. Clever!

It is also great for thinning out hummus, and for making a variety of sauces. The viscosity gives your dish body, and the broth can add a very subtle layer of flavor.

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Can you do this without a can?
Turns out, yes you can!

And I like it better. It produces a clean taste, no tinny notes. When flavorings are added, it perfectly mimics egg white flavor and texture.

Making aquafaba, aka bean water or bean broth, from dried beans…

Optional: Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, preferably spring water. One cup of dried chickpeas will grow to about 2 1/2 cups after the are soaked overnight.

You may get a stronger meringue by not soaking the beans first. However, soaked chickpeas cook in 50 minutes or less every time, and produce tender and delicious beans with no fuss.

My bean broth from presoaked chickpeas whipped up into meringue just fine.

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After soaking, drain the water.

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Add soaked chickpeas to a pot and cover with water, by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender. This will take about 50 minutes. Begin checking beans around 35 – 40 minutes. If you have not soaked your beans, that’s fine, just allow for whatever cooking time the beans need. They may cook quickly or very slowly. When they are tender and you like them, they’re done!

With a slotted spoon, remove chickpeas from the water. Place them into a mason jar or another heat-safe container for refrigeration. Continue to simmer water until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 – 2 cups. Pour water over chickpeas and cover, for storage.

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Here is just the broth. It is cooled and ready to use. 🙂

chickpea broth

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Starches in the chickpeas make the water slightly viscous.

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The color will disappear when you beat it into meringue. Once aerated, it becomes a beautiful creamy white color, just like egg whites.

chickpea broth meringue

See more meringue-making images here!

Aquafaba – without the can!

aka: bean water or broth for the ultimate egg white replacer
Chickpeas work very well. Other beans can be used as well, some  more successfully than others.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • water for soaking, 2-3 cups
  • water for cooking

Method

Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight, preferably spring water. (Soaking is optional. See notes.) After soaking, drain the water. Add soaked chickpeas to a pot and cover with water, by about 2 inches (over the top of chickpeas). Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until beans are tender. This will take about 50 minutes. Begin checking beans around 35 – 40 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove chickpeas from the water. Place them into a mason jar or another heat-safe container for refrigeration. Continue to simmer water until it is reduced to about 1.5  to 2 cups remaining liquid. Pour water over chickpeas and cover, for storage.

Done!

When you are ready to use your bean water, just strain out the chickpeas (which you can use countless ways).

Notes: One cup dried chickpeas = about 2 1/2 cups soaked chickpeas (soaked overnight)
It may be possible to get results from the soaking water; I have not worked enough with it to determine its potential. Also, you can certainly skip the soaking step. This may even yield a stronger meringue. I prefer to soak first to get a more reliable cooking time for my chickpeas. Otherwise, they can be a bit temperamental. If you have not soaked your beans, allow for an adjustment in cooking time. They may cook very quickly or very slowly.

Enjoy!

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  1. Tash
    TashNovember 2,15

    I wonder if the result would be improved if I boil the chickpeas in the water they were soaked in anyway. Must test this soon – fascinating stuff.

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaNovember 2,15

      Maybe! Then you could still enjoy easy-cooked chickpeas, and probably get more viscosity in the aquafaba. Please share your results. 🙂

    • Anonymous
      AnonymousDecember 29,15

      Usually the water in which the beans are soaked overnight or few hours should be discarded before boiling the beans in fresh water..as that soaked water takes away all the bad stuff that cause flatulence caused by beans. So fresh batch of water for cooking the beans is good idea.
      Came across a receipe that uses Aquafaba in macaroons.Being vegetarian always kept myself away from macaroons.i will definitely give it a try.

  2. Katya
    KatyaJanuary 13,16

    Such a great recipe! In my country it’s so difficult to find any vegan replacer for egg, butter, cheese and so on. But im stubborn and have foud this wonderful recipe! Thank you so much for this! I have made this today and can’t stop to use it, incredible!! Actually i didnt believe that the result will be such unbelievable!!
    Authour, thank you sooooo much!!!!! ^o^
    But i have a question, how long can i store aquafaba in refrigiration??

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaJanuary 18,16

      Katya, thank you! I am so happy that this is working well for you. Beans, in general, should be refrigerated for only about 3-4 days. It may be possible to keep the brine a little longer, but I would not chance it. Your nose will likely tell you if it has gone bad. Once you have whipped up the brine, it should be eaten right away, so that it holds its beautiful shape and texture. Thank you so much for sharing your results! 🙂 Stay stubborn!

    • Glen
      GlenMay 11,16

      Have a look at the Cooking with Plants site. Anja makes her own cheese, her food is very yummy 🙂
      https://cookingwithplants.com

  3. Aminah
    AminahFebruary 13,16

    When stored are the chickpeas cooked, pre soaked, or raw?

    Thanks for sharing!!!!

