Mayonnaise is a delicious condiment most people love to eat. It can be dressed up and used in sauces, as a sandwich spread, as base for dips and salad dressings, and in a mix for meats and fish (a yummy addition to meatloaf and salmon loaf.) You might be surprised at the innumerable and creative ways that mayo can be used in a non-edible fashion.
Using mayo as a face mask to soothe and soften one’s complexion has been around a long time. It is also used to relieve and moisten sunburn. It feels so good when applied cold. It is an old-style hair conditioner. Just apply, massage into the hair and scalp, and leave it in for five or 10 minutes, then shampoo it out. It can even help remove chewing gum from hair. (Not that any of us would ever need that!) By saturating a finger with mayo a “stuck” ring can slide right off!
Old wooden furniture can get a welcome moisturizing and rejuvenating “face lift” by applying the gift of mayonnaise. Just be sure to spot test the area first. Simply apply and allow to set for a few minutes, then wipe off and buff. By applying a little mayo to a squeaky hinge or to a bottle that needs stubborn residue removed. It also as been touted as an effective application to tar or sap on one’s car. Apply to the tar, let it sit for awhile, then wipe clean. (Again, spot test in a hidden area first.)
Mayo as a condiment is highly perishable. It has been a modern convenience for many of us that has taken some unfortunate wrong turns in the manufacturing process. Unnecessary sugar can often be found to be added to mayonnaise, cheaper and very unhealthy oils have been substituted for the nutritious oils once used, and the method for preserving mayo has drastically changed.
In light of these things, take heed before you go and purchase a jar of commercial mayonnaise because all commercial mayonnaise is now cold pasteurized. Cold pasteurization is a method of sterilizing mayonnaise because raw eggs, a necessary ingredient in mayonnaise, cannot be allowed to set out on shelves at room temperature for months without going dangerously bad. Sounds great, yes? Well, no. Unfortunately, cold pasteurization (also known as HPP or High-Pressure Processing, or irradiation) is a modern method of preserving food that uses extremely high amounts of pressure.
While there is great publicity about the “wonders” of this technique, there are also problems with the outcomes that are beyond the scope of this blog and what the industry is willing to admit. Thoughtful consideration should be given to the nutritional devaluation of food caused by cold pasteurization, toxic radiolytic byproducts in addition to benzene resulting from the pressure, changes in the chemical composition of food, and contamination by toxic waste products from bacteria that remain unchanged throughout the irradiation process, along with the possibility of rapid re-contamination of food due to its sterilization.
The primary ingredient(s) in commercial mayonnaise are canola (rapeseed) and soybean oils both of which are mutagenic. Soy interferes with the bioavailability of nutrients and inhibits the function of enzymes.
Simply stated, enzymes have the important function of breaking down proteins into small enough bits that the body can assimilate them. This kind of interference in digestion can cause many negative malnutrative effects such as cognitive impairment (250% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s), brain shrinkage and premature deterioration (think dementia), increased production of steroidal hormones and estrogen mimicking compounds (beyond what the body requires and not the same as the body makes), early puberty in girls and delayed puberty in boys (from said hormone disruption), menstrual difficulties in women and “permanent” PMS, and a myriad of other negative effects.
On the positive side, when homemade using your own select ingredients, mayonnaise can be a source of healthy fat intake when used in moderation! It is incorporated into many summer recipes such as dips, sauces, salad dressings, and is an absolutely delicious additions to one’s table.
Fast ‘N Snappy!
My favorite way to make mayo is by dirtying the least amount of dishes in the quickest amount of time. That means I like to make my mayo in the same container that I store it in. Therefore, my container of choice is a wide-mouthed pint mason jar.
Here are the tools you will need to get started:
- 1 pint-sized wide-mouthed canning jar and lid
- A stick/immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender/Vita-mix/etc. I have been told that you can hand whip mayo but that it takes much longer to set up. That doesn’t jive with my “quickest amount of time” requirement so let us move right along…
- A rubber spatula
The Mayo-Maker’s Secret
The key to making mayonnaise is to allow all the ingredients to sit out until they become room temperature. If you add room temperature oil to cold eggs you would be the lucky one to get a proper emulsion. Here are the basic ingredients you will need: (Feel free to cut the recipe in half to suit your needs.)
