This was my first attempt at using aquafaba, a byproduct of cooking chickpeas, as an egg substitute.
Aquafaba is simply chickpea cooking water. Why use three words, when one will do, someone must have said to themselves. The stuff is basically free if you’re already making chickpeas. You could use the liquid from the canned variety, but since I’m in the habit of periodically batch cooking legumes in the slow cooker, the latter is how I came by mine.
Chickpea cooking water has the gelatinous texture of an egg white, but wouldn’t have the fat content of the yolk. This can make a difference in baking, which is not always as forgiving as straight up cooking, or assembling, or whatever you want to call making bliss balls. Proportions of wet to dry, leavener to flours, even hot to cold can make or break a recipe. So why replace eggs? I asked myself, and my sister did too. I’m not vegan and I love eggs.
Partly curiosity. I love finding ways to reframe and make use of waste materials. I’m also on board with reduce-atarian diets. Other times I just run out of eggs. It’s good to have options, and to be able to cater to a variety of diets.
I attempt to make banana bread with aquafaba as an egg substitute
I’d been planning to make banana bread anyway. Serendipitously, in the same week my bananas turned black and saggy (good), I also made a large batch of chickpeas, and I also had no hen’s eggs. Perfect time for some foodsperimentation, right?
I riffed on this recipe, skipped the almond meal ’cause I didn’t have any, used a mixture of whole wheat, buckwheat and all purpose flours instead of gluten free (no) and used 3 TBSPs of aquafaba instead of the egg. I also didn’t melt the coconut oil, because that would be another dish and not exactly keeping it to one bowl there Dana…This is me, begging to fail.
All the ingredients went into my well loved Gumtree sourced food processor. Blitzed and poured into a metal baking pan, which in hindsight I would have greased. Baked at 160 ish celsius for 45 minutes. Done.
I was not expecting this to work, but was prepared to eat my failure anyway. I faced no such punishment and was pleasantly surprised to pull a lovely, lightly browned loaf out of the oven.
The end result was moist. Fluffy even.The oats in the recipe added some nice muffiny texture. Sorry if that’s not apparent from my terrible food photography, but I assure you, one could feed this to anyone without apologizing first, or revealing the secret ingredient. It would taste amazing with some fresh local berries tossed into the batter.
It didn’t involve any sort of special equipment or preparation and was made with something I used to toss away. Verdict: Aquafabulous.
Next up with this so far magic ingredient, I’m looking forward to testing an eggless mayonnaise recipe, and maybe a fritter or two. The rest of the chickpea water – there was a lot from the one batch – will go to the freezer in egg sized portions for future use.