How many times have you opened up a can of chickpeas, then drained out all of the water?
Have you ever given it a second thought? I hadn’t. But that’s because up until recently, I had no idea that this precious liquid actually has a name—aqua faba—and is the secret ingredient to making the most perfect vegan meringues one could ask for.
What can aqua faba be used for?
Aqua faba can be used as a vegan egg replacer, saving the day when it comes to reviving a ton of recipes and foods you thought you had to say goodbye to without eggs and dairy. You can use it to create anything from vegan meringues, to plumping up baked goods, vegan mayo recipes, and even to create vegan cheeses. The best part? The stuff is literally a product that you didn’t realize you should have been saving, so think of it as the free bonus when you’re making hummus.
What about the water in other cans of beans?
When using aqua faba in recipes, the most common ‘bean’ water that’s used is from a can of chickpeas. However, it is apparently possible to use the water of any can of beans, so if the aqua faba from a can of black beans would add an interesting flavour and colour to what you’re making, give it a try!
Try making meringues as a first step.
Meringues were an obvious choice for working with aqua faba for the first time. However, once you’ve seen it working for yourself, there’s nothing stopping you from lemon meringue pies, macarons, and so much more.
With perhaps a perfectly fitting superhero-esque title, aqua faba truly is the unsung chickpea hero with the potential to make all of your vegan dreams come true. Tell us what you’re making with aqua faba in the comments! Happy baking everyone.
- The liquid from 1 can of Unsalted Chickpeas (about 1 cup of liquid)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- ¾ Cup White Sugar
- Preheat oven to 200F
- Open your can of chickpeas, and pour out the liquid into a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and cream of tartar.
- Beat this mixture on high, then slowly add in the sugar while still beating. Make sure to scrape off the sugar from the sides to make sure that everything is combined.
- Continue beating until stiff peaks begin to form, about 7 minutes.
- Lining a baking sheet with parchment paper, then use a pastry bag or spoon to dollop the meringue onto the baking sheet in even mounds.
- Bake for 1 ½ – 2 ¼ hours. Check for doneness by taking a meringue out of the oven, and slicing it open to check the texture. If you are looking for a more chewy centre, opt for less time. If you would prefer the meringue is crunchy all the way through, cook for longer.
- Store in a cool, dry place.
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