Aquafaba: What is it?

February 15, 2022

By Alicia Vogel, MA, BS, Community Nutrition Educator – SNAP Ed

Last week, in our series for National Canned Food Month, we discussed a variety of creative ways to use some popular canned foods. This week, we are going to explore canned beans and, more specifically, the liquid in this pantry staple called aquafaba.

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is a combination of the Latin words aqua (water) and faba (bean). In 2015, Goose Wohlt, a vegan software engineer, coined the word while attempting to make an eggless meringue and discovered that the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) could be used as an egg replacer. Nearly overnight, aquafaba became the newest obsession among vegans, food bloggers, home cooks, and highly-acclaimed chefs. Aquafaba’s unique plant-based cooking and baking properties have been used to make things from condiments, like a vegan mayonnaise, to some very creative vegan cocktails. That’s not too bad for a liquid that would normally be poured down the drain!

How to Use?

Aquafaba is a starchy liquid – which makes it a great binder, thickener, and emulsifier in many recipes and, when whipped up into a foam, it gives lift and a fluffy texture to baked goods with zero bean flavor detected.

To begin, shake an unopened can of low-sodium or no-salt added garbanzo beans to lightly froth the liquid, then strain the beans from the liquid (aquafaba) through a colander over a bowl or with a cheesecloth. If you are planning to use aquafaba as an egg replacer, 3 tablespoons of aquafaba is equivalent to one whole egg and two tablespoons is equivalent to one egg white. When using aquafaba to replace egg whites in recipes, such as meringues, it should be whipped in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer with a small amount of cream of tartar, lemon juice, or vinegar for 5-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Chickpea “Nuggets”

Makes: Approximately 12 “Nuggets”


  • 1 15oz Can Chickpeas
  • ¼ cup aquafaba
  • ½ Cup Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Cup Flour (Whole Wheat, Oat, or All Purpose Flour)
  • Choice of Favorite Dipping Sauce


  1. Drain the chickpeas over a bowl, save the chickpeas and ¼ cup of the liquid.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a food processor, and pulse until crumbly.
    1. (Or mash chickpeas by hand with a utensil of choice until crumbly)
  3. Add the Salt, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder
  4. Whisk the liquid from the chickpeas (Aquafaba) in a small mixing bowl until foamy, then add with the flour to the chickpea mixture. Pulse in processor, or mix by hand until it forms a ball.
  5. Divide the chickpea mixture into 12 equal pieces and shape into nuggets.
  6. Coat nuggets in breadcrumbs and place onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the oven at 375 Degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

 Recipe Source:

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If you are an organization that provides programs and services to low-income individuals and families, SNAP-Ed classes and programs can be a tool for your clients. Please contact us to schedule a program!

New Castle County
Jaime Sherman, MS, LDN
Community Nutrition Educator-SNAP-Ed

Kent/Sussex County
Alicia Vogel, MA, BS
Community Nutrition Educator-SNAP-Ed


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