Finding ways to minimize waste in the kitchen is not only great for the environment, but it can be great for your wallet too. As a chef, some of these small changes can really make a difference in your restaurant’s bottom line and while it might not be as apparent in the home kitchen, savings still add up. Discovering uses for waste is a fun challenge that makes you feel like you’re cheating the system and no ingredient makes me feel this way quite like aquafaba.
So, what is aquafaba? Well, it translates quite literally to bean water. Delicious, I know! But this versatile little ingredient is a staple for vegan cookery as an egg white substitute, but in my humble opinion deserves its own place in the back of our heads anytime egg whites are called for. I say this because I can find more use for chickpeas (or other beans, aquafaba is not limited to just the garbanzo. Black bean brownies, anyone?) and the liquid is easy to measure and already room temperature. That means you don't have to wonder if your meringue broke because of your poor whisking skills or cold egg whites. Instead, I will know it was because of my poor skills, and there's some comfort in that.
Now, let’s say you just took a class at The Chopping Block, maybe our Virtual Vegetarian Mediterranean class coming up in August, and you absolutely fell in love with the hummus recipe. (No one would blame you!) Then you made it the next day because you just can't get enough. When you open those chickpeas, save the juice, come back to this blog post and in no time, you can have an incredible dipping sauce, a gorgeous cocktail and a mouthwatering dessert to accompany your hummus. It truly goes to show how versatile this amazing bean water can be!
Recipe1: Aquafaba Dijonnaise
Yields: About 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
1 can of chickpea liquid
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon or whole grain mustard1 - 1 1/2 cups oil of your choice (I went w ith half olive/half vegetable oils)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the garlic and add to a tall vessel for immersion blending or chop in your food processor.
- Add the aquafaba, mustard and lemon and begin to blend.
- Slowly drizzle the oil while blending until emulsified and a creamy texture is achieved.
Recipe 2: Aquafaba Pavlova with Berries and Cream
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yields: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60-90 minutes
Total time: 60-90 minutes
For the Pavlova:
1 can of chickpea liquid
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
Mint extract or other flavoring (I used mint, lavender and chamomile bitters)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Berry Compote:
2 cups mixed berries frozen or fresh
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 shot Jamaican rum
Vanilla ice cream to serve
To make the Pavlova (crispy meringue):
- Preheat oven to 200F degrees.
- Place aquafaba and lemon juice in a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer.
- Mix with stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment until fluffy.
- Slowly incorporate the sugar one tablespoon at a time into the aquafaba whisking on high speed.
- Whisk until stiff peaks have formed, about 15 minutes.
- Gently fold in cornstarch and any flavoring.
- Spread the pavlova thin into a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until pavlova is crispy and firm, rotating if browning begins to occur (there can be some browning) *.
- Allow pavlova to cook before breaking into jagged shards about 1-2 inches in size.
*This cook time can range depending on your oven, how many times it gets opened etc. so look for a crispy top that sounds hollow when tapped.
To make the Berry Compote:
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepot and set heat to medium.
- Cook down stirring occasionally until water has evaporated and you are left with a thick syrupy sauce with soft berries.
- Allow to cool. This can be done right away in the fridge, if you’re impatient like me.
- Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a mug or bowl.
- Drizzle the berry compote on top.
- Garnish with chunks of pavlova.
Recipe 3: Campari Margarita with Aquafaba Foam
*In this recipe the aquafaba is used similarly to how egg whites are used in cocktail creation. The head is tasteless and the texture of the rest of the cocktail is slightly smoother and velvety, but otherwise not too different. This addition can be done to any cocktail recipe for a fun twist.
.5 oz aquafaba
2 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz Cointreau (substitute with Triple Sec).5 oz Campari
- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker and dry shake (shake vigorously without ice)
- Add ice and shake again until chilled
- Serve strait or on the rocks
For more fun cocktail recipes for the summer, don't miss our Hands-On Summery Cocktail Party on Friday, July 28 at 6pm at Lincoln Square. You'll shake and stir all new cocktails:
- Butterfly Pea Flower and Matcha Tea Infused Tequila Cocktail
- The Best Basil Smash
- Daiquiri on Another Level