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What in the world is aquafaba?

My friend Logan (you might remember him from Friendsgiving during #31DaysintheKitchen!) suggested I try to make something using aquafaba, which is, I kid you not, the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas.

Ew?

Turns out, as the Internet and vegans everywhere claim, that this chickpea liquid acts just like egg whites. Stiff peaks and all.

I was skeptical to say the least, but I decided to try making aquafaba meringues. Here we go!

It definitely does not look appetizing in the mixer. Not that egg whites do, I guess, but at least they are not brown.

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Then lots of mixing and adding sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon…

Onto the baking sheet, because, at this point, I was starting to believe this could actually be an egg white replacement. Same consistency and everything!

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They came out crunchy and chewy just like regular meringues! They were very sugary–I did feel like I had to mask some flavor, mostly the saltiness, from the bean juice–but overall, wow.

I decided to use them in an adaption of the Barefoot Contessa’s Eton Mess. I layered crushed meringues with whipped cream, homemade raspberry sauce, and strawberries. Here it is!

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The verdict? Pretty good, and definitely a legitimate egg white substitute. Almost no calories at all, too. I’m not sure I’ll switch completely to aquafaba, but it was certainly an interesting try, and it led to a delicious dessert!

(Here are some more ways to use aquafaba. What unique substitutions have you found and tried lately?)

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