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The Egg-Free Vegan Meringue Recipe That Will Shock You

Kids With Food Allergies introduces 2nd Generation Allergy Mom, AKA Eileen Rhoadarmer, who writes about her own and her children’s food allergies from her home in Colorado. Eileen’s blog about vegan meringue recently lit up our Food and Cooking Forum and inspired a lot of late night testing. We invited Eileen to share her experiments here on our blog: 

Action-Packed Fun with Vegan Meringue, 3 Ways!

Aquafaba.

There’s a word I’ll bet you haven’t heard before. That’s because it was newly coined by Goose Wohlt, the originator of vegan chickpea meringue.

That’s right, VEGAN meringue! Aquafaba (latin: water=aqua, bean=faba) is the liquid/juice/brine in a can of beans, which can be whipped up just like egg whites into a meringue that is entirely free of egg! In fact, it’s free of all of the top 8 allergens!

vegan-meringue-1

Until a few weeks ago, I figured that meringue was something I would never share with my egg-allergic son. But as I watched the opaque, gelatinous liquid swell in size and take on a stiff, white, glossy appearance, I was hooked. I’ve made five batches already! 

What excites me most is all the possibilities. People have used this to make lemon meringue pie, macaroons, mousse, even marshmallows!

Here is the basic recipe:

Ingredients:

• The liquid from one 15oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ tsp cream of tartar or xanthan gum (optional, but I’ve found it helps the meringue hold its shape)
• ½ tsp vanilla extract or other flavoring (also optional, but without it your meringue will have a subtle beany flavor)

Add the bean brine (you’ll have anywhere from ½ cup to ¾ cup) and vanilla to a large bowl.

Emphasis on LARGE (it expands quite a bit). Beat on high speed until the mixture becomes foamy.

Add the cream of tartar or xanthan gum, and then add the sugar, a little bit at a time while beating continually. Allow the sugar time to incorporate each time. Continue beating on high for a total of about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Pipe or spoon the meringues onto a lined baking sheet. Emphasis on LINED! (If it fails for any reason, you’ll have a sticky mess if it isn’t lined.) If you want to include any add-ins, gently fold them in by hand and then spoon them onto your lined baking sheets.

Bake at 200 degrees for an hour, then turn off the oven but leave them inside for at least two hours. This allows them to fully dry out. I’ve seen variations from 175 to 225 degrees, baking times up to 2 hours, and cooling/drying times from a few minutes to overnight. You may have to experiment to see what works with your oven/altitude/climate.

Store in an airtight container, especially if you live somewhere humid.

Pretty amazing, right? But wait, what if you have a chickpea allergy?

Since this recipe went viral, people with chickpea allergies have come out of the woodwork. Well, there’s good news! If you’re allergic to chickpea (or don’t like them) you can still make vegan meringue so long as you aren’t allergic to all legumes. I’m an experimental person, so I did a side-by-side comparison.

KFA 2

I’m not a bean person by nature, so I chose the first two white bean varieties I found: great northern beans and white kidney beans. I also did another batch of chickpea, just so I could compare them directly. I piped flowers and star dots, alphabet letters, and added Enjoy Life mini chips to each variety. I kept all other aspects of the recipe the same for each.

There were several differences in the way they turned out:

Time

Beating time was a major factor. Chickpea took 13 ½ minutes, great northern took 20, and white kidney took 21 ½.

KFA 3

I don’t have a stand mixer, folks! This is an arm workout!

Shape

Chickpea held their shape the best. The other two lost a lot of their definition in the oven. White kidney held a little better than great northern, but the difference between the two was negligible.

 

KFA 4

Texture

I felt like the chickpea meringue melted in the mouth better than the others, but the difference was subtle.

Taste

This is a biggie. I barely noticed any bean flavor with chickpea meringue. Great northern meringue tasted just a little off—if I make it again, I’ll up the vanilla to 1 tsp. White kidney meringue had a very strong bean flavor, and nobody really liked it. If you try, add a large amount of flavoring (2 tsp vanilla at least, or cocoa powder, or even both!)

The chocolate chips masked most bean flavor in all of them.

Conclusions

Chickpeas were the clear winner, both in ease of making them and in taste, but with some alterations other beans work as well.

KFA 5

Experimentation with vegan meringue, or aquafaba meringue, is far from over! I wish you all the best of luck in your culinary adventures! 

Be sure to join the discussion about vegan meringue on KFA's Food & Cooking support forum. You will find tips on using other ingredients, how to color the meringue, making lemon meringue pie, high altitude adjustments and more. Come share your creations with us!

 

Eileen Rhoadarmer has battled a lifelong allergy to tree nuts. Both of her sons now have food allergies, both to peanuts and one to egg. Together with her husband, she created Allergy Superheroes, a new line of children’s allergy awareness products that will launch during Allergy Awareness Month. She shares recipes and insights from the perspective of both food allergy parent and patient at 2nd Generation Allergy Mom. Her KFA username is 2ndGenAllergyMom.

