23 Amazing Ways to Use Bean Juice
Aquafaba—the liquid from a can of beans—is the next big thing in the world of vegan cooking. It acts like egg whites in a lot of applications, and it’s changing the landscape of vegan baking and cooking in general. Have you tried using bean juice as an egg replacer yet?
We first wrote about aquafaba at Care2 over a year ago. A man named Goose Wohlt first discovered the amazing properties of cooked bean liquid back in 2015, and vegan cooks all over the world have been experimenting with this magical stuff ever since.
Since its discovery, Wohlt has raised the money to do a nutritional analysis of aquafaba. You can see the nutritional information here. If you’re interested in why it does what it does, Wohlt has a great page summing up the science of aquafaba, as well.
You can use aquafaba from pretty much any bean. I favor white bean aquafaba, because it has the most neutral flavor and color. It doesn’t whip up as quickly as garbanzo bean aquafaba does, but for me it’s worth it for the difference in taste and appearance. Many recipes, though, work fine with any aquafaba. The flavors from the other ingredients will overpower any residual beany taste.
How to Collect and Store Aquafaba
Collecting aquafaba from canned beans could not be easier. Just stick a bowl underneath your colander when you drain the beans. Aquafaba will keep in the fridge for a few days. Just use 1/4 cup aquafaba to equal one egg. Some articles, including some of the early ones I wrote, suggest three tablespoons per egg, but I really like the moisture and lift you get from a full 1/4 cup.
Most cans will yield between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid.
Aquafaba also freezes well. If you’re not going to use your aquafaba right away, you can store it in ice cube trays in the freezer. I am using it so often at this point that I collect and freeze the liquid from my canned beans, even when I don’t have a recipe in mind. That way, it’s available any time the mood to bake strikes.
You can also use the liquid from home-cooked beans. For whatever reason, this liquid is thinner than canned aquafaba. Before using or storing your homemade aquafaba, simmer it on the stove until the volume reduces by half. Then you’re good to go.
23 Amazing Aquafaba Recipes
Aquafaba works in place of eggs in so many different applications. It’s not something you’d want to use in a scramble or quiche, however. Where it works great is in adding moisture, binding and leavening in sweet and savory recipes. These are some of the ways I’m using aquafaba as well as rock-solid aquafaba recipes from trusted food writers.
1. Summer Squash Patties – These are kind of a vegan spin on crab cakes. It’s pretty amazing how shredded summer squash matches the texture of crabmeat in this recipe. Aquafaba acts as the binder.
2. Dinner Muffins – These Garlic Chive Dinner Muffins from The Vegan 8 are gluten-free and oil-free. And so, so good!
3. French Toast – YES! You can use aquafaba in place of eggs to make amazing, crispy French toast. Vegan Mother Hubbard has a nice, basic recipe.
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies - You can use aquafaba in place of egg in basically any cookie recipe. 1/4 cup aquafaba replaces one egg. These kitchen sink cookies are a family favorite at my house.
5. Caesar Salad – Traditional Caesar salad dressing is made with eggs, and aquafaba works great as a replacement.
6. Lemon Gin Flip – A flip is a traditional cocktail that uses whipped egg whites to create a fluffy foam on top. Aquafaba replaces the egg like a dream. Plus, you don’t have to worry about salmonella like you would with raw eggs!
7. Royal Icing – Royal icing is the stuff used to frost high end baked goods. Aquafaba replaces the eggs like a dream!
8. Meringues – You can get my full vegan meringue recipe below this list.
9. Cruelty Free Chicken (CFC) Drumsticks – This recipe is sweeping the vegan community right now. It uses jackfruit and cauliflower to get the texture of chicken and aquafaba to make the crispy batter.
10. Mayonnaise – These are so many aquafaba mayo recipes out there. The NY Times published one recently (which I tested and reviewed here), but folks have been making aquafaba mayo for over a year. Peanut Butter & Vegan posted a great one in April 2015, which as far as I can tell is the first aquafaba mayo ever made. Aquafaba discoverer Goose Wohlt has shared many on his site, too.
11. Macarons – Charis from Floral Frosting is the aquafaba macaron queen. She has tons of recipes on her blog, and it was hard to choose just one for this article. The ones pictured above are her Birthday Cake Brownie Batter Macarons. Her full list of amazing macaron recipes are on this page.
12. Maple Dinner Rolls – Sarah’s maple dinner rolls are light, fluffy and the pull apart like a dream! She’s also got instructions for how to use this recipe to make slider buns, burger buns, hot dog buns or foccacia.
13. Perfect Brownies – These fudgy, chewy brownies use black bean aquafaba as the binder. These are also nut-free and soy-free.
14. Cornbread Muffins - Aquafaba is the key to these fluffy, moist vegan cornbread muffins. You can make them with or without the chives and whole pieces of corn.
15. Pavlova – If you’ve never had pavlova, you’re in for a treat. It’s a meringue layer cake topped with lots of fresh fruit goodness. The Blenderist has a great recipe on her site!
16. S’mores Cookies – These decadent cookies are vegan, gluten free, soy free and nut free. Bonus points if you make your marshmallows out of aquafaba, too!
17. Marshmallows – Speaking of marshmallows, you can totally use aquafaba to make your own! Olives for Dinner has a great step-by-step for this.
18. Chocolate Mousse – Light, fluffy, vegan chocolate mousse is a thing. Many people have tried and loved this recipe.
19. Matcha Chai Tea Cookies – This is another aquafaba cookie recipe that I love. These are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside—absolute magic!
20. Vegan Omelette – I know, I said that you can’t scramble aquafaba like eggs. And you can’t. Chickpea Flour is the extra secret to making A Virtual Vegan’s fluffy, vegan omelettes.
21. Beet Burgers – Want a veggie burger that won’t fall apart? Aquafaba to the rescue!
22. Strawberry Shortcake – Light, fluffy strawberry shortcake without a single egg? Yes please!
23. Vegan Meringue:
Vegan Meringues Made with Aquafaba
- 1 15 ounce can white beans – drained, liquid reserved. You can set those beans aside, because we are done with them!
- scant 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar (Plus more, if needed.)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200F.
- In a large, high-sided bowl, combine the bean juice, vinegar and sugar, and whip with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on high until you’ve got stiff peaks. I do not recommend hand-mixing, unless if you’re up for an endurance workout. It takes me around 25-30 minutes to get nice, stiff peaks.
- Add vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds, just to incorporate it.
- Scoop tablespoons of your meringue onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a Silpat (I used a Silpat).
- Bake each batch for 90 minutes to two hours (bigger cookies will take longer). Your cookies are ready when they’re crisp all the way through. If they look soft or runny at all, give them 10 extra minutes, then check again. Turn the oven off, but leave the cookies in there for another 2 hours to cool before removing from the oven.
- I had the best results getting these off of my Silpat by skipping the spatula. Instead, I carefully lifted the Silpat and peeled it away from the cookies ever-so-gently. If the cookies are baked through, they peel right off. It’s kind of satisfying!
- Serve immediately. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. I’ve seen some folks recommend throwing a desiccant packet—like the kind found in a bag of kale chips—into your storage container. This helps keep them from going soft, especially if you live somewhere hot and humid.
All images used with permission from recipe authors. Mayo images by Becky Striepe.