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Egg-Free Mayonnaise from the Liquid in Canned Chickpeas

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month. Eggs Are a Severe Allergen.

Egg allergies can be quite serious. I know from experience: My grandson is allergic to eggs. We carry an Epi-Pen at all times and watch his diet carefully. I prepare his food without eggs, including items like pancakes. But I find baking without eggs very difficult, much harder than baking without wheat.

So, whenever I read about replacements for eggs or egg- based foods, I listen.

Egg-Free Mayonnaise Made from Chickpea Liquid Called Aquafaba

The first time I heard of this idea I couldn’t believe it. It uses the liquid that surrounds a can of chickpeas which is called aquafaba. Really? Mayonnaise from the lowly chickpea (or garbanzo bean)? But then I tried it, and I liked it.

The idea comes from the Serious Eats website and its primary chef, J. Kenji López-Alt. Plus, I have read his book The Food Lab. He has a marvelous way of explaining what happens in a kitchen in a simple, easy-to-understand way. So, I knew that if he liked this egg-free mayonnaise, then I would too.

Kenji explains that aquafaba is the protein-rich liquid surrounding canned chickpeas. As he says, “It’s pretty amazing stuff—you can whip it into stiff peaks like a meringue, use it to leaven pancakes and waffles, or make light sponge cakes, all without any eggs at all.”  This is good news for those of us who cook for people who can’t eat eggs.

I plan to try the meringue later, but I was most intrigued by the fact that aquafaba can also be used to make mayonnaise. So, below is the link to Kenji’s mayonnaise recipe. Enjoy!

Egg-Free Mayonnaise Recipe

You can find the recipe here:

Carol’s Tips
[1] Kenji uses SW brand of chickpeas, which has a milkier, thicker composition (more viscous) than the brand I used which was Simple Truth by Kroeger stores. The next time I make it, I would use SW brand.

[2] Two garlic cloves make this a very garlicky mayonnaise—which really limits its use to savory dishes. I often use mayonnaise in my Waldorf salad, where garlic is inappropriate. In fact, I think this mayonnaise is really closer to aioli, a garlicky Mediterranean sauce that resembles mayonnaise. So, I would either omit the garlic OR use only a portion of a whole garlic clove for a mild, but not overpowering flavor.

[3] Be forewarned, your mayonnaise might not thicken as much without the garlic. The recipe makes a looser, thinner mayonnaise. If that’s OK with you, fine. Or, add 1/8 teaspoon of guar gum to the finished product for a thicker consistency.

[4] Be sure to add the oil only AFTER you have pureed the other ingredients. This is necessary to create a good emulsion so the mayonnaise stays together.