Aquafaba,” a name made up to conjure something more fabulous than “chickpea juice,” is simply cooking water or canned liquid from chickpeas or other legumes (like beans, peas, or lentils) that’s been beaten into a stiff froth for use as a vegan substitute for eggs or egg whites.

Because its emulsifying properties are similar to that of eggs, it can be used raw or cooked, in sweet or savory foods from waffles to mousse—it even makes a decent-tasting vegan mayo. Just don’t try scrambling the stuff—it’s best in dishes where eggs are just one of the ingredients, not the leading lady.

To make aquafaba, drain the liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas or white beans (they have the most neutral flavor), and whip it. When it’s the consistency of egg whites, it’s done; if it’s too watery, boil it down a little.

Three tablespoons (about 10 calories) replaces one egg.