Why Vegans Love Aquafaba and How to Make This Egg Substitute

The number of people choosing to follow a vegan diet — a diet free from animal products or byproducts — has dramatically increased worldwide in the past 20 years. According to experts, eggs can be one of the most difficult items to substitute in a vegan diet. What is aquafaba and where did it come from? Aquafaba in Latin roughly translates to “bean water” and it's the leftover water found in canned chickpeas and other water left over after boiling. For years, we’ve been encouraged to toss out bean water and rinse canned beans before using them. However, vegans realized that if you whip leftover bean water from chickpeas, the resulting product mimics whipped egg whites. According to experts, aquafaba doesn’t normally have a strong bean taste and you don’t notice it in most recipes. Beans like black-eyed peas or red kidney beans tend to have a stronger flavor, which is why many people stick to chickpea water, which has less of a bean taste. Aquafaba can be used to replace eggs in many recipes, but they don’t really work as a replacement for things like scrambled, poached, or fried eggs. They’re best used as a substitute in foods such as egg-free mayonnaise, meringues, mousse, whipped cream, ice cream, emulsified dressings, cocktails, and bakery products. Despite all its perks, aquafaba does have one drawback: It can cause gas. People who are sensitive to beans or suffer from excess gas may want to stay away from aquafaba. Consuming 3 tablespoons or less might not be enough to cause gas issues.