For vegans and those allergic to eggs, finding a suitable alternative ingredient for recipes where eggs are crucial can be a nightmare or straight up impossible. But now, thanks to a French chef, the perfect alternative has been found. It’s called Aquafaba and it derives from… chickpea brine…
Egg is often the critical ingredient in baking— alternatives such as flaxseed, bananas, apple sauce, prunes, pumpkin, flax and chia can be used but while they work well in baked recipes like cake, they don’t work at all for egg white recipes like meringues because they can’t replicate the fluffy texture of beaten egg whites.
But French chef Joël Roessel somehow realised that the brine we chuck away when we drain a can of chickpeas can be whipped into the most perfect egg white type texture on the planet!
The brine has now been named by vegan baker Goose Wohlt as Aquafaba, which is apparently sort of Latin for bean liquid. The magical stuff has attracted more than 11,000 members to various Facebook groups set up in its honour, including “Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses!” where vegans are showing the magical recipes they are successfully making using it!
So, how does it work? The website also set up in its honour, Aquafaba says,
“There have been a few opinions revealed in the development group(s) about the science of aquafaba and why it works the way it does. From our crowd-sourced experimentation, we know it’s an emulsifier, a leavening agent, and a foaming agent. It provides liquid content and agreeable organoleptic properties when baked, unlike traditional commercial egg replacers.”
The website is currently asking for donations towards formal chemical analysis or the magical by product. So far they’ve raised $240. Regardless of the chemical formulation, this is one magical natural alternative so Planetfem intends to pass on all the best Aquafaba recipes as we find them!
photo credit: Green Living