What does Aquafaba foam do

What actually is Aquafaba?

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Senta Kretzschmar / Ulrike Becker

The exotic-looking term aquafaba stands for the boiling water of legumes. It can be whipped like egg whites and is mainly used in vegan desserts.

© daisies / pixelio.de

Aquafaba has been on everyone's lips in the vegan scene for some time. The made-up word is made up of the Latin word aqua for water and faba for bean. In internet forums and cookbooks on vegan nutrition, the authors use the drained water from chickpeas from a jar or a can in most cases. The collected liquid can be whipped into a stable foam with a mixer like normal chicken egg white. The vegan egg whites also look no different from their animal counterparts.

The boiling water for legumes consists mainly of protein and mostly indigestible carbohydrates. Scientists suspect that the protein provides the foaming and emulsifying effect, while the polymeric carbohydrates allow the water phase of the foam to thicken and thus stabilize the foam. In order to create a stable foam, the legume water should be cooled well beforehand. It must not come into contact with oil, not even through oil residues in the mixing bowl or on the mixer. To strengthen the vegan "egg whites", tartar powder (potassium bitartrate) or alternatively a squirt of lemon juice is helpful. Aquafaba is also suitable as a binding agent for egg-free dough: three teaspoons of brew can easily replace an egg.

The whipped bean water has a slightly beany aftertaste enjoyed on its own. However, the taste evaporates when you bake it. If you want to be on the safe side, it is best to use self-cooked aquafaba, as the canned food has a more distinctive taste and possibly a disturbing addition of salt. As an alternative to chickpeas, the boiling water from white beans can also be used; the taste is not so intense here. Whipped aquafaba is much more sensitive to heat than conventional egg whites. Vegan meringue tends to liquefy at too high temperatures. As a rule of thumb, the oven should not be hotter than 115 ° C. Aquafaba can also be used for unheated dishes without any problems because, unlike raw eggs, there is no risk of salmonella.

If the cooking water is made from dried and boiled chickpeas yourself, the ratio between water and pulses has to be right so that the aquafaba can be whipped. To do this, skim off the previously soaked chickpeas after the specified cooking time (40 to 90 minutes); the cooking water itself should already have thickened. If it is still too runny, let it simmer until the desired viscosity is reached. The longer the cooked chickpeas soak in the water, the easier it is to whip the cooking water afterwards.

If the intestine is sensitive to legumes, the soaking water can be thrown away before cooking - this is where some of the oligosaccharides are dissolved, which are metabolized by bacteria into gases in the intestine. Those who tolerate it well can conjure up crispy vegan meringues, creamy ice cream or airy chocolate mousse with Aquafaba. The vegan egg whites can also be used for hearty soufflés, spreadable vegan butter or mayonnaise or aioli.

Aquafaba: FAQ. http://aquafaba.com/faq.html (accessed April 13, 2018)
Aquafaba (Vegan Meringue - Hits and Misses!). https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganMeringue/ (accessed April 13, 2018)
Spurkland, A (2016): Aquafaba, what is ist chemical composition? https://plantepusherne.dk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Aquafaba-chemical-composition.pdf (accessed May 1, 2018)

Source: UGBforum 3/18, p. 148

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