All about aquafaba

What exactly

is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the by-product of cooking beans and peas; it's the water they've been cooked in. During the cooking process, some of the protein, carbohydrates and other plant fibres leeches out into the water, making it cloudy and viscous. This is aquafaba.

Aquafaba pic 1

Discovered in France recently (only 2014), it's a phenomenon that has grown through the power of the internet. The name is taken from the Latin for water (aqua) and bean (faba) - literally bean water! It's key feature is that it mimics egg white when whipped or used as a binding agent and has been hailed a great asset for plant-based cookery.

Although in theory any bean or pea can be used to create aquafaba, it's worth remembering each one has a slightly different nutrient profile. Therefore some create more viscosity than others. Chickpeas and white beans are thought to create the best results.


Useful aquafaba info:

1 tablespoon aquafaba = 1 egg white

Chill before using for a better viscosity

Whip with electric hand whisk or stand mixer

Stores in the fridge for up to 5 days

Freeze unused aquafaba in ice cube trays and defrost when needed.

Aquafaba is free!

Where do I get my aquafaba from?

The best aquafaba to use is from chickpeas or white beans like cannellini.

If you cook your own beans at home, use a pressure cooker as it saves time and energy, plus the higher heat breaks down more of any anti-nutrients held within.

Buy unsalted chickpeas or beans wherever possible, especially if you are using it for meringues and other desserts. Also, buy cooked chickpeas and beans in glass jars rather than tinned cans that may contain BPA and other potentially harmful chemicals. Tetra-packs are also BPA-free, but a less environmentally friendly.

What can I make with aquafaba?

Aquafaba can be used as a direct egg white replacement in many recipes. Often it needs to be whipped. Here are a few things you can make:

  • meringues
  • macroons
  • mayonaise
  • marshmallows
  • light sponge cakes
  • Yorkshire puddings
  • savoury and sweet mousse


Is aquafaba safe to use?

As with all new phenomenon, it's good to question whether this is suitable for a whole-food plant-based diet. Aquafaba is not a real food, but equally it is a naturally derived product, not made in a lab, and if you cook your own beans, also not made in a factory.

There is some debate about whether aquafaba is good for the body. This is related to saponins, one of the plant chemicals found in the viscous fluid. Saponin is a particular compound that is found in some plants in varying amounts that create a foam when shaken. In soapwort, it's particularly toxic, but not so in other plants. The toxicity is also reduced by high heats, so the cooking process reduces this issue.



aquafaba pic 2

If you are intolerant to beans, or find they irritate your gut, then aquafaba is probably not for you.

Aquafaba should really be used as a cooking aid and used sparingly, particularly in a whole-food diet.

Want to know more?

If you fancy looking into how you can incorporate aquafaba into your baking, here are a few useful resources that will help:

Facebook group - Aquafaba (vegan meringue hit and misses) 

Website -

Or check out these books.