Aquafaba or chickpea water has long been favoured by vegans. Recently, it became a trending topic on Pinterest. A popular mayonnaise brand introduced a new product in the market, called Fabannaise, which is mayonnaise that uses aquafaba as the main ingredient in place of eggs. The use of aquafaba is being encouraged in restaurants as well, as it reduces food wastage, and therefore, lowers one’s carbon footprint.
Health benefits of aquafaba:
It enables people, who cannot metabolise proteins properly, to digest them
It’s a plant-based food. So, it helps in lowering body cholesterol and normalising blood sugar levels
It is rich in sapponins, pectins and antioxidants, which help in improving cardiovascular disorders
It is packed with vitamins, essential minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. These help in supporting healthy digestion and metabolic function
When it is used as a replacement for eggs in baked items and desserts, you skip the risk of food-borne illnesses that come from raw egg whites.
How to make aquafaba at home
4 cups dried chickpeas
1tsp kosher salt
12 cups water
Place chickpeas and salt in the insert of a slow cooker
In a large saucepan, bring water to boil
Pour the boiling water over the chickpeas
Cook on a low flame for nine to 10 hours, until the chickpea liquid is about 1/2 inch above the chickpeas
Turn off the slow cooker, and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least four hours, the maximum time being eight hours.
The chickpea liquid will become viscous and gel-like as it cools
Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl
Strain the chickpeas out, and catch the aquafaba in the bowl
Transfer the aquafaba to jars or other covered containers
Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.
Aquafaba-based recipes that you can try at home
1 Aquafaba Strawberry Ice Cream
1 cup Aquafaba- whipped 20 minutes or so
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup honey or alternative sweetener to taste
Whip the aquafaba till it becomes foamy
Blend frozen strawberries into it until the mixture is smooth
Mix in the honey, according to taste
Gently fold the mixture into whipped aquafaba, so that it is evenly distributed
Freeze the aquafaba and strawberry mix until it is frozen.
- Dr Riddhesh Jani,nutritionist
2 Aquafaba Mayonnaise
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2tsp ground mustard
3/4 cup cream or olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, ground mustard, salt, pepper and aquafaba with an immersion blender
With the blender running, slowly drizzle the oil 1/4 cup at a time into the mixture, which will start becoming very thick
You will need to move the blender consistently to combine the mix properly
Once the mixture is thick, stop adding the oil
Transfer this mayo to a jar, and store in the fridge
The mayo will thicken up once it is refrigerated
This can be used in place of mayonnaise for any recipe.
- Dr Riddhesh Jani, nutritionist
3 Aquafaba Meringues
160ml canned or homemade chickpea liquid
1 cup caster or brown sugar
Using an electric mixer, whisk the canned chickpea liquid for 15 minutes until soft peaks form
Gradually add sugar, and whisk till the mixture is thick and firm
Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture on a tray lined with baking paper in a 120 degree Celsius oven for an hour and a half, until the mix is firm to touch
Cool these meringues in the oven, and serve.
- Anshu Malik, nutritionist
Stay away from aquafaba if you are allergic to legumes, or have high uric acid levels or gout. Also, if you suffer from headaches, bloating or nausea after consuming aquafaba, do not include it in your diet.