Here’s how to make homemade aquafaba from dried chickpeas or black beans, water, and salt. There are plenty of reasons to make your own aquafaba, including that it’s cheaper, healthier, and greener. Use organic aquafaba in place of eggs and milk in many recipes.
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 5 to 16 hours, depending on soaking period. Makes 1 1/2 cups aquafaba, equivalent to 8 eggs, plus 5 to 7 cups cooked chickpeas. Gluten free, no added oil, no added sugar. Cost for aquafaba: free!
1 pound organic dried chickpeas, black beans, or other light beans (454 grams)
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
- Pick through dried beans and rinse very well. After all, you will be eating the liquid! Put beans in a very clean pot or slow cooker. Any trace of oil will nix your chance of whipping up fluffy aquafaba. Make sure to only stir them with oil-free spoons or ladles. Add water and salt, soak for two to twelve hours, and cook until tender. If beans start to surface, add enough water to barely cover them.
- Slow cooker: Cover the slow cooker and and turn it on. Cooking speeds vary, but usually beans will cook on high in about 3 hours and on low in about 8 hours.
- Stove top: Bring the covered pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low so beans barely simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.
- When beans are tender, carefully pour cooking liquid through a sieve into a container. I put a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup in a pot, put both in the sink, and aim for the measuring cup. Any splashes go into the pot, where they can easily be poured into the measuring cup. If you have more than 1 1/2 cups of liquid, pour all the liquid in a pot and boil it on medium-high uncovered until it is reduced as desired. (Some recipes such as macarons call for reducing the aquafaba further. You might as well do that now.)
- If your recipe calls for whipping the aquafaba, chill it first to cut the whipping time. It should be little goopy when chilled, like a raw flaxseed egg or the thick liquid in canned beans. I chill the bowl and whisk too.
- Unwhipped aquafaba keeps refrigerated for seven days and frozen for a year. Try freezing it in ice-cube trays and then popping cubes into a freezer-safe bag. Label the tray and bag so no one uses your precious aquafaba to chill a drink.
- Chickpeas or garbanzo beans produce a neutral liquid you can use in any recipe. White beans and lima beans are said to work well too. I’ve had great success with black-bean aquafaba in recipes that call for cocoa, where the darker color doesn’t matter. Broth from pinto beans tastes too earthy, even in brownies.
- I’ve tried skipping the soaking step but found that the resulting aquafaba didn’t whip up as well.
- Flavor the cooked beans after you’ve drained off the aquafaba. No one wants garlic-peppermint meringues!
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