Mar 18, 2016


It has been a few weeks since my last post (check my last post for the winner of Vegan Under Pressure (Amazon)) and I’m excited to share what I’ve been working feverishly on.

Yes, it’s a new cookbook. But, it is more than just a cookbook. It is a cookbook about Aquafaba! While many people have already heard about it, still many more haven’t. If you know what Aquafaba is, skip the next paragraph, but if you are new to the Aquafaba world, the next paragraph is a bit of a recap.

Aquafaba is bean water. It is literally the bean water that chickpeas and other legumes are cooked in. A French opera singer, Joël Roessel, and an American software engineer, Goose Wohlt, each (independently) discovered the unique property of bean cooking water, and it is amazing! The water that the beans cook in have the unique property to be able to be whipped into foam that resembles in texture (and some other properties) of whipped egg whites. In other words, they discovered that Aquafaba, bean water, can act as a meringue! That’s what started something that is sure to become the phenomena of the century.

As soon as Aquafaba was discovered, a Facebook group was organized and now is the hub of all kinds of discoveries into all manners of different applications of Aquafaba. I encourage you to check out the group Vegan Meringue: Hits and Misses (but the group is way more than just meringue these days!)

Last March, when the news hit the webosphere, I had a first row seat and watched in wonder as meringue, fluff, cookies, and my contributions, Seitan Schnitzel and Chile Relleno, were shared for all to enjoy. Aquafaba has become a community effort and I am hoping my book will be a contribution to the wonder that is becoming a global phenomenon.

Late last year (after my book, Vegan Bowls, was published) I knew I had to think about what to work on next. I was continually amazed at the wonders that the members of Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses kept posting. I saw the hits and the misses and sometimes frustrations of members who just wanted tried and true recipes for Aquafaba… and that’s when a light bulb went off. I knew I had my next project.

When I set my mind to a project, I dig deep and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing with Aquafaba over the past half year. I swim in Aquafaba these days – actually, that’s not true – it’s chickpeas I’m swimming in; the Aquafaba gets used up as fast as I can make it in experiment after experiment.

I am very excited to be part of the Aquafaba movement and am completely honored that Goose Wohlt has agreed to write the foreword to my book!

I know that my cookbook will be just the tip of the iceberg that Aquafaba is, so my hope is that this book will be a wonderful beacon that will bring many more creative individuals to this ever evolving arena.


  1. Very exciting! This sounds like a very unique book and I wish you success with it =D

  2. A friend of mine is doing some recipe testing for you on this book, and I cannot explain my enthusiasm and excitement! This is BIG! I can't wait!!!!

    1. I'm very happy you are excited! I am, too! It's hard work, but I think it will give many folks a completely different direction to go in for egg replacement - and that is great all around! Thank you so very much for your support!!


    2. Amazing news Zsu! I cannot wait for this!!!

      I've gotten aquafaba to whip to stiff peaks, unfortunately, it always collapses when baked, so looking forward to your book!

      Please make it come out sooner!

  3. Hi,

    I just received my copy of Aquafaba and wish that the coconut oils, shortening, butters and other saturated fat heavy ingredients had been substituted. Most of my reason for ordering the book, after all, was to avoid using coconut milk and nuts for so many of the whipped creams etc. that have become so popular in vegan cooking. Can you list some saturated fat free (and, ideally, healthful) ingredients to substitute? Thanks.

    1. Hello Compassionist,

      First, thank you for having the book, but I do feel you should return it and get a full refund.

      Aquafaba is not a replacement for fat and I never claimed that it was. This is not a healthful cookbook in the least bit and, again, I've never claimed it to be so, after all, it is full of sugars, white flour and fat.

      Unfortunately, there is no replacement or substitution for the saturated fats because it is only saturated fats that are solid at room temperature, and in the recipes that call for them, they are needed. The good news, is that it is plant-based saturated fat.

      I truly am sorry this is disappointing, as I am sure it must be. Aquafaba is simply not as powerful without other helpful ingredients, except for making meringue, and even then, sugar is needed to help hold the structure.

      While I would be happy to help troubleshoot certain recipes (someone has told me that tahini works in certain cases), I fear that what you are asking is a complete overhaul, one that means I should have written a completely different cookbook. It just does not sound feasible or practical.

      I hope you will be able to return the book as I would not wish for you to have a book that does not please you.

      Kind regards,

  4. Hi Zsu,

    I bought your book Aquafaba and it looks very exciting and promising. I read how to make it and I have a question. Normally, I soak my beans before cooking them. I tries once not to soak them before cooking and OMG, I tough that I would go straight to the moon (you know what I mean)! Is the cooking water, after soaking, would be fine for Aquafaba? If not, is the kombu play a role in limiting sides effects if cooking without soaking? Maybe someone already ask that question but I haven’t seen the answer.

