Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Egg-Allergies? Vegan? Aquafaba is the Answer!

[donotprint] Using the Liquid (Aquafaba) from Canned Chickpeas as an Egg Substitute

All of my life, I’ve been advised to drain off the liquid surrounding canned beans. That not only reduces the sodium content but also makes the beans look better without that cloudy stuff. Turns out, you might want to save this “cloudy stuff”  because experts have found that bean liquid (called aquafaba) makes an excellent egg substitute.

I always wonder about people who discover strange things like this. Who would have guessed that beating this liquid with an electric mixer would yield an egg-like result!!!

Chocolate Mousse using aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas.

Chocolate Mousse using aquafaba, the liquid from canned chickpeas.


What is Aquafaba?

The word “aquafaba” comes from two Latin words: aqua meaning water and faba meaning beans. Hence, aquafaba. Experts say you can use the liquid from many types of canned beans, such as cannellini or navy or kidney beans and black beans, but be forewarned—the darker color of these beans will also color your baked goods. It is generally accepted that chickpea liquid works best because it has the best viscosity, so that’s what my experiments have used.

Last year, I wrote about using aquafaba to make mayonnaise. But recently, I found an excellent article by Sharon Palmer, R.D. on the Mealtime.Org website. Sharon’s insightful advice is summarized  here and I recommend that you read it, but here are a few highlights:

[1] Each 14-ounce can of beans yields about 1/2 cup or more of liquid (that can vary by brand). One-fourth cup equals one egg. You can store this liquid, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

[2] Experts say there are many ways to use aquafaba:

  • Raw: Mousse, fluffs, creams, whips, drinks, and pie toppings
  • Baked: Meringues, pavlova, macarons
  • Confections: Marshmallows, fudge, nougat, icings
  • Baking: Cookies, breads, waffles, pancakes, muffins
  • Savory: Burgers, quiches

I can’t vouch for the meringue or marshmallows, but have tried aquafaba many ways (see below).

[3] When you’re ready to use aquafaba in baking, whip it with an electric mixer until it makes stiff peaks (this may take awhile). Adding 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar helps to stabilize it so it won’t deflate as quickly. Then fold it in to your batter. Remember, each 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) equals one egg. Don’t worry if you only have 3 tablespoons; some large eggs yield only 3 tablespoons so that’s OK.

[4] Since the drained liquid contains salt, you may need to scale down the amount of salt in your recipe accordingly. Sodium content can vary a cross brands of canned beans (and some are salt-free) so this may require some experimentation with your recipe.

[5] If you’re fascinated with using aquafaba, you might visit to stay abreast of new findings.

[6] I tried several brands of chickpeas and I like Trader Joe’s, Bush, and S&W best. Use the brand you can find.

Aquafaba liquid before beating

Aquafaba liquid before beating


Aquafaba liquid after beating

Aquafaba liquid after beating

How I Use Aquafaba

I tried aquafaba in a number of ways. In pancakes, I used 1/4 cup in place of 1 egg.  I didn’t bother to whip it, just added the liquid directly to the batter. I also used 1/4 cup aquafaba in place of an egg when I made crab cakes. That worked just fine, though they seemed a little looser in texture.

In my muffins and quick bread, the crumb was a little heavier in texture but delicious nonetheless.

Finally, I tried aquafaba in one of my favorite desserts, Chocolate Mousse for Two. Instead of the usual whipped egg whites found in many mousses, I used whipped aquafaba. This means egg-allergic people or vegans can enjoy this yummy dessert. Here’s my recipe, designed just for aquafaba:



recipe by Carol Fenster, author of the award-winning Gluten-Free Cooking for Two (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)


This makes two large servings (1 cup each) or 4 small servings (1/2 cup each). This is a mildly-sweet dessert; the only sweetness comes from the chocolate chips, so if you want a little sweeter dessert add sugar or other sweetener a teaspoon at a time to reach your desired level.

 1/4 cup aquafaba (liquid from canned chickpeas)

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 ounces (2/3 cup) gluten-free chocolate chips

1 carton (5 to 6 ounces) lowfat plain unsweetened yogurt (or nondairy yogurt)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur, optional (or your favorite liqueur or brewed coffee)

Optional garnishes of fresh fruit, whipped topping, shaved chocolate, ice cream, or sprinkles

[1] In a medium bowl, beat the aquafaba and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium until it turns white and leaves stiff peaks when the beaters are pulled out of the mixture.

[2] In a microwave-safe small bowl, gently melt the chocolate chips on very low power. Set aside. Gently stir in the yogurt, vanilla, and liqueur (if using), just until  blended. Gently stir the yogurt mixture into the aquafaba or use the electric mixer on very low to gently mix together until completely blended. Divide equally between two dessert bowls, goblets, or wine glasses. Chill for 4 hours. To serve, top with your favorite toppings and serve.

per large serving without garnishes: 365 calories, 18g fat,  4mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g protein