WHAT IS AQUAFABA?
Aquafaba is an ideal options to replace eggs when baking, specially when you would add beaten egg whites until stiff. It is simply the liquid resulting from cooking chickpeas. It can be done at home and it is very simple to obtain. Simply put a strainer over a bowl and pour the chickpeas can on top, stirring gently so that as much liquid as possible falls out. This gives you the viscous and slightly thick liquid, which is very similar to the consistency of an egg white. It can be prepared and achieved in different ways, given its foaming, emulsifying and binding characteristics. You can also boil chickpeas with water for a couple of hours, let them cool and then drain the aquafaba and it’s ready. It can also be stored in a glass container and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days!
Bananas, plums, raisins, pumpkin, flaxseeds, walnuts, and chickpeas are widely used to replace eggs in many recipes. These egg replacements are great for most recipes, but they won’t work as well when beaten egg whites are required, as it is hard to replace its texture. Egg substitutes are mainly starches, concentrated soy proteins, seeds or fruits.
Aquafaba contains carbohydrates, proteins, and plant substances that during the cooking process become part of the water. In principle, aquafaba is 95% liquid and the remaining 5% primary carbohydrates and proteins. Aquafaba has a nutritional and caloric intake that is very low – one tbsp only has 3 calories! Although aquafaba contains fewer calories than eggs, the use of sugar in some preparations increases its caloric value, so I recommend you watch the amount of sugar added.
BENEFITS OF REDUCING YOUR EGG INTAKE
When reducing egg intake in everyday nutrition, you can obtain numerous benefits. Egg is associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases and a higher risk of cancer given its high cholesterol and saturated fats. Eggs have so much cholesterol than eating one a day is equivalent to smoking 5 cigarettes! Also, the industry is horrible and you can help stop animal cruelty and all the continuous animal suffering it involves. “Free Range” eggs simply comply with a Regulation that imposes minimum cages sizes, which are still minimal!
- It is very important to add the cream of tartar to achieve that consistency. Another variant is to add lemon juice but it won’t do the work as well so I encourage you not to replace that ingredient!
- Make sure you have the oven and baking tray ready when you start preparing the meringue. Vegan meringue goes down much quicker so it won’t last at it’s perfect consistency for long, do not leave if for later or put it beaten in the fridge, use immediately.
- To know the meringue is ready, make sure it gets hard and form peaks when whipped. Another way to know if this is ready is to turn the bowl over – the content inside should not fall or move! Perfect meringue has to remain hard.
Liquid from a 400gr can of chickpeas
½ cup icing sugar
1 heaping tsp cream of tartar
Beat the aquafaba with a hand mixer at maximum speed until it starts to make a foam (about 3/4 minutes). Add the tartar cream and continue beating. Then add the icing sugar and continue beating non-stop. Continue beating for around 8 minutes until the meringue is formed.
Put the aquafaba meringue in a piping bag and prepare the meringue drops on a baking tray covered with parchment paper or a baking sheet. Cook them at a very low heat (100 degrees) for about 2 hours and 30 minutes / 3 hours until they are dry and the meringues are formed. If the oven is generally very hot, leave the door slightly open so that it does not get too hot.They are ready to enjoy! They can be served with vegan dulce de leche or caramel, vegan cream, or melted chocolate with berries.