    Linda Jalbert

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thank you for having the book! I hope you have many successful adventures with it.

      Yes, the kombu is to help with the digestion issues, but it sounds like you might be particularly susceptible to the legume-effect. My suggestion is that you soak the beans as you normally would but note how much water you use and how much you pour off after soaking. Subtract the two amounts and then subtract that amount from the amount of water you are supposed to cook the beans to get aquafaba. In other words, you are cooking the beans in the recommended amount of water minus the water that they have already absorbed when you soaked them. This will put you on par with the recipe. Of course, watch how long you need to cook it for - probably the same as you would normally, so that shouldn't be an issue.

      The other way to get around the soaking issue is to soak and cook the beans like you normally do and then pour off the aquafaba. Cook the aquafaba until reduced to the amount that is in the yield section of the book. Note how much beans you have and reduce the aquafaba to the suggested amount.

      It is important that your aquafaba gel somewhat when completely cold. This is a good indication of its strength.

      Also, check the errata page for more discussion and notes on the Aquafaba TOC and Errata section on this blog:

      AND you are always welcome to email me directly. zsudever at yahoo dot com.

    2. Thanks for your answer. You took my question very seriously. I will follow your advice and I will freeze all Aquafaba I can get (after reducing it) and then I will be ready to use it any time. Thanks again.

    3. My pleasure, Linda! I want you to have the best experience with aquafaba as is possible and that means feeling well after eating recipies cooked with it.

      Again, lmk if you ever have any questions or concerns.


  5. Hello Zsu, I have your book and am fascinated by your recipes. The book is well-written, descriptive and beautiful! I've been experimenting with aquafaba for about a year. Lately, I'm wanting to create a savory vegan souffle using aquafaba, but haven't found a solid recipe. Can you help? I also have a plant-based business and teach cooking classes.
    Thank you for your inspiration!

    1. Hi Lauren! Thank you for letting me know! I really appreciate it!

      As for the souffle, look at the omelet recipe and the quiche recipe for inspiration or a spring board. Those two recipes try to replicate the rise and fluffiness that an egg custard supplies. Both those recipes rise in heat, but not as much as I would like for a souffle.

    2. Let me know if they help any. I will be going on winter break from school in a week so I can help out a bit more.

  6. Hi..since many days I have been following up the ingredient called aquafaba.I have even tried a few Indian recipes using it.but I needed help for western dishes..especially macaroons..many websites and ppl suggested your book.But as I saw its preview I saw many ingredients which are unknown to me or difficult to find as i stay in a small city in India.I really want to try out different recipes you are offering but in dilemma about purchase.Can you help?

    1. Hi

      Yes, I'll try to help as much as I can. What particular ingredients concern you?

  7. Hi ..thanks for quick reply.that is really comforting.I might not be able to find non dairy milk or yogurt.I did not see more in detail but a few more ingredients were new to me.If you are there to help I will surely go ahead and buy.

    1. Major ingredients are :
      pysillium husk, non-dairy milk, chickpeas, cream of tartar(or lemon juice), sugar, oil

      Other ingredients in the book are:

      Agar: A type of seaweed that gels liquids when it is completely dissolved and cooked to a certain temperature. Agar is best when it is bloomed first, soaked in a cool liquid. Citrus interferes with its gelling properties if not dissolved first.

      Almond meal: This meal is finely ground almonds. The one from Trader Joe’s is perfect for making milk but not for making macarons, since it is not made from blanched almonds. Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour is super finely ground and is perfect for macarons.

      Baking powder: Use double-acting baking powder that is aluminum free.

      Black salt, kala namak: This is also known as Indian black salt. It is an Indian spice that brings an eggy flavor to recipes.

      Cake flour: This is bleached, finely ground wheat flour that makes baked goods very tender. It has the least protein of all the wheat flours.

      Chickpeas: These legumes produce the strongest, most stable aquafaba.

      Coconut cream: This is coconut milk but without all the water. If you cannot find coconut cream, place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for 1 hour and scoop off the coconut cream that has solidified.

      Coconut oil: Use refined coconut oil in this book’s recipes, as it has little to no coconut flavor to interfere with the final product.
      Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk, not coconut beverage, which is a completely different ingredient. Coconut milk comes in reduced-fat and regular varieties. Use only the full-fat variety.

      Cocoa, unsweetened Dutch-process: This is alkalized cocoa powder. It is lighter in color and tastes milder than natural cocoa.

