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Chickpea water: the secret to making a good vegan mayo?

Rubies in the Rubble tap into meat-free and food waste for a doubly delicious new product.

11 January 2018
food wastewhole foodsingredientsveganNPD

Talk about hitting the jackpot. The new chipotle mayo from UK company Rubies in the Rubble is winning with two very hot trends right now. Not only does it tap into the growing vegan market, but it also has a social conscience, seeing as it’s made from food waste.

Specifically, it’s made with aquafaba, which, when translated from Latin, means bean water. It turns out that it’s been a mistake tipping the slimy brine down the drain, because it mimics the effect of egg whites, allowing it to foam, bind, thicken and emulsify. 

Rubies’ chipotle mayo is made with chickpea water whipped up with rapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, sundried tomato, chipotle chilli, salt, lemon juice and potato starch. The Mexican-style mayo, as well as a plain version that includes a dash of Dijon mustard, are now available in Whole Foods (£3.50). The company says its inventions have all the satisfying creaminess and sultry texture of normal mayo and are allergen free too.

The product will also adorn Honest Burger's new vegan offering and feature at plant-based restaurant Ethos in Oxford Circus.

Sustainable substitute

So where did the idea come from to use, erm, bean juice? When Rubies in the Rubble first heard of it, they thought aquafaba sounded like a water-wielding superhero or some kind of suspect processed food from the 1980s. Instead, they discovered it was far more valuable.

Co-founder Jenny Costa said the team was intrigued by a vegan food blogger who was using aquafaba to make gorgeous meringues. With mayo a much missed condiment in their collection, the strange-sounding ingredient presented an opportunity take the widely used staple to vegans, but also non-vegans who were looking for sustainably made food.

Costa sources the chickpea water from hummus manufacturers, who chuck away gallons when making the dip.

It’s also key to Costa’s ethos. She is on a mission to prevent food waste and raise awareness about the food supply chain, one jar at a time. Rubies in the Rubble already uses wonky and ugly fruit and vegetables to make chutneys, relishes with flavours like chili and pink onion, and ketchups, including one produced with banana. Last year, they saved 198 tonnes of unwanted produce.

Amazing aquafaba

Turns out aquafaba isn’t just for sweet treats, but can also be used as a binder in savoury foods too.

On Instagram, there are almost 35,000 posts with the hashtag aquafaba and a lot of delicious-looking food: everything from French toast, waffles, chocolate mousse and doughnuts to pies, burgers and ‘egg’ noodles. The Vegan Society even has 20 amazing things you can do with aquafaba on its website.

Three tablespoons of the liquid are around the equivalent of one egg. But while chickpeas are high in protein, a study of aquafaba found the levels were too low to be recorded on a nutritional label.

Watch this space though: Rubies in Rubbles is busy in the kitchen concocting some baking recipes for its prize discovery.

The company’s bid for world condiment domination, until now, was severely hampered by a conspicuous cavity in its kingdom. With this new mayonnaise, it can continue on the path towards capturing that crown, chickpea water in tow.

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