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Have you heard of aquafaba? It’s that brine you find in a can of chickpeas; the stuff that you would typically pour down the drain. Well, the next time you pop open a can, save the liquid – because as it turns out, it’s somewhat of a miracle liquid that’s a plant-based replacement for egg whites.
Aquafaba can act as a replacement for egg whites in a number of dishes, taking on the role of emulsifier, leavening agent, and foaming agent. This means that it can be used to make desserts that traditionally call for egg whites, such as meringue. Last year, Sir Kensington’s introduced “Fabanaise” to the market, an all-vegan mayonnaise that uses aquafaba in place of egg whites.
In fact, earlier this summer, an event hailed as “the world’s premier series of cocktail festivals – highlighting what’s now, new and next in the spirits industry”, took place in New Orleans at the 15th annual Tales of the Cocktail conference. VegNews reports that aquafaba, was listed among the top eight trends named by alcohol and spirit industry professionals
Bartenders are using aquafaba in place of egg whites in cocktails such as whiskey sours, pisco sour, and others. “It does the same thing as an egg white, but it doesn’t make people turn up their nose,” Jennifer Contraveos, a portfolio ambassador for Bacardi USA told Houston Chronicle. “It emulsifies and provides viscosity. And it’s vegan.”
A search for “aquafaba” in Tales of Cocktails’ website reveals that they have been talking about using aquafaba to make egg white-free cocktails since 2015, including a tip on how to make the perfect foam for your whiskey sour. Erin Rea, a manager at Belga in San Francisco, told Tales of Cocktails that she actually prefers aquafaba to egg whites: “It provides the same frothing properties [as egg whites], and the flavor is mild enough that it doesn’t interfere with the taste of the cocktail.” At the start of the year, aquafaba was even identified as being among Tales of Cocktails’ top wellness trends to look out for as customers start to gravitate towards “healthy-ish” drinks.
Use Aquafaba at Home
We’ll leave it up to the industry experts to show you how best to use aquafaba for your at-home cocktail making skills. But if you’re wondering how to cook with aquafaba at home, read on. We’ve searched the depths of the Food Monster App to show you how to use this amazing “bean water” in some crazy cool desserts:
These Chocolate-Swirled Meringues by Sheri Silver are an easy recipe for anyone who’s completely new to aquafaba. Treat them like you would egg whites: drain the aquafaba, then place it in your stand mixer and beat at a high speed until frothy. Gradually add sugar, cream of tartar, and vanilla, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form (you’ll know they’re stiff when you lift the stand mixer beater and the aquafaba doesn’t fall back into the bowl). As a final step. Sheri gently folds in melted vegan chocolate chips into the batter. Then, you simply dollop it onto your baking tray and bake at a low temperature for a couple of hours.
Pro-tip: you can use Sheri’s method of making meringue, sans the chocolate, to top vegan Lemon Meringue Pie, for vegan Baked Alaska, and to make Pavlova, an Australian dessert consisting of a large meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Aquafaba’s foamy consistency when whipped also makes for a lighter take on traditional chocolate mousse. While the classic recipe calls for whipped egg whites, this 3-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse by Clémence Moulaert is made by whipping aquafaba with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, then folding in melted chocolate. Pour the mixture into individual dishes, then refrigerate for a few hours until serving to achieve a firmer, mousse-like texture.
Blogger Amy Lyons shows us how to make vegan marshmallow fluff in her recipe for these Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies. By whipping aquafaba with xanthan gum, which acts as a thickening and binding agent, she made the perfect marshmallow fluff that pairs perfectly with two big, soft peanut butter cookies.
Learn more about aquafaba’s history and to see other ways you can use it by reading All About Aquafaba.
For even more plant-based recipes and cooking how-to’s, we highly recommend checking out Food Monster app, a Food app available for both Android and iPhone. The app has over 8,000+ vegan recipes with 10+ recipes added daily Give it a try — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (and share your photos using #FoodMonsterApp if you make any of the recipes)!
Lead image source: Kondor83/Shutterstock