As people become aware of the negatives of animal products on their health, the environment and especially the animals themselves, one of the best ways to transition to a plant-centric diet is to find foods that will more than replace some hard-to-give-up favourites. For my first Community Vegan product review, I bring to you the case for VEGENAISE by Earth Island.
I did not eat much mayo before becoming vegan so I found Vegenaise for the sake of a recipe (probably an artichoke appetizer). From the choice of five vegan varieties (Original, Grapeseed oil, Reduced Fat, Soy-free and Organic) I chose the Soy-free version mostly because I incorporate soy into my diet almost daily so sought some dietary balance. Before I go any further, I have to say I’m almost addicted to it now and, aside from perhaps the fat content, which like all mayo is pretty much 100% fat to calories (I go into detail on this with coaching services) it is not only a vegan product but it tastes better than regular mayonnaise and is nutritionally superior. And the fat is heart positive. Here’s the low down:
From Earth Island’s website:
Made with only the highest quality, non-GMO and expeller-pressed oils (extracted without chemical solvents), Vegenaise® is a heart-healthy, vegan spread that comes in five rich and satisfying varieties.
- Original Vegenaise® is made with non-GMO, expeller-pressed Canola oil, low in saturated fats and high in essential omega-3 fatty acids!
- Reduced Fat Vegenaise® contains half the fat and calories of regular mayonnaise without sacrificing any of the flavor. It’s made with high-oleic safflower oil, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, and heart-healthy olive oil.
- Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise® is a popular option made with expeller-pressed grapeseed oil, known to improve heart health by raising HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering LDL (bad cholesterol).
- Organic Vegenaise® is an organic mayonnaise alternative made entirely with USDA Certified Organic ingredients.
- Soy-Free Vegenaise® is a delicious soy-free mayonnaise substitute that is allergen free and made with high-oleic, expeller-pressed safflower oil, which is known to improve cholesterol levels and contains high levels of antioxidants.
I’ve now tried all the versions and still gravitate to the soy-free strictly based on taste but runner up would be the grapeseed oil. When you open the jar, there is no separation. The texture is creamy and smooth and stays this way through weeks of refrigeration (if one jar stays around that long!). The taste is perfectly savoury versus non-vegan mayo, which can have a sweet and/or sourness to it. It blends flawlessly with other flavours for dips, dressings, sandwich spread and so forth. A few dollops of srirracha with some lemon juice makes a perfect aioli or yam fry dip. You could just stop here and be happy! Price in the Vancouver area can vary widely with typical price at $7.99 but can go on sale. For example, I just purchased at Whole Foods for $5.49 this past weekend (April 2, 2017).
I appreciate these ethical and health conscious formulations, which for my coaching practice are most important when making food choices. The company also follows a socially responsible philosophy of environmental stewardship and giving back. Good on the palate and easy on the planet.