I am always on the lookout for alternatives to eggs and dairy, and in my pursuit, I learned a new word, aquafaba. So I looked it up. Technically, it isn’t a real word, at least not by Webster’s standards. But don’t be surprised to see it popping up on scrabble boards soon. The term has been frequently coined by the vegan community for mucilage extracted from chickpea liquid. You know, that slimy, foamy brine floating in a can of garbanzo beans that you drain off and discard, well, to the vegan community, its miracle whip! Miraculous enough to even make meringues from. And leave it to some French foodists to take it to the next level. They aerated it and folded it into a ganache to make chocolate mousse. Let’s face it, eggs and dairy are essential to cooking, especially baking. Eliminating them hobbles a chef as to what they can make. But not anymore. For the vegan community, discovering the gelatinous properties of aquafaba is like splitting a culinary atom. Garbonzo beans…who’da thunk it?
When it comes to mayonnaise, there are two brands: Best Foods—if you grew up on the East coast, Hellman’s— and Kraft Miracle Whip. But Miracle Whip isn’t real mayonnaise. It’s a synthetic emulsion that was marketed in the mid-1930s as an inexpensive alternative to mayonnaise. Now, I am a Best Foods kind of gal, but after tasting this “miracle whip,” I plan on running with it like a “devil in a blue dress.” There’s no stopping me. The sky is the limit, hell, I may even follow the lead of the French foodists, and whip aqauafaba into a fluffy meringue and fold it into chocolate ganache. For now, I’ll stick to mayonnaise and aioli. Here’s a standard mayonnaise base from a recipe inspired by the Peanut Butter & Vegan blog. You can keep it as is, or dress it up with some fresh herbs and capers. Note: I found that the aquafaba left a lingering undertone, which plain oil, vinegar, and lemon juice failed to disguise. So I modified the base with infused lemon oil, lemongrass-tarragon vinegar, and salt fusion from the pantry that gave it a light lemony flavor. And because it is so simple to make and keeps well in the refrigerator, I tossed my Best Food’s mayonnaise in favor of this one.
Recipe notes: What you will need: Immersion blender and tall container. Active prep time 5-minutes. Yields 1-cup. Difficulty level: Very easy
- 3-Tbsp aquafaba (chickpea brine)
- 1-Tbsp+1 1/2-tsp lemon tarragon infused vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 1/2-tsp lemon, ginger, garlic, pepper, salt fusion, or 1/4-tsp sea salt to taste. Note: salt fusions contain half the amount of salt by measure.
- 3/4-1-cup lemon infused oil or light vegetable oil
- In a tall container, add aquafaba and vinegar or lemon juice.
- Using an immersion blender, blend to combine, continue blending till liquid begins to foam.
- Slowly stream in oil until the mixture thickens and won’t take in any more oil.
- Season with salt & pepper
- Store in refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a month.