Which vegan mayo is best?
Veganism is growing, and new plant-based products are coming out daily. If you’re looking for a decent vegan mayo to replace egg-based mayonnaise, there’s never been a better time.
Whether you’re an ethical vegan, follow a mostly plant-based diet or are simply trying to reduce your consumption of animal products, there’s a mayo for you. Chosen Foods Vegan Avocado Oil Mayo is the top choice, as it tastes great and has high-quality ingredients.
What to know before you buy vegan mayo
You might be wondering what’s in vegan mayo. The fact is, its ingredients are basically the same as any other mayo, minus the eggs. These are some of the basic ingredients in plant-based mayo, but you’ll also find other ingredients for flavor, such as salt and lemon juice.
- Oil: Oil makes up the bulk of all mayonnaise, vegan or otherwise. Oil is what turns mayo thick and creamy via the magic of emulsification.
- Aquafaba: Aquafaba is another name for the cooking liquid of garbanzo beans. Starches and proteins from the beans leach into the water while cooking, leaving a substance that acts as an excellent egg replacer in mayo.
- Starches and stabilizers: Don’t be alarmed if you see starches or other stabilizers, such as xanthan gum, in your mayo. These keep the mayo from splitting back into its individual components.
- Preservatives: Preservatives keep mayo from spoiling on the shelf or when open in the fridge. Common preservatives include citric acid and calcium disodium EDTA.
Fresh vs. shelf-stable
You can buy both fresh and shelf-stable versions. Neither is inherently better, but you should know which you’re getting.
- Fresh: Fresh mayo needs to stay refrigerated, even before opening. This makes it trickier to buy online, although some retailers ship fresh mayo with cool packs or have a speedy fresh delivery service.
- Shelf-stable: You can safely keep shelf-stable mayo at room temperature for long periods before opening. Check the expiration date, but some keep for years. However, once open, you’ll need to keep it in the fridge and use it within two weeks to two months.
What to look for in a quality vegan mayo
In addition to plain mayo, you can find some flavored versions to spice up your sandwiches or add some zing to your potato salad. Common flavors include garlic mayo and chipotle mayo.
Some mayos are free from common allergens, such as wheat and soy. This is great if you’re allergic or sensitive to these ingredients, but there’s no reason to avoid them if you’re not.
Although it’s not particularly common, you can find some plant-based mayos that are USDA-certified organic. If you prefer to eat organic food, shop around to find one.
It’s fairly common to find vegan mayo certified non-GMO, meaning it contains no genetically modified ingredients.
How much you can expect to spend on vegan mayo
Expect to pay anywhere from $3-$15 for a 12-ounce container. Mayo made by big food manufacturers costs significantly less than that made by small businesses.
Vegan mayo FAQ
Is vegan mayo healthier than regular mayo?
A. Both vegan mayo and egg-based mayo are high in calories as their main ingredient is oil, though vegan mayo has the benefit of being cholesterol-free. Also, some vegan mayos use oils, such as avocado oil or high-oleic sunflower oil, that are richer in nutrients than the soybean oil found in many regular mayos.
Ultimately, mayonnaise isn’t supposed to be a health food. While it’s not the best food to consume in large quantities, it’s not worth worrying about how healthy it is when eaten in moderation.
Does vegan mayo taste the same?
A. Some are better than others, and taste is subjective to a degree, so it’s not an easy question to answer definitively. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that quality vegan mayo tastes extremely similar to egg-based mayonnaise.
This is especially true when comparing plant-based mayo to shelf-stable store-bought mayonnaise rather than fresh mayonnaise. It uses pasteurized eggs to make the mayo safer to eat, but the pasteurization process causes eggs to lose some flavor. As such, most store-bought mayonnaise doesn’t taste all that eggy, making it easier for vegan versions to replicate its flavor.
What’s the best vegan mayo to buy?
Top vegan mayo
Chosen Foods Vegan Avocado Oil Mayo
What you need to know: With a great taste and creamy consistency, it’s an excellent egg-free mayo.
What you’ll love: It’s made using avocado oil, which contains heart-healthy omega-fatty acids. It’s gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO. You can keep it in the fridge for two months after opening.
What you should consider: Some buyers think it’s too thin, but this may be an occasional error in some batches.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and iHerb
Top vegan mayo for the money
Hellmann’s Vegan Dressing and Spread
What you need to know: You get three 11.5-ounce bottles in a pack, providing excellent value.
What you’ll love: It tastes virtually identical to egg-based Hellmann’s mayo, so it’s great for anyone who’s already a fan of that. Some people find squeeze bottles more convenient than jars.
What you should consider: The plastic containers aren’t as eco-friendly as glass jars.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Vegan Mayo
What you need to know: It’s the perfect vegan mayo for anyone who likes a smoky kick.
What you’ll love: It’s made with high oleic sunflower oil and organic aquafaba. It tastes great and has a thick consistency. Since it’s not excessively spicy, even people who generally like mild food can enjoy it.
What you should consider: It can separate if shipped in freezing weather, so you might not want to order online in winter, depending on where you live.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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