Have you ever wondered why your canned chickpeas have a jelly-like consistency? Have you ever been terrified and worried about whether it’s edible or not? It turns out you’re not the only one who hasn’t noticed them. Millions of people are unaware of the jelly-like material included in canned chickpeas. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place since we’re about to teach you all you need to know about that stuff.
So What’s the Substance in Canned Chickpeas?
That jelly-like substance you find in canned chickpeas is known as Aquafaba. Aquafaba is a thick liquid made by soaking or boiling beans like chickpeas in water for a long time. When you open a can of chickpeas, you typically rinse the transparent sticky goop down the sink. It’s also considered the “silver bullet” in vegan cooking circles for producing fluffy meringues and excellent whisky sours without the need for eggs. The substance is loved by vegans since it’s the perfect substitute for egg whites. You see, egg whites have their distinct smell while Aquafaba, doesn’t have any smell of its own. Many chefs from around the world are substituting egg whites with Aquababa for vegan recipes.
Jason Eisner, the main bartender at “Gracias Madre and Café Gratitude“, runs a vegan bar department and has found substitutes other than Aquafaba to be very odorous, foul-tasting, or impossible to work with. He’s spent over 100 hours researching Aquafaba and has decided that it’s the only alternative he’ll use from now on. He mentioned that a person wouldn’t recognize the difference if you filled two cups, (one with egg whites, the other with Aquafaba). The only unmistakable clue is the odor: egg whites smell, while chickpeas have no odor at all.
Now, Why Should You Care?
The term “Aquafaba” was only introduced one and a half years ago before 2021, but it’s catching on among the rising vegan community. It’s been used in the kitchens of restaurants as a tool to produce foams and drinks using plant-based ingredients. The product is used to create: ice-cream, drinks, meringue, marshmallows, frostings, and whipped cream for vegans. So if you’re vegan, this thing is perfect for eating.
Any Health Benefits From Canned Chickpeas in Jelly?
Well sorry to disappoint you but it doesn’t quite have any benefits. Unlike chickpeas which are packed with protein, Aquafaba isn’t that nutrient-packed. You should probably use it only if you’re vegan otherwise there is no need. There is no particular study on additional nutrients or health advantages of Aquafaba at this time. It’s not suggested to use and consume it as a substitute for eggs daily due to its lack of nutrients.
Any Risks Of Eating Aquafaba?
Legumes are grown in factories. In that process, beans are rinsed, boiled for many hours, and then placed into the cans hot and steaming. After cooking, there is no more rinsing or washing, and the Aquafaba remains. Also, keep in mind that the majority of can have a thin coating of plastic inside that contains BPA or BPS chemicals. These are extremely harmful to humans since they can compromise immunity, create neurological issues, and even develop cardiovascular disease. Aquafaba is only preserved during the industrialized manufacturing process.
So next time you open a can of chickpeas and you see a gelatinous substance, fear not. It’s completely normal to see it in a can and it’s perfectly safe to eat it. Enjoy!