Aquafaba: An explainer (with bonus crepes recipe)

Let’s talk about aquafaba, the super- useful thing you’re probably throwing away. If you haven’t heard of this product, don’t worry, you’re probably not alone: it’s only come on the culinary scene in the last few years.

Aquafaba is simply the liquid drained from a can of beans, and it can be used in place of eggs in many recipes. Sweet recipes, savory, whatever you can think of! From the official aquafaba website:

Aquafaba is unique among egg replacers in that it captures some but not all of the characteristics of both egg white and yolk. It can be used as a thickener, binder, emulsifier, foaming agent, and more. Unlike protein isolates and starch-based egg replacers, this broad spectrum allows aquafaba to be used in applications where its superior organoleptic properties are needed, and where traditional albumen falls short.

Who knew BEAN WATER could do all that? Mind blown, right? I’m a huge fan of not wasting anything, so when I found out I was literally pouring something low-calorie and practically free down the drain I set out to find ways to incorporate aquafaba into my kitchen. We still eat plenty of eggs (and we’ve recently started having farm fresh eggs delivered, so that’s not going to change anytime soon) but this was not something I can pass up!

Bonus: It’s vegan! I know that’s a no-no word to most meat eaters, but don’t be intimidated! My husband is basically the opposite of a vegan, still enjoys meals prepared with aquafaba.

I recently wrote about chickpea salad, my current favorite lunch. That means plenty of aquafaba to use!

There are so many delicious things that can be made with aquafaba! This Pinterest search shows any number of things that it can be used for, including whipped cream, spinach dip, chocolate mousse (that’s on my to-do list!) and hummus, to name a few, but I think the easiest way to start out is by adapting a crepe recipe.

Simply drain your chickpeas/garbanzos into a measuring cup or bowl, and portion out what you need. If not using immediately, cover with a tight lid and refrigerate. One can usually yields just under a cup of liquid, but that will vary depending on brand and type of bean, so I normally drain into a measuring cup so I know what I’m working with.

Very important tip: Three tablespoons of aquafaba is equal to one egg.

So now, on to our crepes recipe, adapted from this Basic Crepes Recipe. I like this one because it doesn’t involve refrigerating ingredients for long periods of time like some- nobody has time for that!

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) of aquafaba, the equivalent of 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups milk (coconut milk works if you’re going for a completely vegan recipe)
  •  2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted, or oil
  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions

  1. Lightly grease and heat a pan over medium heat.
  2. Measure the aquafaba into a small bowl and beat with a hand mixer for about one minute, until fluffy and slightly stiff. (Eggs would also need to be beaten for the crepes to come out correctly.) 
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, beating until well combined and smooth. It should look like runny pancake dough.
  4. Measure about 1/4 cup of mixture and pour into the pan, swirling until the bottom of the pan is covered. Because the mixture is thin, it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to cook. When it pulls away from the pan edges and is lightly browned, flip the crepe and brown slightly on the other side. Again, because it is thin, this will not take more than a minute.
  5. Remove from the pan and serve hot. I like mine with butter and fruit on the side, but crepes can easily be filled with your favorite savory or sweet mixture. Sometimes we top ours with a little powdered sugar and maple-sweetened whipped cream on the side.

These crepes are easy, delicious, and a great introduction to aquafaba! So now that we’ve discussed this hidden gem, let me know in the comments if you’ve used it or plan to.

Looking for more aquafaba ideas? I’ve been taking inspiration from this Facebook group for awhile now.

Have a great week, #RWC!

2 Replies to “Aquafaba: An explainer (with bonus crepes recipe)

  1. Wow! Of course there are recipes that include the Aquafaba (never knew it had a name, lol) but this is shocking to me! Waste not, want not.

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