What the FLIK is…aquafaba?
The next time you open a can of beans or peas; don’t pour the liquid down the drain! Use it in your cooking!
What? you may ask. Allow us to introduce you to aquafaba. The liquid found in canned beans and peas, typically poured down the drain, holds the secret power to be used as an egg substitute in many dishes.
But what the FLIK is this mystery ingredient that is so popular among vegan chefs?
Aquafaba is a source of starch from the beans that contributes to the viscosity of the liquid found in cans of beans and can act similarly to an egg white when whipped.
While it sounds like an ancient ingredient, it turns out this is a fairly new development in the culinary world. It wasn’t until around 2010 that reports of using the liquid from canned beans were shared in vegan forums online. In 2015, a software engineer, Goose Wohlt, discovered the use of chickpea liquid as an egg substitute in a meringue. He shared his discovery on a vegan Facebook group and then coined the term, aquafaba, based off the Latin word for ‘water’ and ‘bean.’ The rest is history!
Overall, it is a good option should you need to bake with eggs, but not have any eggs on hand. Aquafaba makes for a great substitution to egg whites, especially if you are vegan, and even if you’re not, aquafaba has a multitude of benefits. Aquafaba lowers the risk for foodborne illness since egg whites risk that potential when the egg hasn’t been pasteurized, but note that it is not has high in protein as egg whites are.
Canned beans and peas are shelf stable and their versatility extends beyond the liquid of the can to the actual bean or pea itself. Beans and peas are a good source of plant-based protein and contain fiber, so having them on hand is always a great idea. Check out these recipes if you have extra beans on hand.
Aquafaba isn’t a term you hear often in the culinary world, but we would like to change that. Why? For one, this liquid can help in the fight against food waste, two, it’s inexpensive and easily accessible, and three , well, we just like to say the word aquafaba – who doesn’t? *shrug*
Read more of our What the FLIK... posts here:
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