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What Exactly Is Aquafaba?

Cooking With Aquafaba

As a runner, I prioritize nutritious and delicious food. Peanut butter, oatmeal, Greek yogurt and chickpeas are just a few of my staples. But I can’t say I get too adventurous with any of them. Sure, I mix peanut butter in my oatmeal, and last week I did make bagels with Greek yogurt as an ingredient. But for the most part, I keep it pretty basic.

Related: A Runner’s Ode To Peanut Butter

I’d rather spend an hour running (or hiking) outdoors than cooking in a kitchen. That being said, I’m always up for an adventure, and that includes a kitchen adventure. I’ve been known to try obscure recipes, as long as they aren’t too complicated. So, when I stumbled upon “aquafaba,” I was immediately intrigued.

As weird as it sounds, aquafaba is the liquid inside your can of chickpeas–and this bean brine is having a moment. I first heard about it on Pinterest, and then from a friend. That’s when I knew I would have to give it a try. After all, I love chickpeas. The liquid had to be pretty good too, right?

I decided to try chocolate mousse, a simple recipe that only required aquafaba and dark chocolate. Having both ingredients on hand, I set to work. Instead of draining the liquid out of the chickpea can like I normally do, I laid the chickpeas aside and focused on the liquid.

Pinterest had convinced me that aquafaba is far from useless. It’s frequently used by vegans as a replacement for egg whites, and that was its purpose in the chocolate mousse recipe, as well. To get the mousse ready, I had to whip the aquafaba for what felt like forever. My legs might be strong, but my forearms were not prepared for such effort. Once the substance had “formed a peak,” as the recipe required, I melted the chocolate and mixed the two ingredients together.

That was it. Pretty simple, right? The mousse did have to chill, so I put it in the fridge and came back the next afternoon, eager to try my creation. To be honest, it was pretty good! The texture was decent, although mine was a little watery—probably due to my inadequate mixing ability.

Was it worth the effort? I’m not sure. I understand how aquafaba is a good option for vegans, but I’m not a vegan and I’m actually quite fond of eggs, so I could’ve just as easily made this recipe with egg whites. Even so, it was fun to try, and I enjoyed the mousse as a post-run treat.

So, if you’re vegan: I highly recommend incorporating aquafaba into your recipes. If you’re not, it’s still worth a try. Aquafaba is a simple ingredient that is very versatile, and it can help make some delicious pre- or post-run snacks. As for me, I’ll probably stick with chickpeas for now, but that’s not to say I’m not interested in another fun recipe experiment with aquafaba.

Related:

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Hannah Hartzell

Hannah Hartzell

Hello! My name is Hannah Hartzell. I am student, an athlete and an all-around enthusiastic person! I grew up in Lewis Center, Ohio and currently run cross country and track for Butler University. When I’m not running, I'm most likely studying, drinking tea or hiking (I fit sleep in there somewhere). I’ve gained valuable experience as a prior communications intern for Just Between Us Magazine and the Columbus Running Company. You can read more of my musings at A Grateful Life Lived, and connect with me on Instagram. See you out on the trails!