Cooking 101 – Aquafaba…..
If you have never heard an Aquafaba I would like to assure you that I am not just making up random names for food today. 😉 Aquafaba is a real thing, and it has actually been around for quite a while. Of course I just found out about it yesterday, and got so excited that I had to try my hand at it right away. I can’t take credit for this amazing replacement, but I can assure you it is worth your time to give it a try. If you would like to learn more about the history of Aquafaba you can go here.
When you eat chickpeas what do you do with the water/juice? Dump it right? I mean, what else would you do with it? I don’t think there are a whole lot of people who could stomach drinking it so down the drain it goes. Guess what, you don’t have to throw it away anymore! This is a vegan replacement for egg whites. While I am not a vegan I don’t mind taking inspiration from other lifestyles, and ways of eating. There are a lot of vegan recipes that are really good that even meat eaters are satisfied with. Now, I love eggs, and I don’t have a problem with eating them, but what I do like is being able to use every part of a food, and saving money.
This morning my kitchen looked like I used every dish, and appliance, that I own. I can definitely tell you a few things to not do when making this recipe. I can assure you that it will turn out and it will taste good! Although I am still working out a few bugs in the cooking department, when it comes to this crazy food I can say with confidence that even if it isn’t cooked it has a place in the kitchen vegan, or not. I personally don’t see it as an egg white replacement, at this point, but it has a lot of value in being a dairy replacement if you are trying to keep your calories down. One Tablespoon of Aquafaba contains approximately 5 calories or less!
Most people that make this use canned chickpeas resulting in a thicker, syrup like, water. I personally don’t buy canned beans of any kind, but I might just once to see if it changes the results when it comes to cooking with Aquafaba. I did read that some people use the water from boiled chickpeas, and that is what I tried. I had read that it takes 10 minutes or longer to whip the chickpea water into a fluffy state so I thought I would be smart. Kind of beat the system since I don’t have a stand mixer, and I didn’t want to hold my hand mixer for that long I figured I would just use my blender so I could multi task. Bad idea! It did turn milky, and frothy, so you could use it in that form if you wanted to, but even after running the blender for 25 minutes it wasn’t firming up, it was coming out the top, and my blender was getting hot. I had no idea that 2 ½ cups of liquid would turn into this much froth!
I decided to go with plan B and put all the liquid, which was about 4 cups by then, into a metal mixing bowl and resort to the hand mixer. Within seconds the foam started turning stiff, just like it would if it was egg whites, and it started growing, and growing, and growing! I couldn’t even touch the bottom of the bowl with the beaters because the foam was so high. So, I scooped some out and filled a 4 cup plastic container to put in the fridge and noticed that the entire bottom layer was still watery. So, I turned the beaters back on and did the same thing again, it grew to the top of the bowl again. What am I trying to say here? A little bit goes a LONG way! Start with ½ – 1 cup of liquid just so you don’t have to keep skimming off the top half to get to the rest.
I decided to throw some in the oven and see if it would make meringues like people claimed. In 10 seconds flat it melted into puddles. Ok, no problem, I had used Truvia as my sweetener so I threw a couple of Tablespoons of regular sugar into a few cups of Aquafaba and decided to try that. That took about 5 minutes for them to melt and while the sticky syrup resembled honey, or corn syrup, they still didn’t cook. I’m searching for answers to what is basically a science experiment. And for anyone who knows me, you know that when I am on a mission I find answers. 😉
After that epic fail I thought, ok, I’ve ready that it makes great ice cream. So I took one cup of Aquafaba, and 1 Tablespoon of sweetened condensed coconut milk that I made over the weekend. (To die for by the way, I will be posting that next week. Super easy, and wow!) The minute that the coconut cream hit the Aquafaba it started dissolving. I started thinking, “Seriously, what is this stuff good for anyway?!” I tossed it in the freezer despite the fact that it had turned into a puddle and within a few minutes I had what appeared to be “ice milk” and tasted like heaven. I’m not even joking. It was amazing! But because it had melted right away there was only about two Tablespoons worth in the dish.
While I continued to whip each bit of liquid that was left I found a couple of things. First, this makes the most amazing tasting faux whipped cream. It tasted like Cool Whip. If you whip it long enough it also makes a nice version of marshmallow fluff, but it isn’t quite the consistency that I wanted so I am still working on that. Lastly I took a bunch of it and spooned it into a dish and threw it in the freezer. I figured what could it hurt. It makes the best mousse like ice cream. So airy, and tasty. And I am happy to say that there isn’t a single hint of chickpea taste anywhere!
So, how do you make this science experiment? Easy! I made it so much more difficult than it had to be. While I still can’t promote cooking with it, until I have the melting factor figured out, I can tell you how to make it for you to be able to use it just the way it is.
- Take ½ – 1 cup of chickpea liquid cold, or room temperature, and place in a bowl (Don’t use hot) (I used mine from boiled chickpeas, or you can use canned)
- Using a hand, or stand, mixer beat the liquid until it starts foaming. At this point you can add whatever sweetener (I used some Truvia) and/or flavoring (I used vanilla) that you like
- Continue to beat the frothy mixture until it forms stiff peaks. This should take about 10 minutes
- Store in a plastic container in the fridge for several days
Have you ever made Aquafaba?
Are you willing to give it a try?