It’s no longer enough to strip your desserts of gluten and added sugar, now we’re taking out egg whites and dairy and swapping in aquafaba—as in the leftover water after cooking chickpeas or from the beans in the can. Searches for the ingredient are up 160 percent on Pinterest right now, with vegans (and just general health nuts) whipping up the bean water as a light and foamy egg substitute in dessert recipes including cookies, macarons, cakes, and even mayonnaise.
While it’s certainly not going to be called a superfood any time soon, there is some validity to the hype. Dietitian Marie Spano told us that, yes, aquafaba is low in fat and calories and also has other health benefits. “Aquafaba contains folate and antioxidants, but the greater value is when aquafaba’s used as a binder or egg replacer when cooking,” she said.
If you’re interested in trying it out, or just want to impress your vegan friends on Instagram (#aquafaba #vegan #healthfood etc.), then click through the gallery for 20 aquafaba-rich dessert recipes.