Saturday, February 04, 2012

The glory of homemade mayonnaise

There are two things I prepare weekly to plan ahead, now that I've committed to eating (more or less) Paleo regularly:  6 hardboiled eggs and homemade mayonnaise.  It sounds crazy, right?  I mean, grocery stores sell HUGE jars of mayo that will last months.

Whole30 advocated making your own mayo so you could use high quality oil and avoid all the mysterious ingredients you find in storebought mayo.  (Stabilizers, emulsifiers, preservatives, sugar, etc etc.)  At first it seemed like a lot of hassle, but once you get it down, it's pretty easy.

But the HUGE payoff was the taste.  *That's* why I continue to make it.  It's so much better - creamy, light, and fluffy.  It makes a mean tuna salad, and I'm usually not a tuna salad kind of person.  It tastes amazing by itself on a baked sweet potato.  In short, it makes eating Paleo a heck of a lot easier.

staring down the barrel of the blender

Shalini says brown people don't like mayo, and totally dissed homemade.  To that I say BOO!  I'm brown and I love me some homemade mayo.  :)

The recipe I use is from Melissa Joulwan's site (also included in her excellent Paleo cookbook Well Fed.)  So far I've made it four times, and only had it fail once.  But when it failed it was EPIC. Nasty looking and all separated.  She says you can still use it, if you stir vigorously, but it was just too gross, so I threw that batch out.  Life is too short and the ingredients too cheap.

Getting the egg-oil emulsion just right is a bit tricky but not as delicate as you might think.  Problem is, if the emulsion breaks, you can't go back, so it's both stressful and rewarding to get it right.

Here are some additional tips, besides the excellent ones on the recipe:
  • I've made it successfully with light olive oil as recommended, grapeseed oil, and even canola oil from Costco (I know, a Whole30 no-no but we had a ton of it in the house)

  • It's pretty lemony, so use less (or no) lemon juice if you prefer.  Also be careful with the salt - I find that using less works better for me.  **Note:  Melissa (Queen of Mayo, *squee*!) left me a comment indicating that you need some acid to help the emulsion along, so you can sub apple cider vinegar instead.

  • Meyer lemons make it a nice bright yellow, and provide a slightly different taste (YUM!)

  • If you have a crappy blender like mine ($30 Target Osterizer), the blender will have a hard time mixing it once the magic emulsion happens.  Have patience and DO NOT crank the blender to top speed - this is what ruined my last batch.   I use it on medium to medium high speed, but once the emulsion forms, I DO NOT change it.

  • You may have a bit of oil that doesn't get incorporated.  That's fine.  Better to stop there than try to get it all in, and have it FAIL.  I find that just tipping the blender slightly will help the oil get down to the blades and get incorporated.  Don't shake vigorously or bad things will happen.

  • This is good for more than the normal applications for mayo.  You can also use it as a base for salad dressings and sauces, too - Melissa's site has tons of options.

I know there are a bunch of you out there reading this skeptically, like it's way too much work for just *mayo*.  But if you typically like mayonnaise, try this just once, and experience the bliss.  You may never go back.


  1. YAY! Glad you're loving the mayo.

    If you don't want the lemony taste, you can replace the lemon juice with the same amount of cider vinegar. I wouldn't recommend skipping the acid, however, because it helps with the emulsion.

    Happy cooking! And enjoy paleo eating!

  2. My father used to make mayo. DH tried once but never quite made it. We don't use mayo much anyway (I dislike tuna salad, for example).

  3. Mayo is one thing I haven't made for myself, mainly because I just don't eat much of it. But I really should try it. *adding to the to-do list* I'll let you know what we think.

  4. Gack! Gack! :) (OK, one of my boys loooooves mayonnaise, so I am probably wrong about this. But still. Gack!)

  5. @Melicious - Thanks for dropping by (swoon) and for your helpful tip. I have amended the post appropriately.

    @nicoleandmaggie - it's worth a try because the homemade is SO much better. It makes a mean egg salad too. And likely pasta salad though I'm not allowed to eat pasta anymore (sniff).

    @Di - I look forward to hearing about your experiment.

    @Shalini - your son will convert you, I'm sure... ;)

  6. Rock on with your bad self. Making mayo....that's awesome. I haven't had mayo in awhile now and love the idea of making it from scratch. I'm filing this recipe away for future use.

  7. @Jenn - it's so worth it. And likely healthier than storebought since it's just egg, healthy oil, salt and lemon juice.

  8. I still need to try this! Thanks for sharing it for my citrus event.=)

  9. Adding a lemon taste in to the mayonnaise sounds like a lot of fun. I've never made homemade mayonnaise, but I've been wanting to give it a try.

  10. I've been wanting to try homemade mayo for a long time, but am a little nervous about the whole emulsifying process....need to give it a try!

  11. Such a cute post. I made homemade mayonnaise for the first time a few months ago when we ran out and I needed some for something I was making. I am pretty sure it was Martha Stewart's recipe and it was so tasty. Yours looks very good and I like the idea of adding the meyer lemon for a more yellow color. You have inspired me to make it again because it is so good when it is fresh and you know what ingredients are in it.

  12. Mmm! Used to make my own mayo too! Nothing beats it! Looks marvelous, especially in the blender.....wonderful creative submission.

  13. Thanks everyone for coming over from Di's blog carnival thingy :)

    I forgot to mention also, that the mayo will last a week longer than the expiration date on your eggs. So far I haven't had any bad luck (if the mayo even makes it that long!!).


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