Monday, October 8, 2012

My healthier version of a kitchen staple

I'm not a big mayonnaise fan, but on occasion I have need for it in a recipe and the men in our home love it slathered on sandwiches, burgers and french fries.  It was easy to feel a little disappointed when I needed some yesterday for some artichoke dip...and lo, the container was empty.  That's okay!  We had intentions of abandoning the store bought mayo in lieu of something without the soybean and hydrogenated oils.  This was our chance.

If you've ever tried vegenaise, you'll understand why I made it a mission to find an alternative.  The other requirement was that it had to delight the discriminating taste buds of my husband who is, and always has been a mayo and ketchup snob.  Many years ago, I tried to sneak generic into the leading national brand's empty jar but he knew right away.

Mayonnaise can be a little tricky to make. As if it's not enough to have just the correct blend of flavors to match that of the national brand, texture is very, very important.  I did attempt to make mayonnaise some years ago, but it had a very runny texture and BOO! I used canola oil.  Back in the day, canola oil was considered healthy.  Now I know better.  Before we get to the secret recipe, let me explain a bit on why canola oil is NOT a good choice: most of the rapeseed from which canola oil is derived is genetically modified.  That's a different hot button for me and a post for another day.  Secondly, canola very easily goes rancid in processing.  Rancid oils are high in Omega 6 fats, which are inflammatory.  That also is another post.  I suppose I'll be busy posting this month...

For the recipe, you'll need the following ingredients:

1 whole organic egg (free range if you are so fortunate to find them!)
2 organic egg yolks
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 Tablespoon FRESH lemon juice
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I used Braggs, but use what you have)
1/2 teaspoon salt (we use Celtic sea salt or RealSalt, not processed and iodized)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
3/4 cup organic coconut oil, gently melted to liquid form
1/4 cup avocado oil, preferably cold pressed

Place eggs, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor on LOW for a few seconds.  This will vary with the power of your blender.

Next is the trick that will make or break your efforts...

With blender running on LOW speed, start adding the oils very, very slowly beginning with a few drops at time and over the course of several minutes pouring only a thread-thin stream of oil at a time.  Take a break if you need to.  Several minutes feels like forever when holding a heavy glass measuring cup higher than your shoulders, but trust me, you do NOT want to rush this step or your mayonnaise will fail!  This step is critically important to give the oils time to emulsify and blend with the other ingredients.  You will see the mayonnaise thicken as the oils blend in.  Voila! You have a healthy mayonnaise that can replace one of the most dangerously unhealthy foods in your refrigerator!

Disclaimer: Mayonnaise preference is highly personal.  Some people like Hellman's (Best Foods), some people prefer Miracle Whip, some can use generic without issue.  This mayonnaise recipe was created to most closely resemble the first listed.  With that said, some people simply don't like the taste of olive oil (I'm one of those people!) and this recipe has a very faint taste of olive oil.  There are milder olive oils  available, and one that was suggested by my WAPF nutrition group is Napa Valley Naturals EVOO.  If the taste of olive oil absolutely repulses you, you may substitute that portion with an organic sunflower oil.  As usual, I improvised with what I had available.

Also, know the source of your eggs.  Much has been in the media about the occurrence of salmonella and food borne pathogens in eggs.  I remember when Rocky Balboa put RAW eggs in his protein drink.  I even have a 1980's recipe that calls for raw eggs in homemade egg nog!  As our food supply becomes more and more industrialized, its safety declines due to the farming practices and mass production.  I have no hesitation in using FARM FRESH or organic raw eggs for this recipe when I know the source.

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