Aquafaba and More “Saved from the Drain” Ideas

You won't find the word "aquafaba" in the dictionary (at least for now), but some innovative chefs, creative home cooks and vegans know what it is: the cooking liquid of beans or legumes. In addition to this burgeoning trend, other can and jar juices can be put to use. If you drain or strain, you may be surprised to find you're missing out on amazing eats! Tweet this

Aquafaba (loosely based on the Latin words for "water" and "bean") was born out of a quest to create a great vegan meringue. In February 2015, U.S. software engineer Goose Wohlt discovered that chickpea liquid on its own can act as a replacement for egg whites.

5 More Vegan Aquafaba Creations

  • Macaroons
  • Whipped "cream"
  • "Marshmallow" fluff
  • Mousse
  • Latte foam

10 More Ways to Reuse Liquids from Cans and Jars

  • "I usually repurpose some of the liquid in tofu packs to create a sauce in stir-fry vegetables with tofu." — Tok-Hui Yeap, RD, LD
  • "Reduce the juice from canned fruits to make a 'simple syrup' for pancakes, to use as a glaze or to add sweetness to cocktails." — Whitney Reist, RDN, LD
  • "Use juice or syrup from canned fruit, such as peaches, to sweeten homemade iced tea!" — Jamie Marchetti, MS, RDN, LD
  • Instead of standard oil and balsamic, swap the vinegar with pickle juice for a unique flavor.
  • Add leftover pickle brine to potato salads, store-bought barbecue sauces and any recipe in need of some zing.
  • Make more pickles (or pickled foods) by placing chopped cucumbers, vegetables or whole hard-boiled eggs in the jar of brine and allow to sit in the refrigerator for a few days.
  • Use oil from chiles en adobo to make sweet yet spicy sauces or add heat to roasted vegetables.
  • Try sundried tomato oil as a dressing for light pasta salads or sandwiches.
  • Mix artichoke water into marinara or pesto sauces, chicken salad or vegetable slaw.
  • Add a drizzle of olive water to hummus, ceviche or Mediterranean-inspired meals.
Lauren Fox
Lauren Fox is the managing editor of Food & Nutrition Magazine and senior manager of creative media at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.