If anything could threaten an egg’s sense of self-worth, it would be aquafaba. Aquafaba is the name for the liquid obtained from canned or home-cooked beans, typically chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Aquafaba is an incredibly useful ingredient for vegan and plant-based cooking as it can be used to replace eggs and egg whites in many recipes, due to its binding, leavening, emulsifying, and thickening properties.
We’ve used it to make a variety of plant-based baked goods, from muffins to cheesecake and vegan chocolate chip cookies. But its use goes beyond baking, you can also use it to replace eggs to make vegan mayonnaise, whip up egg-free eggnog and use it as a binder in fritters and chickpea cakes.
This post is a primer on aquafaba – use the Table of Contents below to jump quickly to answers for common questions. You’ll also see links and images throughout the post for recipes that use aquafaba as an ingredient.
The 3 Ways to Obtain Aquafaba
One: Use the liquid from canned chickpeas
The first and easiest way to get aquafaba is to open a can of store-bought chickpeas. Just strain the chickpeas and the liquid that remains is the aquafaba. Ideally, you should use unsalted chickpeas, especially if you’re using the aquafaba in sweet, rather than savoury dishes.
In theory, any type of legume should work. We have used primarily canned chickpea and black beans aquafaba in our recipe testing. Black bean aquafaba is darker than chickpea aquafaba, so it’s a good egg replacer in recipes for chocolate cake or brownies.
Two: Make your own aquafaba
The second way to get aquafaba is to make your own. You do this by cooking cooking legumes (such as chickpeas, white beans, black beans) from dried and saving the cooking water. Once your chickpeas are cooked, remove them from the cooking water and reduce the remaining liquid until it has the consistency of egg white.
What types of beans can I use for aquafaba?
Chickpeas are the typical legume used, but other types should work as well. If you are making your own aquafaba, please read the package label of your legumes, as some types, such as kidney beans, can be toxic if not cooked properly.
Is it better to make your own aquafaba?
Making your own aquafaba is obviously going to be the cheapest route, but it’s also the most time-consuming, and doesn’t allow for spontaneous recipe making.
The second issue with making your own aquafaba is consistency. One batch may be better than the next. We typically use aquafaba from canned chickpeas to ensure consistency. It’s also a good idea to use the same brand, as there are differences among brands.
Using up your chickpeas
- 3-Ingredient Sun-dried Tomato Hummus
- 15-Minute Thai Chickpea Curry
- Basil Edamame Hummus
- Baked Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
- Roasted Veggies in Curry Cream Sauce
- Savoury Vegan Cheese Spread
- Vegan Curry Maple Chickpea Cakes
Three: Buy aquafaba powder
The third way to get aquafaba is to buy it. We’ve bought aquafaba in powdered form and its been reliable and convenient. However the downside is that it’s the most expensive option.
Using aquafaba to replace eggs in baking – replacement guidelines
You can make these Lemon, Pistachio, and White Chocolate Chip Cookies with an egg or with aquafaba.
If the recipe requires more than 2 eggs, the replacement process might not be so seamless and will depend on the purpose of the egg in the recipe. If you decide to experiment, it’s always a good idea to halve or even quarter the recipe, so as to not waste too many ingredients.
Using aquafaba in vegan cheesecakes
There are many different ways to make vegan cheesecakes. We’ve made two sweet cheesecakes with aquafaba, our Blend and Bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake and our Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake. We’ve also used aquafaba to make a savoury vegan cheesecake, which is a baked cheese spread.
Using aquafaba as a binder
For recipes that call for egg or egg white as a binder, you can typically replace with an equal amount of aquafaba. If the recipe calls for 1 egg, then use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba. If it calls for an egg white, use 1 tablespoon of aquafaba.
Our Zucchini and Green Pea Fritters can be made either with aquafaba or with eggs.
Using aquafaba to replace egg whites for desserts like meringues and pavlovas
One of the most exciting properties of aquafaba is that it whips up into peaks just like egg white does. As with egg whites, cream of tartar is sometimes added to help stabilize the mixture.