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaFebruary 13,16

      I keep dried chickpeas in my pantry. They last forever! Well, at least for months, up to a year. Soaked chickpeas will stay fine in my fridge for a couple of days, and a wee bit longer if they are drained and placed in fresh water. I do not like to leave them for more than a few days. Cooked chickpeas should be good for about 3-5 days in the fridge. Or they can be frozen and keep for months. Thank you 🙂

      • Ayesha zainab
        Ayesha zainabMay 29,16

        I am allergic of egg and great lover of baking so the situation for me is very bad but now i have a great re placer of egg. i tried but my aquafaba did not get white stiff peak and this is very heart breaking for me.i make my own aquafaba and pour 1/4 tsp white vinegar in it during beating but i do not know where i made mistake.i will give it more tries.can you identify my mistake

        • Chef Gina
          Chef GinaJune 23,16

          It takes a long time of beating the aquafaba to get peaks. You may just need more whipping time. Also the viscosity makes a difference. If the water ratio is high, it does not whip up as well. You can also check out this page http://aquafaba.com/community.html for links to successes and fails… great tips!

  4. sara
    saraMay 9,16

    I use Mark Bittman’s beas cooking method. I put chickpeas in cold unsalted water, bring to a boil. boil 15 min, turn off heat and let sit for three hours. Then I DON’T change water, but add more water for just cover the beans, cover the pot, bring it all back to a boil and cook for till tender – about 30 minutes. I will try fabulous aquafaba for my next cake

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaJune 23,16

      Thank you for sharing this method Sara. Love it!

  5. Venkataraman R
    Venkataraman RMay 10,16

    I am slightly confused. “Continue to simmer water until it is reduced to about 1 1/2 – 2 cups. Pour water over chickpeas and cover, for storage.” pour water over chicpeas- which water you mean “fresh water” for string chickpeas. It is the chick peas soaked water which is reduced 1 1/2 – 2 cup is whipped and used as egg replacer?

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaJune 23,16

      Thank you Venkataramen. I will revise the method to make it more clear.

  6. Taryn
    TarynAugust 3,16

    Have you made mayonnaise with homemade Aquafaba?

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaAugust 4,16

      I have not tried mayo yet, simply because I have not needed it. If you have made it, pleased tell us about it. 🙂 I should put that on my to=do list.

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaAugust 4,16

      Hey Taryn 🙂
      I have not made mayo yet, simply because I haven’t needed it. If you have tried aquafaba mayo, please tell us about it. I should put that on my to-do list.

    • Lisette Callis
      Lisette CallisAugust 4,16

      thank you chef Gina,
      it’s just when i realised needed to click “yes”, i’d already submitted my comment.:)
      here goes; you remove the chickpeas when soft, then you reduce the aquafaber to 1.5 cups, pour that back over the chick peas, until you want to use either? in order for the aqua faber to become strengthened?

      • Chef Gina
        Chef GinaAugust 12,16

        Thank you Lisette. That is a really good suggestion. I usually keep the tender chickpeas stored separately from the aquafaba. That is really just because I use them up pretty quickly. I see no problem with storing them together in the same container.

  7. Lisette Callis
    Lisette CallisAugust 4,16

    Venkataraman, i had that same problem. i think it means after chick peas are removed, simmer the aquafaber til it reduces to 1.5 cups. but not sure how to use it after that?

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaAugust 4,16

      Yes, thank you. I think I made those notes a little clearer. Please let me know.

  8. Lisette Callis
    Lisette CallisAugust 4,16

    i would like email re follow ups

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaAugust 4,16

      Thank you Lisette 🙂
      I am not sure how it works with a mobile device, but on a laptop or desktop, you can find the link on my site to sign up for email notification for new postings, and possibly follow-ups. If you have trouble finding it, please let me know.

  9. Lesley Davies
    Lesley DaviesOctober 18,16

    would this work if the chicks were done in a pressure cooker? I often forget to soak the peas in advance and appreciate the time savings afforded by my pressure cooker
    Thanks

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaOctober 20,16

      That is a great question! I will research it. Maybe the Hits and Misses site has covered this.

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaOctober 20,16

      So yes! It looks as though home cooks have found success in using a pressure cooker to make aquafaba. Some even suggest straining out the bean water (after pressure cooked) and then soaking the cooked chickpeas in fresh water in the fridge overnight again to draw out even more bean water. Another great reason to get a pressure cooker. Happy aquafaba-making!

  10. Joella Molson
    Joella MolsonMay 31,17

    Awesome info and great ideas for cooking from dried. However, I just wanted to mention that not all dried chickpeas will sprout. Sometimes dried legumes are irradiated and as a result will not sprout. I buy organic non-irradiated dry chickpeas on amazon.

    • Chef Gina
      Chef GinaJune 2,17

      Thank you for sharing that important point. 🙂 I sometimes use the term “sprouting” loosely; I tend to include soaking under the “sprouting” umbrella. Only food with life still in it will actually sprout.

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