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  • Egg-free meringue made with chickpeas, kidney beans, great northern beans
  • Egg-free meringue made with chickpeas, kidney beans, great northern beans
  • Egg-free meringue made with chickpeas, kidney beans, great northern beans

We are sharing this information for your convenience. It is not an endorsement or a guarantee of the product's safety. Always read ingredient labels. Contact the manufacturer, if needed, to confirm the safety for your child.

Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) is a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). AAFA is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. KFA educates families and communities with practical food allergy management strategies to save lives and improve the quality of life for children and their families. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in.

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Comments (16)

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Welcome, Gillian! That was so sweet of you to come up with a safe recipe for your fellow!

What kind of aquafaba did you use? If you need any other egg-free recipes, you can check out the Safe Eats® Recipe Database. It's searchable by allergen.

Cynthia

DD - 18 corn and apple, peanut, oat and soy 

Me - Avoiding celery in processed foods after RXN to celery

Learn the basics of food allergy management with KFA's online course - Enroll Today!

Thanks for sharing those tips! I've found they feel a little sticky when they first come out of the oven, but then they are OK after they cool.

The last time I made some, I flavored them with lemon extract. They were sooooo good and tasted like a lemon meringue pie cloud!

I found that these seemed to always come put sticky, but putting them in a convection oven at 170° for an hour or so (or using a food dehydrator) helped make them crisp! Also, once you have the meringue ready, the quicker you get them all piped, the better they will hold their shape (the second batch seemed a bit flat). Thanks for posting this recipie, I wanted to make meringues that my boyfriend (who has an egg allergy) could eat, and everyone who has tried them has said they are good!

Hi A. Wassell. . Welcome. What food allergies do you manage?

******************
Jen
Karli, 6/10/02, allergic to pn (passed tn challenge 1/14), allergic to penicillins and Omnicef, allergic to cats and dogs, sa's, eczema Shelby, 5/2/04, allergic to Omnicef, sa's, cats, eczema Maggie, 9/21/06, allergic to Omnicef, sa's, eczema Casey, 2/14/11, eczema

 

 

Yes you can! I'm part of a vegan meringue Facebook group--it's called Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses--and many people have posted successful royal icing recipes. Please try and share!

 --Eileen

www.allergysuperheroes.com

www.allergysuperheroesblog.com


Me: tree nuts, asthma

DS1: (10/08) egg, peanut, asthma, 3/4 of the way through a Baked Egg Clinical Research Study

DS2: (6/11) peanut, asthma, just enrolled in Viaskin Realise Peanut Patch Study

DH: nothin' but poor eyesight.  His genetics didn't tip the balance for the kiddos, though

 

Wow thank you for doing the comparison! Interesting that the chickpea has the mildest taste.  I recently spotted a new egg replacer powder based on garbanzo flour and chia.  I wonder how that would work.

There's just one word I can think of.

 

AquaFABULOUS!!!!!!

Son, '04: ana. to dairy; egg (minus baked egg 8/7/17!), peanuts & tree nuts (minus almond), & shellfish (minus shrimp 5/16/16!)... enviro: cat & dog, dust mites, mold; also, penicillin allergy & OAS (oral allergy syndrome) allergic asthma

Daughter, '07: no known allergies; exercise-induced asthma

Son, '10: dust mite & weed allergy; illness-induced asthma

Daughter, '13: no known allergies

Daughter, '18: no known allergies

What an awesome innovation. Thanks for sharing!

Elyse

Anaphylactic to 6 out of top 8 (excluding eggs & milk; including soy oil and lecithin), Modified starches, & Buckwheat. Drug allergies: Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Aspirin, NSAIDS, Kapidex, Omnicef. Anaphylactic to bees, wasps, & fire ants. EAs/SAs, GERD, Asthma, & SPD. Epi pens handy!


New to Food Allergies?
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Hi Laura!  

******************
Jen
Karli, 6/10/02, allergic to pn (passed tn challenge 1/14), allergic to penicillins and Omnicef, allergic to cats and dogs, sa's, eczema Shelby, 5/2/04, allergic to Omnicef, sa's, cats, eczema Maggie, 9/21/06, allergic to Omnicef, sa's, eczema Casey, 2/14/11, eczema

 

 

This is amazing! I love the innovative ways people thinking about food and how many more safe foods people can create when we get together and share ideas.  Thank you!

 

 

Laura (Northern NJ, USA)
--
Me eczema, MTHFR ... DH Capable of managing two little girls in a single bound ... Margaret Ann (Oct 2004) Neocate graduate, passed egg, avoiding giraffes, NKA now ... Charlotte Ruth (April 2008) outgrew egg, dairy, soy, NKA now ... My journey blog

The stars next to my name mean I donate to support KFA’s work to keep children with food allergies safe and healthy.  Help KFA do more for families and their children by donating too!

You're welcome!  Thank you for having me!


 --Eileen

www.allergysuperheroes.com

www.allergysuperheroesblog.com


Me: tree nuts, asthma

DS1: (10/08) egg, peanut, asthma, 3/4 of the way through a Baked Egg Clinical Research Study

DS2: (6/11) peanut, asthma, just enrolled in Viaskin Realise Peanut Patch Study

DH: nothin' but poor eyesight.  His genetics didn't tip the balance for the kiddos, though

 

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