Yep, we’ve been hearing about Aquafaba for awhile now.
In case you don’t know, Aquafaba is the magical cooking liquid that beats up like egg whites and is the perfect replacement for plant-based diets. We’ve been curious, and admittedly watching others make it from afar, but had yet to dip our toes into the world of this incredible cooking wonder until just recently.
In our live video today, we discussed the genesis of this egg-white replacement: discovered by a French chef in 2014, he realized that he could whip the leftover cooking liquid from white beans (garbanzos -chickpeas-, navy beans, cannellini beans) and use it in meringues, mousses, even cakes and cookies. He posted it anonymously on a blog in France and the discovery took the food world by storm.
For most Vegans, this ingredient is already commonly known, but mostly in pastry cooking. We wanted to branch out a bit and incorporate it into a healthy protein-packed snack that will compliment any V. Fitness workout. Continue reading to find our Aquafaba recipe and a nice little surprise savory recipe for making Lentil Souffles using both unwhipped and whipped Aquafaba.
Cheers to your health & fitness!
Yield 2 quarts
Whip this up in no time and use it as an egg white/egg replacement in virtually every recipe. As is usual with substitute ingredients, it won't always be as good, but in some cases, it's even better. Get ready to start incorporating this ultra healthy ingredient into your plant-based cooking!
2 cups white bean cooking liquid, strained from beans *See Notes for how to make your own or find this stuff
We like to make our beans from dried around here, which means that as a byproduct of purchasing an already low-cost product, we are able to grow what would normally be a cast-off (the residual cooking liquid) into a delicious, foamy and silky egg white substitute. Makes you feel a little like Laura Ingles Wilder, doesn't it???
Since our dried bean recipe uses a thumb-sized piece of kombu, we believe that our resulting Aquafaba is superior because it's got the added bonus of having a stabilizer (the kombu i.e. seaweed) built right in.
If you want to skip the step of making your beans from dried, you'll have to pick up at least 6 cans of beans to get enough Aquafaba (strained off) to use for this recipe. Your call! But since canned beans are twice as expensive as dried, we want to empower you to try this on your own. Steady on, food pioneers!
Here's the recipe for making dried beans into cooked at home. Or scroll down to view the recipe below this one.
Courses egg subsitute
Yield 8-10 cups
BYOB (Baking Your Own Beans) is a method we learned a long time ago from a dear friend. It is safe to say that this method ensures the best-cooked bean: tender, slightly al dente - yet soft. It's perfect for using in soups or in salads and grain bowls!
You'll need a Dutch oven or an ovenproof cooking vessel fitting with a lid.
1 bag beans
1 thumb-sized piece dried kombu (seaweed-look for it at Whole Foods in the Asian ingredients section-see photo below)
enough water to cover beans by 4 inches
- Pour out dried beans in a colander and rinse, making sure to remove any debris like pebbles (this can happen).
- Pour beans into a large Dutch oven and add enough water to cover beans by 4 inches.
- Add your kombu (this nifty little piece of seaweed helps to reduce the phytic acid in the beans. Phytic acid is the stuff that creates gas in your body as you digest. It does not change the flavor of the beans and can be easily removed once cooking is done).
- Place beans, covered partially with the lid, over high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, set a timer for 15 minutes, covering your Dutch oven completely.
- While beans are in their initial phase of cooking, preheat your oven to 250 F.
- Once timer has gone off, remove Dutch oven from heat and place in the oven (be careful: it's heavy and hot) and make sure lid is covering the pot securely so that no water evaporates.
- Set a timer for 1 hour. After the first hour, remove beans carefully and check for doneness. You want them to be soft but still intact, not mushy or falling apart. The best way to test this is to give one a taste.
- If they're done, remove them, cool and place in plastic bags to store in the fridge or freezer. If they need a little longer, set a timer for 15 minute increments and check each time the timer goes off until the beans are cooked to your liking.**
*Adding salt can inhibit or arrest the cooking of the beans, meaning that if salt is added before they have cooked, they might never get soft enough to be edible. Simply add salt once they've cooked.
**Every bean is different due to its size, therefore they all cook at slightly different rates. The only beans that you don't want to use this method for are lentils and split peas, which can be done quickly on the stovetop.
Lentil Souffles with Aquafaba
Yield 4-6 servings
It's nice when you plant-based eaters out there can get a chance to have something pretty "meaty". We've included lentils, mushrooms (yes, umami), herbs and spices + both Aquafaba juice and whipped Aquafaba to bring you a MAIN, SIDE or Snack that's really easy to throw together.
Enjoy in homemade tomato sauce or over a bed of massaged kale or romaine ribbons!
Think Falafel...with lentils instead. Delish!
1 can lentils, drained
1 cup plain breadcrumbs or almond meal
4 oz mushrooms, cleaned chopped finely
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
1 tsp each of garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin (ground or seeds), chives, salt, onion powder
1/4 cup liquid Aquafaba
2 cups Aquafaba, whipped (see recipe above, you'll be using most of the whipped Aquafaba for this recipe)
- Preheat oven to 375 F and use cooking spray to oil a muffin tin.
- Add everything but the whipped Aquafaba to a large bowl. Mix together completely, then add half of the whipped Aquafaba.
- Fold in gently to incorporate. Once all has been incorporated, add the rest of the whipped Aquafaba and very gently fold again until just barely mixed with streaks of white still showing.
- Carefully spoon mixture into each muffin tin using a large cookie scoop* and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown on top, with a slight spring when pushed in the middle.
- Remove, cool and serve as mentioned: with tomato sauce or on a bed of greens.**
*You want to handle mixture carefully so as not to deflate its delicate consistency.
**These can be made in larger batches and frozen for use throughout the month! Simply place what you don't need for your meal or your week into a zip-top plastic bag and freeze. When ready to thaw, place in the fridge overnight. You may need to re-bake for 10 minutes at 350 F to get them crisp again.
Courses dinner, side, snack