Hey ya, good news for all those who were eagerly waiting for a substitute for egg whites to have those delicious cakes, macarons, meringues and other delicacies where egg whites were a must – till now. Be it an allergy to egg whites or a lifestyle choice of being a vegan, many people had to forsake the culinary wonders that egg whites produce. But not anymore as now we have aquafaba (a combination of Latin words for water and bean).
Aquafaba literally means water from beans – it could be any beans, not necessarily chickpea beans. Even water from packaged tofu and peas is aquafaba! Water from canned beans or the residual water left after you cook your beans is aquafaba.
Who would have thought that the next big thing to sweep across the culinary world would be something as simple and as icky as the brine from legumes? That aquafaba is a perfect egg replacer is the best reason for its popularity and it is also cheap and easily accessible.
In Indian cuisine, aquafaba has been used for ages. We, Indians, don’t like throwing anything that could be of use. Hence, after we boil the legumes, we would put the leftover water (aquafaba) into the curry instead of water. However, the new development is the discovery that this water could be used as egg white substitute.
If you are using your aquafaba as an egg white substitute, remember to make its consistency the same as egg whites. If using aquafaba to make fluffy things like Yorkshire puddings and light cakes, remember to whisk it first until it turns white and foamy, and then fold it into the batter using a metal spoon to keep those bubbles from popping. Use three tablespoons of aquafaba per egg – but don’t live by that rule.
Juice from low-sodium white beans tastes the best, with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) being the preferred legume of choice. Research is on to know how aquafaba can be such a great substitute for egg white, but the bottom line is that it delivers.
Just put a can of chickpea water into a mixer, and it froths instantly, like bubbles in a bath, and then whips into stiff, glossy peaks. It retains a slight beany aroma in the bowl, but that disappears when cooked. There is no residual flavor, and few calories.