      Cornstarch: Whether using cornstarch or arrowroot in these recipes, after the starch is added (in a slurry), cook it only long enough to thicken; otherwise, the sauce may break.

      Cream of tartar: This is a by-product of wine making. It is an acidic ingredient that helps stabilize meringues and break sugar molecules into fructose and glucose.

      Extracts: Use extracts that are alcohol-free and as pure as possible.
      Flour, gluten-free: Properly measuring all flours is important, but it is especially important for gluten-free flours such as chickpea, sorghum, tapioca, and so on. Fluff the flour by stirring it well with a knife and then use a large scoop to add flour to your measuring cup. Level off the flour using the back of a butter knife.

    2. Glucose/invert syrup: These are also known as cane syrup and corn syrup (not high-fructose corn syrup). These are different kinds of sugar molecules that interfere with sucrose molecules to help prevent crystallization of syrup. They also keep ice crystals from developing in ice cream.

      Gochujang: Korean hot red pepper paste.

      Kappa carrageenan: This extract from red seaweed is an emulsifier, stabilizer, and gelling agent.

      Kombu: This seaweed is used to tenderize beans, among other delicious uses.

      Lactic acid: This is an organic acid that is produced by soured milk products, such as yogurt. When purchasing, make sure to buy one that is certified vegan.

      Miso: Miso is fermented soybeans and comes in a huge variety of flavors. The flavors are based on the fermentation length and sweetness of the miso. Light or white miso is sweeter and milder because it is fermented for a shorter period of time. Chickpea miso is a soy-free version of miso and preferable for the taste of the cheeses in this book.

      Nutritional yeast: This is deactivated yeast that adds umami to dishes.
      Oats, rolled and quick: Oats are gluten-free grains. I use them as thickeners and stabilizers in these recipes. Make sure to only use quick oats when directed.

      Oil: Unless specified, use a neutral-flavored oil for these recipes. Some of these recipes have very low flavor profiles and need as little added flavor as possible. Even some neutral-flavored oils, such as grapeseed and sunflower seed oil, will impart those flavors to the final product.

      Paprika, Hungarian: Hungarian paprika is the best. Popular brands are Szeged and Kalocsa. There are two varieties, sweet and hot. The sweet version is the all-purpose one to acquire.

      Pepitas: Pepitas are pumpkin seeds, and they have one of the highest protein contents of plant-based foods. They are also nut-free and delicious.

      Psyllium husk powder: This is a type of soluble, dietary fiber that cannot be absorbed by the intestines. It has been used for centuries as a natural digestion remedy. In combination with aquafaba, it makes an adequate yolk replacement in certain recipes. Use the powder form as that has the best texture. If you can only acquire the husk form, blend it into a powder and sift before storing it.

      Soymilk: Use soymilk that is made of only soybeans and water. WESTSOY Organic Unsweetened Plain is one such brand. Its protein content is 9 grams per serving and makes wonderful yogurt, among other dishes.

      Sugar, granulated organic: Use organic sugar (as that is vegan) that is the lightest color and smallest grain that you can find that is closest to regular white granulated sugar. The color is important for the cooking of sugar syrup and the grain is important for dissolving in meringue.

      Tahini: This is ground sesame seed paste. It is used in hummus.

      Tamari: The recipes in this book were developed using reduced-sodium tamari. If you use regular tamari, your recipes might be much saltier.
      Vital wheat gluten flour: This is protein-rich flour that is derived from wheat flour. It is used to make seitan.

      Yeast, dry active: This is yeast that gives rise to baked goods. It is best stored in the freezer and activated with warm liquid first to make sure it is viable.

      Yogurt: Homemade yogurt is best, but for some applications store-bought soy or coconut yogurt is also good. I’m sure there are some great almond varieties on the market now, but be sure you like the taste and texture before using it in a recipe.

      Xanthan gum: This is a thickener and stabilizer that is derived from bacteria.

    3. I provide this list so that you are aware of ALL the ingredients in the book. Of course, most of them are used in only a few recipes. Let me know if anything concerns you.

    4. And finally (if I haven't overwhelmed you!) here is more info about the book, including the complete recipe list. There are also recipes on the blog from the book, so you can see how the recipes are.

  8. Thank you so much for elaborate explaination.I will try the recipes and ask queries if any.

    1. My pleasure! I want you to be happy with the book, with no surprises.

    2. I am not interested in desserts - I avoid all added sugar. Does your book have savoury recipes?
      B. Maurene White, Montreal QC

    3. Hi B! You will NOT be happy with my book- although it has plenty of savory recipes, this book uses a lot of sugar. Thanks for your interest! ~ Zsu


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