Aquafaba — You Won’t Believe What This Natural Egg Substitute Can Do
Do you choose to not eat eggs but find it challenging to come up with alternative ways to prepare those egg-based dishes you can’t live without? Maybe you’ve looked at some of the “egg substitutes” on the market and discovered that they’re not actually substitutes at all; rather, they’re just egg whites with a bunch of other ingredients. Then there are the true egg substitutes that are often full of processed starches, gluten and soy proteins and cost an arm and a leg.
Most people have never considered using the liquid from chickpeas as an egg substitute.
Thankfully for strict vegans, individuals with allergies to eggs and those who simply are turned off by eating something that comes out of a chicken, there’s an easy solution. It’s called aquafaba — and you may already have some in your kitchen cupboard.
Aquafaba is the fancy name given to the liquid from fresh-cooked or canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and select other beans and legumes. The viscosity of this liquid is amazingly similar to egg whites and is a perfect — and healthy — substitute for eggs in recipes ranging from meringues and mayonnaise to pizza crusts and brownies.
A Growing Community
Most people have never heard the word aquafaba, and most people have never considered using the liquid from a can of chickpeas as an egg substitute. But all that is slowly changing. Websites are springing up to introduce aquafaba and support growing communities of those who sing its praises. One such site is Aquafaba.com, which bills itself as “the official aquafaba website.”
Here you can learn some of the science and history behind this naturally occurring liquid that’s easy to use as a thickener, binder, emulsifier and foaming agent in more recipes than you could imagine. There’s also a highly informative FAQ section that covers the origins of the aquafaba craze and provides plenty of cooking and recipe tips.
The Vegan Society has a page packed with mouthwatering photos of aquafaba dishes and recipes to go along with them. Here are a few examples:
- Lemon meringue pie
- Chocolate mousse
- Baked Alaska
- Strawberry ice cream
- Chocolate chip soda bread
And this is just the beginning. With a little learning and practice, you’ll be turning out many of the delectable egg-based dishes everybody loves, with the benefit of a healthy, animal-free ingredient.
The Safe Alternative for Those With Egg Allergies
Is your child allergic to eggs? Research indicates that up to 2 percent of children are born with this allergy, which can present with symptoms ranging from a simple rash to life-threatening anaphylaxis. The only good news here is that most children outgrow the allergy by their midteens.
In an allergic reaction to eggs, a person’s immune system overreacts to the proteins found in both egg whites and egg yolks. The body, believing a foreign invader is threatening it, quickly releases chemicals as a means of defense. This is what causes the allergic symptoms. Aquafaba will not trigger that reaction, making it safe for kids to enjoy their favorite baked treats.
Perfect for Strict Vegans
From plant-based to raw, there are many kinds of vegan diets. However, all vegans avoid meat and dairy products; some even refrain from using anything that originates from an animal, including leather and honey. Many vegans face the challenge of staying true to their dietary standards while enjoying a variety of foods that look and taste wonderful.
Aquafaba is the ideal solution for strict vegans. It’s also perfect for those individuals who have no problem eating a steak but are squeamish about doing anything with an egg.
You may wonder how you’ve managed without it all these years.
A Pure Egg Substitute
If you’re wondering what you’ll be putting in your body when you use aquafaba, here are the nutritional facts for a tablespoon of aquafaba derived from a can of Organic 365 brand garbanzo beans:
- 5 calories
- No fat
- No cholesterol
- No sodium
- No carbs
- No protein
While different brands and different legume products contain varying amounts of some of the above ingredients, aquafaba is truly a pure egg substitute that has few, if any, dietary implications. Once you get into the swing of using it and discover all that this versatile liquid can do, you just may wonder how you’ve managed without it all these years. So, the next time you make your favorite cookie recipe, try replacing each egg with three tablespoons of low-sodium aquafaba. You won’t taste any difference, but you’ll save on the calories.