Calling out the best tasting vegan mayonnaise used to be simple. A tiny category, there were only one or two players, companies that devoted themselves to things vegans can eat. These early vegan mayo’s were mostly made of soy and starch. And we liked them because they were made without eggs.
As plant-based foods have skyrocketed in popularity (plant-based milks alone reached $4.2 billion in sales in 2016), the number of companies that have entered the vegan mayo category has expanded as have the options. A few major trends stand out to this astute observer (i.e., me).
Since most vegan brands rely on soy for texture and body, Follow Your Heart’s Soy-Free Vegenaise caught my eye. Expeller-pressed high oleic safflower oil is the first ingredient listed, pumping the monounsaturated fat number to 7 grams per 14 gram (about a tablespoon) serving. Though not new, their Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise packs 7 grams of polyunsaturated fat into the standard 14 gram portion. Just Mayo made a splash when it entered the category last year, perhaps because the first ingredient listed is expeller-pressed canola oil, which, like olive oil, is primarily a monounsaturated fat. And expeller pressing means no chemical solvents were used to extract the oil from the seed.
Coconut is riding a huge popularity wave (look here to learn about the benefits of coconut oil’s MCTs) and more products are appearing on the marketplace with coconut oil in the ingredient list. NUCO recently launched Vegan Mayo made with coconut oil and avocado oil. Made without soy, it is paleo compliant and chockfull of MCTs and Omega 9s (a non-essential fatty acid).
Calling it an “eggless innovation that is nothing short of amazing,” Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise launched earlier this year featuring aquafaba, the starchy liquid released from chickpeas when they are cooked in water. Those released starches and proteins bind with the water to create a thick, creamy liquid that makes an incredible egg replacer. It emulsifies and foams beautifully. Made with safflower oil and without soy, the monounsaturated fat (6 grams) and polyunsaturated fat (3 grams) will make any heart happy.
The Winner Is…
But which of these is the best tasting vegan mayonnaise? It is an extremely close call. Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise has a delightfully soft texture that is reminiscent of freshly made, egg-enriched mayo. For out of the jar flavor, I’m sticking with my long-term favorite, Follow Your Heart’s Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise.