Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aquafaba: Magical 'Bean Water' Can Replace Eggs in Baking for Vegans

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Aquafaba: Magical 'Bean Water' Can Replace Eggs in Baking for Vegans

Article excerpt

Aquafaba, or 'bean water,' can replace eggs


TORONTO - Most people pour the viscous liquid from canned chickpeas down the drain, but creative bakers have discovered they can use this "aquafaba" to add volume to delicate baked goods like meringue, angel food cake, chocolate mousse and macarons.

"The greatest thing about it is that it is now opening up a world of food to vegans and those with egg allergies and allowing them to eat foods that previously have not been available to them," says Rebecca Coleman, author of "Aquafabulous! 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba" (Robert Rose Inc.,, 2017).

A fluffy meringue results when a few spoonfuls of bean water -- canned or left over from cooking your own -- some sugar and a little cream of tartar are whipped for about 10 minutes.

"Even though I've done it a hundred times now, every time I do it I'm still kind of amazed. 'This is a miracle. I just took bean water and made a meringue out of it,'" says Coleman.

"It's like a magic trick."

Coleman says she used a blow torch with spectacular results on desserts like baked Alaska and lemon meringue pie.

Vegans have long used everything from applesauce to mashed bananas to prunes to add volume and moistness to baked goods, but none of those worked in more delicate applications.

Goose Wohlt, a software engineer in the U.S., hit upon the concept of using the liquid from beans in 2015 and is credited with coining the name aquafaba, which combines the Latin words for water and beans.

The fluid is animal-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and extremely low in calories.

When the proteins in aquafaba are combined with certain ingredients, they behave like an egg white, but have only about one-tenth of the protein.

"What a lot of people are excited about is that we're taking something that's a waste product and making it into something really cool," says Coleman, who writes a blog called Cooking by Laptop that focuses on recipes and her love of culinary exploration. …

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