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Waste Not Want Not: Aquafaba

Here at Fresh City, we’re big advocates of making the most of all your ingredients. Today’s ingredient is truly a magic one, and one you may have been throwing down the drain all along: aquafaba. Aquafaba is the liquid or brine from cooked chickpeas, that liquid you generally rinse away before using chickpeas in any given recipe.

This underappreciated liquid is pure gold when it comes to replacing eggs in a recipe. It’s easy to use, inexpensive and adds airiness to recipes in the same way whipped egg whites would. And oddly enough, it does not taste like chickpeas when appropriately utilized, so be prepared to fool a multitude of future dinner guests.

A few things to note:
- Aquafaba does take a little bit longer to whip than egg whites
- You can’t overbeat it,so whip away! 
- You’ll generally get better results with the brine from canned cooked chickpeas than from dried chickpeas cooked from scratch.

Here are some of the ways you can use it in your recipes:

1. Make a mousse! Make a light and airy vegan chocolate mousse with our easy recipe:

Vegan Chocolate Mousse
2/3 cup aquafaba drained from a 398mL can of chickpeas (brine from cooked chickpeas)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
100 g dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
To serve: coconut yogurt, grated chocolate and cinnamon

Using hand or stand mixer, whip aquafaba with apple cider vinegar and salt until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add in maple syrup and whip again. Fold in cocoa powder, and dark chocolate.

Divide between 2 large bowls or 4 smaller ones. Leave to set in the fridge for 2 hours. Top with coconut yogurt, grated chocolate and cinnamon.

2. Transform into meringue: Pavlova, the classic dessert made of crisp meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit, is a classic example of how to best use aquafaba. It will allow you to make meringue without eggs but with equally crisp and light results. To make this a fully vegan recipe, top with whipped coconut cream and whatever fruit is in season.

3. Make mayo: A traditional mayonnaise uses egg yolk as an emulsifier, but you can make a vegan version using aquafaba. There are countless recipes using this method, some using neutral-flavoured oil, others using blended tofu or nuts.

4. Try your hand at vegan macarons: Eggs are an essential part of macaron-making which is why aquafaba works so well in its place.

5. Time to ice!: Royal icing, that glossy sweet topping used to decorate cookies is generally made with egg whites, and can, you’ve guessed it, be made with aquafaba!

Consider these ideas a starting point, as the possibilities are endless, but we hope you’ll be inspired to experiment and incorporate aquafaba in your next cooking project, rather than pouring it down the drain. 

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