Basic Recipe –
- 2 Raw Eggs
- 1 Tsp Water
- ½ Tsp Sea Salt
- 2-3 Tsps Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice, or White Wine Vinegar
- 2+/- Cups Oil
About the eggs. Farm fresh eggs are a great selection and carry little to no risk of contamination. Simply wash the shell prior to using and allow to sit out on the counter-top until they are completely room temperature. Also, for safety’s sake do not ever use an egg with a crack in it.
A Word About Oils
The oil you select will directly affect the flavor of your mayonnaise. Extra virgin olive oil has a very strong flavor and will work, however, many folks do not like in their mayo. I find that I enjoy extra-virgin olive oil-based mayo better when I add more pungent spices like garlic, paprika, and horseradish.
“Safflower, corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed and canola oils should never be used in your mayonnaise. They are highly polyunsaturated, omega-6s that go rancid quickly (many are rancid by the time you buy them, but [you] cannot smell the rancidity because they’ve been perfumed), and increase your inflammation index.”
Peanut oil, sesame seed oil, and grapeseed oil can be used. Macadamia nut oil is “da bomb” from what I hear and avocado oil is another option, but presents a flavor with its own unique taste that not all will find suitable. A combination of oils can also be used. This is handy to know should you run out of your favorite go to oil. Additionally, coconut oil can be used, but it must be liquefied to become an emulsion and it might be wise to begin with a second oil before adding the coconut oil as it is high in saturated fats.
Spices I like to add to the basic recipe above –
- ¼ Tsp Garlic
- ¼ Tsp Paprika
- ½-1 Tsp Dill
Mayonnaise is delicious served plain or one can flavor it any way they like. For a yummy twist add fresh or dried herbs. Parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, ground mustard, Dijon mustard, etc. Experiment to find the combination that you like best.
The Mayonnaise “Trick”
Add a teaspoon of water to the egg yolks before adding the oil because “A little water physically broadens the space between fat droplets, helping them stay separate,”…“If the oil droplets don’t stay distinct from one another and evenly dispersed in the oil, the mayonnaise will break.” says Tucker Bunch, a chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America.
Putting it all Together
Step #1 – **This is the most important step**
Everything must start out at room temperature. To emulsify properly the oil and the eggs must be the same temperature.
Step #2 –
Crack the eggs and put the egg yolks (reserving the whites for the next step) and water into the canning jar. Blend them together until frothy.
Step #3 –
Add the egg whites, salt, lemon juice or vinegar, and your choice of spices.
Step #4 –
Next, pour a thin layer of oil into the jar. About ¼ cup of oil ought to do it, that will be about 1/4 inch of oil floating on top. You don’t need a measuring cup, a guesstimate works fine. Then re-insert the stick blender and pulse a number of times until the oil is incorporated into the egg mixture.
Step #5 – **Now take your time**
This is where you slow down and forget about your time constraints. While processing, gradually add the oil in a thin, SLOW, steady stream until the mayo thickens (takes approximately 1 cup oil per egg.)
Helpful Hint: A grippy shelf liner works well to hold the canning jar. I run the stick blender with my left hand and pour the oil with my right hand. I am careful and take my time during this step. Of course, this would not be an issue with a traditional blender, but it is my preferred method. If you happen have someone wandering about the house with nothing to do, have them reach over and hold the jar steady.
Step #6 –
Clean off the rim of the jar if there is any food on it and then screw on the lid. If you are using a blender or food processor you will need to use a spatula to spoon your mayo into a suitable container. Then refrigerate.
As long as the mayonnaise remains refrigerated it is good for approximately 3-5 days. Enjoy!
What if it Flops?
Wait! Don’t throw it out! If it is runny, use it so make salad dressing by adding more vinegar and additional seasonings. Another option would be to stir in some sour cream and turn it into a veggie dip. You might even pour it into a delicious homemade soup or casserole. You still have time to refrigerate it and devise a plan. Then try again…
Have you made homemade mayonnaise? How did it turn out? Did you try this recipe? What is your favorite oil? Share your thoughts below …and make it better!