The Mayo clinic

Several of you have written in reference to a comment on one of Mike’s posts mentioning my mayonnaise recipe. I thought I’d post it here, instead of in the comments, since more people will be able to find it if it’s a blog. I don’t think you can search my comments…yet.

For those of you who may own one or more of our cookbooks, there is a good version of mayonnaise in the Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook and another, slightly easier version that shows up in both our 30-Day Low Carb Diet Solution book and in our Low Carb CookwoRx Cookbook.

Mayonnaise is nothing more than an emulsion of oil and water, and as such, is a delicious and healthy low-carb food, if made with good oil. Therein lies the problem for most commercial mayonnaise: they’re usually made with nasty soybean oil or canola oil, basically a trans fat slurry. Now and again, I can find a good olive oil mayonnaise in Whole Foods or Lazy Acres or some similar natural food grocery, but for the most part the stuff that’s sold on the standard grocery shelf is made with simply wretched oils. And if you’ve read our books, you know that one of the most important aspects of good nutrition is the quality (not the quantity) of the fat you put into your mouth.

Making mayonnaise may seem daunting, but it’s really simplicity itself. I’ll share my blender version, but a word of caution. Don’t use your good quality extra virgin olive oil for making mayonnaise. It will become bitter in the blender. I haven’t a clue why, but it happens quite regularly, so don’t waste your money or the good oil. Most of the time, I use a ‘Light’ Olive oil–I think it’s Bertoli, maybe–that I can pick up at the regular grocery store for making mayonnaise. Occasionally, I will make it with avocado oil or if I want a particular flavor, with a nut oil, such as walnut oil, but not for everyday mayo.

Here’s all you do:

Basic Blender Mayo
(Makes 16 Tablespoons)

1 raw egg yolk (pasteurized in the shell egg if available)
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juice only (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1 packet Splenda (optional, but gives it a slight sweetness like Miracle Whip)
3/4 to 1 cup light olive oil

1. Crack egg and put yolk only into the blender
2. Add the vinegar and salt and blend on low speed.
3. With the motor running, add all the remaining ingredients, except the oil.
4. With the motor still running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until it makes mayonnaise of the consistency you desire. Be careful not to add the oil too fast or add too much oil or you may break the emulsion and the mayonnaise will separate and clump.*
5. Store in the refrigerator in a clean jar (good use for store-bought mayonnaise) or a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to a week.

*Don’t despair if your mayonnaise breaks and don’t throw out the result. While, once broken, it will not likely ever thicken into a spreadable form, you can save it in a jar in the refrigerator and whisk herbs and garlic and a bit more salt into it to make a nice mayonnaise-based dressing, which demands a looser emulsion anyway.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “The Mayo clinic

  1. “Light” olive oil goes through considerable processing and is often lower quality at a premium price. For the health benefits and least processing please use an extra virgin. An oil from Liguria with Taggiasca olives will likely be the mildest in flavor. Please use a good quality oil for the best mayonnaise.

    COMMENT from MD EADES: If you’re going to use EVOO, then don’t use the blender. Use a wire whisk to make the emulsion. In the blender EVOO can turn bitter and it’s a waste of good oil.

  2. Thanks for the tip about light olive oil. And I’m with you on the nastiness of soybean and canola oil. But how can they create a “trans fat slurry?” Is either a trans fat unless they are hydrogenated? I’ve not seen hydrogenated oil as an ingredient in commercial mayo.

    COMMENT from MD EADES: Almost all of the vegetable, corn, soybean, and canola oils are partially hydrogenated to increase their shelf life. Even if it doesn’t say so on the label a great proportion of soybean oil is partially hydrogenated, which means it contains trans fats and thus the mayo created from it contains trans fats. Many manufacturers use label sleight of hand to be able to claim 0 trans fats per serving by making the serving size just small enough to be beneath the ‘legal limit’.

  3. OK, I dug out my low carb comfort foods cookbook,(I’m not a natural cook) and tried the basic recipe.
    My mother told me her mother made mayo with an electric mixer, so I tried that.
    I ended up with a gloopy, watery yellow mess!
    Is the blender essential?
    Why won’t it thicken? Should I be mixing it fast or slow?
    My cooking self esteem is very low right now.

