Homemade Mayonnaise

Here’s a fun fact! According to the Oxford Dictionary, the origin of the word mayonnaise is French, probably from the feminine of mahonnais ‘of or from Port Mahon’, the capital of Minorca. Wherever it came from, I’m just pretty darn happy that it exists. Mayonnaise is truly a delicious food.

While store bought varieties are convenient (and some are quite tasty), I’ve always enjoyed the satisfaction of making my own. Besides being super simple to make, I know what goes in it. You can use a number of healthful oils to make your mayo. Olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, ghee, and even bacon fat. They all work well. Extra virgin olive oil usually imparts too strong a flavour in the mayo, which is why it’s usually recommended you use a regular or light olive oil.

I don’t recommend using oils like vegetable, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower and safflower. These oils are highly processed, unstable and oxidize easily by light, air or heat. This is due to their polyunsaturated fatty acid content (omega 6 linoleic acid). These fatty acids are very unstable and when consumed in high amounts, can create an imbalance that can interfere with the production of important prostaglandins. This can result in inflammation and depressed immune function, to name a few. The other oils that I mentioned above that you can use to make mayo are higher in monounsaturated fats and much more health promoting for you and your family.

This recipe is for a basic mayonnaise, but the beauty of this sauce is that it’s a great base for a lot of other delicious sauces. Try adding any of the following to create a tasty sauce to compliment your dish: crushed garlic, fresh or dried herbs (dill is my favourite), curry powder, chopped chillies or peppers, mustard, tomatoes, mushroom powder or pesto.

*Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature*

Homemade Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks (room temperature)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (optional)
1 1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Whisk method: (This method is a workout and the longest way to make mayo. If you have a blender or emersion blender, skip the whisk method and read on..unless, of course, you love the challenge.) In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, sea salt and mustard. While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle the oil a few drops at a time at first to emulsify the yolks and oil and then slowly pour a thin steady stream of oil until you have a nice thick and creamy mayo.

Blender method: Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, water, mustard and sea salt into blender (I use a Vitamix). Blend ingredients at the lowest setting, then slowly drizzle the oil, making sure to keep a very thin stream.

Emersion blender method: This is the quickest way to make mayo. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, water, mustard and sea salt into a large blender cup or large mason jar. Then add the oil. Place the immersion blender at the bottom of the cup and pulse. As it emulsifies, lift and tilt the head of the immersion blender to blend ingredients evenly.

Store your mayonnaise in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a week or two.

Everyone has different tastes, so experiment with the oils and see which one you like the best. Try different blends of oils, too, like avocado with olive oil or macadamia nut oil.

**Sometimes a mayonnaise will ‘split’ or separate, which is breaking the emulsion between the egg and the oil. To fix this you can add an egg yolk to a bowl and whisk in your split mayo. The new yolk will emulsify with the split mayo and you’ll have some beautiful mayonnaise to enjoy.


Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enid, PhD, The Skinny on Fats, Too Much Omega-6, The Weston A. Price Foundation website Retrieved June 14, 2015 from http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-skinny-on-fats/

About Katherine Mossop

Katherine Mossop is a Toronto based Holistic Nutritionist with a passion for helping others enjoy real food in a processed world. She is dedicated to educating and guiding others to find their own path of health and vitality by enjoying real whole foods.

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