When you open a can of chickpeas, do you usually drain the thick, yellowish brine down the sink? Well from now on, don’t throw it away – save it! This liquid is so useful it even has its own name now, aquafaba.
During the canning process, some proteins and carbohydrates from the chickpeas leach out into the brine, which give it some super useful properties. If you whip aquafaba, it foams up beautifully, just like egg whites do when you whip them. This makes aquafaba useful as a direct replacement for eggs. We’re all about reducing food waste and a can of chickpeas is no exception. Instead of ending up down the sink the liquid can end up in some delicious treats. A fantastic substitute in baking recipes for people allergic to eggs, vegans, or any foodie who wants to experiment in the kitchen. And one of the best parts about baking with aquafaba is that it doesn’t come with the possibility of salmonella contamination of raw eggs – so everybody is free to lick the bowl risk-free!
Next time you open a can of chickpeas, decant it from a can into a bowl – not the sink. If you don’t want to use it straight away, no problem – simple freeze it for another time. You will need around 2-3 tablespoons of aquafaba to substitute for 1 egg white. It might take some trial and error to get perfect, but we’re sure you’ll have fun experimenting. You can bake anything you usually would, like brownies, cakes, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate mousse, but the simplest recipe to start off with is basic meringues. Here’s a recipe below, and online you will find many more.
You’ll need a can of chickpea water, and 100g castor sugar
- Preheat the oven to 110°C and line a baking tray with baking paper
- Drain the chickpeas from the aquafaba
- Beat the aquafaba with an electric whisk until soft peaks form
- Add the castor sugar a little at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick, glossy and stiff peaks form
- Spoon or pipe the mixture onto the tray and bake for 1-2 hours, until the desired crispiness is achieved.