    COMMENT from MD EADES: Let not your cooking heart be troubled. Everybody has had a broken emulsion, even the best chefs in the world. I use the blender because it beats at a constant speed (not too fast and not too slow) and I can use my free hand to drizzle the oil into the blender jar in a slow steady stream. That’s the key. Slowly drizzle to let the oil incorporate smoothly and emulsify. The emulsifying process is what allows the oil droplets to be suspended in the watery medium and the egg yolk and mustard (dried is what I usually use just a tad of) help to do that. The size of the egg matters and the freshness of the yolk, too. Don’t give up! Try again! And good luck!

  4. I’ve been concerned about mayonnaise for some time now and haven’t been able to find any with a decent oil in it, even at the health food store. I’m excited to try this now that I know it’s not as hard as I’d been expecting. I’m curious though, how long will this stay good in the refrigerator? And, will bottled lemon juice work, or should it be fresh? Thanks for the post!

    COMMENT from MDEADES: Bottled lemon juice will work. I generally don’t keep homemade mayo longer than about a week, but if you are careful to use yolks from eggs pasteurized in the shell you could perhaps extend that safely. I typically make it fresh for a purpose (say I’m making tuna or egg salad) and I then keep the rest tightly sealed for a week.

  5. This is a wonderful recipe! I used to use the blender to make mayo. A few weeks ago I read a comment in which the poster mentioned that she just put all the ingredients together in a wide mouth jar and used her blender stick. Amazingly it works and is a great time saver.

  6. I’ve recently gotten my mayo recipe down and love keeping it on hand. I don’t like artificial sugars (chemicals), so I use just a little bit of organic palm sugar. I also add a little whey to give it even more nutrients and it keeps a little longer this way, too.

    I use fresh eggs from a local farmer, not pasteurized, so all the nutrients are unheated and most beneficial.

    I love your advice to Jeanne – I had many flops in the beginning and wish I had seen this back then!

    Thanks,
    Kelly

  7. Just as an FYI one can search your comments by using the ‘Advanced search’ feature of Google and putting ‘http://www.proteinpower.com/drmd_blog/ in the ‘search within a site or domain field’.

  8. I agree with Luanne who wrote:
    “Light” olive oil goes through considerable processing and is often lower quality at a premium price.”

    I haven’t seen anything from Mary Enig on this but I suspect that this “light”ening of the olive oil damages it just as much as canola and soybean oils are damaged!

    Per WAPF suggestions I’ve been using expeller-pressed high-oleic safflower oil, and even then don’t eat much of it. Your comments will be appreciated.

  9. Another FYI, a broken emulsion can be healed. You’ll need to pour the broken emulsion into something you can easily pour from and wipe the blender clean, then put another egg yolk into the running blender with a wee tad more mustard; start to pour the broken emulsion back into the running blender very slowly. It should pull together and emulsify for you so nothing lost except a little time.

  10. After my second flop (this time with the blender) I appealed to a local cooking school here in Seattle. I offered to take a private Mayo lesson, so badly I wanted to learn this!
    One of their chefs kindly sent me Julia Child’s recipe and tips (the recipe is almost identical to MD’s) but what I learned was that the eggs needed to be at room temp, and the oil slightly heated.
    I did it, this time with a hand wisk, and achieved emulsion!
    I’m very proud of myself, right now!

    COMMENT from MD EADES: Congratulations!

  11. I tried to do mayo a few weeks ago with the good EVOO and it was pretty weird tasting. I wish I had found this before I’d done that… I would have gotten the light olive oil. Time to try again. Thanks!

  12. @Heidi: I’ve successfully kept homemade mayo for much longer than a week. I don’t have an exact record, but I know I’ve had it for at least a month. After a week had gone by, I always took a careful sniff before using. It still tasted great, right to the last smidge in the jar.

    Maybe it’s the oil or salt, combined with the low temperature in the fridge, that keeps it?

    I personally wouldn’t tempt the fates by pushing it much further than a month, though.

  13. I made the mayo today with grapeseed oil that I had lots of (not enough light OO…as I needed to triple the recipe, as I had 3 egg yolks remaining from a gluten free french bread recipe that I needed 3 egg whites for!!! LOL)
    The recipe turned out great,as the yolks were warm in the kitchen and the oil also in the sun to warm up.(suggestion above), also added a tsp of whey protein isolate(suggestion above also), and used my hand emersion blender(suggestion above also).

    Then I made Linda ranch dressing(low carb friends) as I neededa cup of mayo….it was absolutely tasty.
    So thanks for all the fabulous tips and the Ultimate MD Eades for the Mayo recipe.