Believe it or not mayonnaise can be good for you! And no I'm not crazy. What's the catch? You have to make it yourself (that way you only put good stuff into it), but don't worry it's so easy (it seriously took me like 5-10 min to make) that you'll wonder what's taken you so long to try to make your own.
Why Did I Decide to Make my Own Mayonnaise?
I have been learning over the last year or so about why soy is bad for you and how vegetable (soybean) oil, canola oil (also mostly GMO), safflower, etc. are all bad oils for you. While some people will argue whether or not this is true, I doubt anyone will argue with the fact that olive oil is fantastic for you and most people don't get nearly enough. The only problem with olive oil is it is pretty fragile when exposed to heat and light (or in other words pretty unstable). So it's best not to cook with it (and if you do on only very low heat I use coconut oil and organic butter for most of my cooking and baking).
So if you don't want to use it in foods you cook with, what can you use it in? Well I thought about it for awhile and figured some easy ways would be in mayo, dressings, and spaghetti sauce. So after realizing this I looked at my organic marinara, salad dressing and mayo we had in the house. The number one oil ingredient? Canola or soybean oil, in all. What? Whoops. I figured next time I go shopping I had better look closely at the labels to find one with olive oil only. So I did (at my local health food store). The results were that you can find marinara sauce with only olive oil in it, but not salad dressings or mayo. Yes even the mayonnaise that's labeled olive oil has it usually listed almost last on the ingredients with canola or vegetable as one of the first. What?! Seriously?! Now I'm sure there is a brand somewhere in a store that defies this, but clearly if I couldn't find a single jar of mayonnaise or salad dressing in a health food store with only olive oil it's not easy to find. So I started thinking, hey maybe I can make my own. Boy am I glad I had this thought because it's so easy and I love knowing what's in my mayo and salad dressing now. I love that I don't have to go light on my mayo anymore, and feel good about having as much as I want now because it's just olive oil, water, vinegar, eggs, and lemon juice. I'm also excited to be able to cross another item off of my grocery list!
Tricks To Emulsify
I have so far made mayo twice and I have not had problems with it emulsifying (the oil and vinegar and water coming together) it, but I know this is a common problem even with people who have written cook books! I'm I just lucky or am I on to something here? I've done three things I think have helped me so far:
- Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl said everything needs to be at room temperature to help emulsify.
- I've also heard online that water helps. I tried this the 2nd time making it because all mayo in the stores have it. According to the NY Times this works.
- Make sure to add the oil slowly while blending.
- Don't over work it, once you achieve a good emulsion stop blending. According to the NY Times (who had a fantastic articles on mayo emulsions) most culinary schools teach students to whisk so they don't over work it. I used a blender and since it works I plan to stick with that unless I start having problems.
I based my recipe on The Clothes Make the Girl's recipe. I tried it just as written in my blender and it did emulsify but tasted strongly of lemons. I like lemons and all, but it's not the flavor I want in my mayo. So I was thinking about how I could alter the recipe to taste more like the mayonnaise I 'm use to. I noticed most Mayonnaise in the store always have lots of water and more vinegar than oil. So I substituted half the lemon juice with apple cider vinegar and added a little water. It worked! I felt like this batch tasted better and set up much thicker and faster.
1 organic egg
1 tablespoon of lemon juice at room temp
1 tablespoon of organic unfiltered cold processed apple cider vinegar (It's super good for you!)
1 tablespoon of filtered water
1/2 tsp dry mustard (optional or any other flavoring you want)
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 1/4 cup of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil at room temp (or until desired thickness)
1. Place the egg and lemon juice, vinegar, and water into a blender, bowl with a whisk, or food processor (I use a blender and make salad dressing or a mayo based sauce with what's left at the bottom of the blender). Let them come to room temperature together, add the dry mustard, salt, and 1/4 cup of the oil. Whirl until well mixed – about 20 to 30 seconds.
2. Slowly pour olive oil until it's to thick to mix anymore (about 1 cup) into the mixture while blending. To do this, you must pour very slowly… the skinniest drizzle you can manage and still have movement in the oil. This takes about three minutes or so. You should hear the pitch change as the liquid starts to form the emulsion. Eventually, the substance inside the blender will start to look like regular mayonnaise! Once it does you know your done. Use a spatula to spoon it into your container. I use a wide lid 1/2 pint jar and it always fits perfectly.