Ready for a healthier version of something you likely already have in your fridge? A creamy, cool condiment gets the makeover treatment. I’ve culled the web and done a lot of experimenting on your behalf to bring you The Best Homemade Mayonnaise (Ever). I didn’t just make this up on my own, but I will share the unique combination of ingredients and technique I used for the richest, creamiest, most-delicious mayonnaise you have ever tasted, without any of the less-than-desirable ingredients and additives you might find in store-bought stuff.
Well, hello! This is a greeting for the faithful few who are still reading this blog despite blatant neglect, and for any new readers! In fact, when I finally signed into WordPress to fire this blog up (I was pleasantly surprised to see it was still “live”), my statistics about page visits actually showed a SPIKE in visits in the period of time since my last post. Perhaps I’m better off NOT writing any new content?
Actually, it might have been my new friends from Whole30, looking for some Whole30 recipes and inspiration. They would have been sorely disappointed, as I don’t think that ANY of my current recipes fit the bill as far as being compliant with the requirements of the Whole30 program (I’ll explain more about what the program is and why I’ve been doing it in another post – hopefully you won’t have to wait months for me to draft it, either!). I have, however, been very good about documenting my meals on Instagram (and you would have noticed a dramatic decrease in the amount of baking, healthy, high-protein or otherwise, for the duration of the program, as baked goods are off-limits). It’s time to turn my blog around with my first-ever (but not last!) Whole30 (& Paleo) recipe!
Just like my homemade nut butters (cashew, macadamia nut and hazelnut), mayonnaise is not something I thought about making at home. I mean, why bother? It’s easily accessible at any grocery store (yes, even at the Costco here in Ulsan, South Korea). And it’s not considered the pinnacle of “health food” either, with its egg yolks and saturated fats. But since it turns out that saturated fats are NOT the harbingers of dietary doom they were once considered to be, this condiment can actually feature regularly in your meals. It’s even recommended to get a healthy serving of fats at each meal to trigger satiety signals and give you a steady stream of energy until your next meal – no blood-sugar crashes at 3pm that have you running for the vending machine. What you don’t want is any of the “junk” that shows up in many commercial versions of mayonnaise, such as soybean oil (you may or may not have heard the debate about soy – it gets singled out by Whole30 founders Melissa & Dallas Hartwig specifically for its estrogenic isoflavones and also as part of their overall Legume Manifesto), added sugar, and preservatives.
It starts with a high-quality oil. I will absolutely vouch for light-tasting olive oil (1 cup), recommended by just about every mayo food blogger. I also tried extra virgin olive oil (the “olive” flavour was just too overpowering) and high-oleic sunflower oil (mild-tasting, but the results were not as good as with the olive oil). You could also experiment with macadamia oil, avocado oil, or a mixture of any of the foregoing with a little bit of coconut oil (but don’t use 100% coconut oil, as it is in a solid state just at or below room temperature).
The magic of mayo (in my opinion), really comes from the eggs. So many recipes call for just one egg. I found out (through trial and error) that I really needed two medium eggs. I’ve really one seen one size egg in the stores in Korea. There are no cartons of large or extra-large or jumbo eggs. If you could get one of the latter, you might be able to get away with just one egg. Or just follow the recipe exactly and use 2 medium eggs!
That’s actually pretty much it for the recipe. Oil + eggs. The seasonings (mustard powder, sea salt & lemon juice) are just a bonus. Getting them to “emulsify” (come together in a homogeneous mixture when they normally don’t play well together) seemed like crazy kitchen wizardry, until I got a good tip. Never mind slowly pouring the oil into the mixture at an agonizing pace (I certainly don’t have the patience for that, but that’s not to say that I didn’t try). Never mind having all of your ingredients at room temperature (been there, done that). All you need is a good immersion blender (also called a stick blender). Put all of your ingredients EXCEPT the lemon juice (I don’t trust the acid to not mess up the emulsification process) in a tall, narrow container (if your blender came with a tall plastic jar, this works perfectly – a mason jar large enough to accommodate your blender also works). Once the eggs have settled to the bottom of the jar (here’s a good chance to do a physics/density lesson with your family or kids or roommates), insert the blender and press it all the way down so that it is pressed against the base of the container. Turn it on and HOLD IT STILL. Then watch the magic happen.
After AT LEAST 30 seconds have elapsed, you can slowly tilt the blender slightly to allow it to draw more oil down into the base of the jar. The whirring blades create a vortex that will naturally draw oil down and transform it from clear, thin oil to a rich and thick creamy white mayonnaise. You will need to slowly move and tilt the blender as you go, raising it slightly to get the final quantity of oil to blend in. Do NOT lift the blender out of the mayonnaise during the process. Once you’re done, then you can stir in a few tbsp. of lemon juice to add that little bit of zing that really makes mayo magical. Squeezing a fresh lemon is ideal but trust me when I say that bottled lemon juice also works just fine.
Ta-dah! Egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc. – here you come! You might even find yourself just putting dollops on raw or cooked vegetables or eating it straight off of the spoon! Hellmann’s, step aside. Homemade is here to stay.
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