Whenever I say the word aquafaba in a conversation, the conversation usually stops there. It stops because the person squints their eyes, tilts their head to one side, and says “Aquafaba? What is that?” I can picture it now because it’s always the same reaction. That’s when my face lights up because I get to explain just how cool aquafaba
is … after I explain WHAT it is of course. Aquafaba is made of two words: Aqua = water and Faba = bean, usually from chickpeas but I have heard others having success with the brine from other beans as well … so, there you go, bean water. When I typed that, I just heard that in a Gus voice (the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding), no idea why, maybe I just watch too many movies, but just had to share 🙂 Ok, back to the topic at hand…
Now you know what aquafaba is, you are probably saying, Why on earth would I care about bean water? … and here is where I get to tell you just how cool aquafaba is!! Aquafaba is a liquid that can be used in place of egg whites in cooking. Not only that, it can substitute for oil in salad dressings, baking recipes and can whip up a mean vegan meringue! Anything egg whites can do, aquafaba can do! This has been a game changer for vegans and even non vegans because it tends to make baked goods fluffier and lighter. I have to admit, I am new to the aquafaba world. I heard about it a while ago but just recently got up the courage to actually attempt making anything with it. I mean, could it really be that easy? I take some bean water and put it in my Kitchen Aid mixer and boom, I have plant-based vegan meringue made out of a whole food? Come on, it just can’t be that easy. So I had some aquafaba that I was saving the freezer (just because I was too afraid to attempt the magic — and it does freeze well by the way). Until one day, I was ready. It defrosted great in the refrigerator and into the Kitchen Aid mixer it went. 10 minutes later, I had plant-based vegan meringue. I was amazed. So amazed, I had to do more, and I had to do it right then and there. So, I have to admit, I was winging it at this point, and what I ended up with with a chocolaty plant-based vegan mouse! This recipe and more coming soon!
I was officially hooked. My mind was racing. What else could I make? How could I modify previous recipes? The opportunities were endless!
I had used up my current supply of aquafaba and needed more. I started quickly looking through my cabinets. I did not have any cans of chickpeas but I did have a one pound bag of dry chickpeas. Jackpot! I would make my own Aquafaba! Oh, the excitement on my face was priceless. I was alone at home so no one was there to witness my own wonder, but I can say it was instant happiness! You can probably tell by now that I love cooking and “improving in the kitchen” as I call it, maybe a little too much!
So here is where I get to tell you how simple and easy making your own Aquafaba is… really it is so easy.
Whether you choose to soak your beans or not is always your choice. It is not really a total necessity but it is said to help with digestion and I believe it also helps the beans cook to a nicer consistency. So my recommendation would be to soak your beans overnight.
In the morning, rinse your beans and check for any stones. Once you have removed the stones, place 3 cups of clean water in your instant pot for every 1 cup of dry beans. The important point here is the water to bean ratio consists of water to dry beans, not soaked beans. So, I used a 1 pound bag of organic chickpeas which is 2 and a quarter cups of dry beans. I added all of my soaked beans to the instant pot along with 8 cups of clean water. The math does not have to be exact here, just as long as you have at least the 3 cups of water per 1 cup of dry beans and just make sure you do not overfill the instant pot. Now, with the additional water, your instant pot will take longer to come to pressure but the goal here is to create aquafaba. Of course, having the cooked beans is great too, but for this purpose, you are really making 2 things: aquafaba and chickpeas, that is what I call efficient.
Ok, now that you have the water and chickpeas in the instant pot, make sure your valve is set to sealing and cook on manual for 15-25 minutes with natural release. I cooked my 1 pound bag of chickpeas for 15 minutes with a natural release and they were perfect. When determining cook time for beans, I usually refer to the bag or box instructions and modify for the instant pot but 15-25 minutes is pretty standard here.
Now it’s time to reveal your very own homemade aquafaba! Once opening the instant pot, strain all the cooking water into jars or whatever containers you like to use for liquid and refrigerate. Aquafaba will last about 1 week in the fridge, but if you aren’t going to use it right away, it freezes wonderfully. Sometimes I freeze it in smaller jars or even ice cube trays, whatever is easiest for you.
But wait, there is more! Did I just sound a little too much like an infomercial there? No, I am not going to throw in anything for $19.95 or offer free shipping. I’m not selling anything here, but there is more! If you want to get more aquafaba out of this batch of chickpeas (yes I said more!), then take to cooked chickpeas, put them in jars and fill the jars with new clean (uncooked) water. Refrigerate the jars overnight and voila! You have more aquafaba the next morning. I have heard that you can do this 2 or 3 times, each time the aquafaba gets lighter, and may take longer to whip into a meringue, but have never tried this myself so I cannot confirm that myself. So if you decide to try this, please let me know how it goes!
So, to summarize, here are the steps to create your own aquafaba:
Step 1: overnight overnight (optional)
Step 2: Rinse beans and place in instant pot with water. 3 cups of water for each 1 cup of dry beans. (Don’t forget this ratio is for dry beans, not soaked beans)
Step 3: Cook in Instant Pot 15-25 minutes with natural release
And there you go, aquafaba (Did you hear Gus again? I did!) So, from 1 pound of dry beans I netted about 2 quart size Ball jars of aquafaba without doing the additional soaks.
Hopefully you will fall in love with aquafaba like I did. Let me know your ideas and how your experience has been using aquafaba! I’d love to hear from you!