We have not tried making meringues but many recipe developers have done this successfully and there is an entire Facebook group devoted to it, called Aquafaba (Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses!). This group is a goldmine of information for all things aquafaba. You will find numerous recipes and an extremely helpful, enthusiastic group of recipe developers.
Do I always need to whip the aquafaba?
For many recipes, you don’t need to whip the aquafaba first. Only whip it if the recipe calls for it.
Storing and freezing aquafaba
Aquafaba will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge in a well-sealed container. You can also freeze aquafaba. If you’re the organized type, you can divvy it up into tablespoon-size units, using ice cube trays or something similar. If you don’t do that, it’s still easy enough to defrost the container, use whatever aquafaba you need and then refreeze the container.
Nutritional value of aquafaba
Aquafaba.com tested the nutritional value of aquafaba and found that it contains about 3-5 calories per tablespoon. Most other nutrients are too low to register on the American FDA food label. Get the full nutritional information on the Aquafaba.com site.
What can’t I make with aquafaba?
You can’t use aquafaba to replace eggs in recipes that are largely eggs – for example scrambled eggs or omelettes cannot be made with aquafaba.
For scrambled eggs, instead replace with tofu, tricked out with nutritional yeast and spices. You can also try recipes with mung beans or commercial products such as JUST Eggs, which is made from mung beans. We haven’t tried it but JUST Egg might work for omelettes as well. You can also make omelettes from chickpea flour.
- 1-Bowl Peanut Butter Cookies
- Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Lemon Pistachio and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1-Bowl Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Buckwheat, Oatmeal, and Maple Syrup Muffins
- Pear Zucchini Bread
- Blend and Bake Vegan Lemon Cheesecake
- Blood Orange and Carrot Cheesecake (Vegan)
- Egg-Free Eggnog with Aquafaba
- Zucchini and Green Pea Fritters (Vegan or Vegetarian)
- Cheesy Battered Oven Fries (Vegan)
- Curry Maple Chickpea Cakes (Vegan)
- Potato Salad for Pickle Lovers (Vegan or Vegetarian)
- Savoury Vegan Cheese Spread
- Simple Vegan Mayo with Aquafaba
Printable Recipe Card
Easiest Way to Make Aquafaba
- 1 can cooked unsalted chickpeas
Obtaining aquafaba from canned chickpeas
- Drain the liquid from the chickpeas, reserving the chickpeas for another use. The liquid is the aquafaba.
- See individual recipes for how to use the aquafaba, but general guidelines are 3 tablespoons of aquafaba per egg, or 1 tablespoon of aquafaba for 1 egg white.
- You can use whipped aquafaba to replace whipped egg whites in some desserts. The general guideline is to use 1 tablespoon of aquafaba per egg white. You whip aquafaba just like egg whites. Put the aquafaba in a large bowl as it will expand when whipped. You can include cream of tartar as a stabilizer. Again, follow the original recipe for guidance.
Making Your Own AquafabaYou can also make your own aquafaba by cooking legumes, such as chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans, and white beans (navy beans, Great Northern Beans, and white kidney beans, also called cannellini). Be sure to follow the instructions for thoroughly cooking the beans, as some types of beans, notably kidney beans are toxic if not cooked properly. Once you have cooked the beans, remove them from the cooking water and then reduce the water until it’s the consistency of egg white.
Storing AquafabaYou can store aquafaba in a well-sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze aquafaba, defrosting before use.
Nutritional InformationNutritional information is from Aquafaba.com. Please see their site for more details.
Just want the eggy flavour?
If you’re looking to infuse some eggy flavour into a recipe, try Kala Namak, a type of salt that has an eggy taste and somewhat sulfurous smell. Also known as Indian Black Salt or Himalayan Black Salt, it’s actually pink. Try it in our Plant-Based Caesar Salad Dressing.
Questions or Comments
Aquafaba is an amazing, versatile egg replacer. We’ll keep adding to this post as we continue using it and developing recipes. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you. Just post them in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.