Carleigh Bodrug of PlantYou Shares How to Transform Chickpea Water into Chocolate Mousse

While it may not sound very appetizing, chickpea water—also called aquafaba—is a secret weapon when you want to whip up velvety vegan desserts. We often pour the liquid from canned chickpeas down the drain, but this overlooked ingredient can be the key to creating unexpectedly decadent treats. “I first learned about the magical power of aquafaba by testing a recipe for meringue cookies,” says plant-based chef Carleigh Bodrug, who has drawn more than 4 million followers on Instagram with her crafty low-waste recipes. “Shockingly, when you whip up aquafaba, it develops stiff peaks just like whipping egg whites.”

Bodrug’s highly anticipated second cookbook, Plant You Scrappy Cooking, focuses on zero-waste recipes that use hidden gems in your pantry (like aquafaba) to create wholesome vegan meals. “I have about 25 recipes earmarked as ‘kitchen raid meals’ where you can use just about any bean, grain, or vegetable to help people reduce food waste,” says Bodrug. “The new book also has a ‘Have This, Make That’ visual index at the beginning of the book, which allows users to peruse some of the most commonly wasted foods (like bread) and correspond them with recipes throughout the book!”

One of the standout recipes from Plant You Scrappy Cooking is a creamy, dreamy chocolate mousse that utilizes the silky smooth properties of whipped aquafaba. “You can bake up [whipped aquafaba] to make pavlova or meringue cookies, so I thought it would make an excellent chocolate mousse,” says Bodrug. “I tried folding in melted chocolate one day and was absolutely blown away by the results. It created the creamiest fluffy mousse with such limited ingredients. It’s absolutely liquid gold.” 

If you’ve never worked with aquafaba before, this recipe will change the way you look at a can of chickpeas and turn you into a scrappy cooking superstar!

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Bodrug’s decadent concoction, dubbed “Mousse on the Loose,” can be found in Plant You Scrappy Cooking alongside dozens of other delicious plant-based recipes. We recommend choosing no-salt-added or low-sodium canned chickpeas to keep the sodium count in check. If you want to add a little extra pizzazz to your chocolate mousse, Bodrug suggests sprinkling some berries, flaky sea salt, or cacao nibs on top of each serving. 

Makes: 4 servings  Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 5 ounces vegan dark chocolate, 75% or greater
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas 
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Optional toppings: homemade or store-bought vegan yogurt or whipped cream; fruit of choice, such as raspberries


  1. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth. (Alternatively, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate in a microwave in 5-second increments.) Once melted, set aside to cool.
  2. Drain the can of chickpeas (setting them aside for another recipe), capturing the aquafaba in a large bowl.
  3. In a bowl, combine ½ cup of the aquafaba and the cream of tartar. Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat until the liquid begins to foam, for 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Keep mixing until the meringue forms stiff peaks. You should be able to lift the whisk and have the meringue stick to it. This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate, a tablespoon at a time (do not overmix here, which could deflate the meringue) until it is completely mixed in. Transfer to jars and refrigerate overnight or until firm. Enjoy topped with vegan yogurt and fresh fruit.

For more tips on transforming leftover ingredients and reducing food waste, check out Scrappy Cooking, out April 2. And be sure to take a look at Bodrug’s feature in the spring 2024 issue of Forks Over Knives magazine, on newsstands now!

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About the Author

Headshot of Megan Edwards

About the Author

Megan Edwards

Megan Edwards is a staff writer and content producer for Forks Over Knives. She is also a certified RYT-500 yoga teacher who is passionate about cultivating holistic wellness through plant-based eating, mindful movement, and meditation. With a background in journalism and marketing, she supports both the online presence and quarterly print magazine for Forks Over Knives.
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