Ditch the unhealthy store bought varieties and whip up this rich, tasty and healthy avocado oil mayonnaise in seconds. Use it in dips, sauces and dressings.
Very few people dislike mayonnaise. The smooth, velvety texture and sheer elegance that quality mayo imparts to sandwiches, salads, sauces and meals are unrivalled in global cuisines and there are so many flavours you can play with when making your own homemade varieties.
One of the most loved condiments, its luscious, but slightly sour taste makes it an ideal base for dressings, dips and sauces, as well as a flavour enhancer for sandwiches and salads. This is the reason practically every kitchen won’t do without it.
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An emulsion is a mixture of two liquids which that normally do not combine well together. Emulsifying is achieved by slowly adding the one ingredient to the other very slowly while mixing it rapidly. This causes a dispersion and suspends the droplets of the one liquid through the second one.
Mayonnaise abbreviated as ‘mayo’ is a thick, creamy dressing used as a condiment. A stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk, and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Proteins and lecithin in the egg yolk serve as emulsifiers in both mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce.
Varying in colour it is often white or ivory or yellow and ranges in textures. French influence adds mustard as a flavour, which acts as an additional emulsifier.
History of Mayonnaise
It was only in the 19th century that the word “mayonnaise” was used to describe the sauce we all know today. The earliest reference appears to be by Alexandre Viard (1806), who never gives a recipe for the dressing itself in this time period the dressing was made with aspic or jelly, not an egg emulsion.
In 1808, Grimod de La Reynière referred to a “bayonnaise” sauce which in his words “forms the most worthy ornament of poultry and fish salads.”
“In 1815, Louis Eustache Ude wrote: Take three spoonfuls of Allemande, six ditto of aspic, and two of oil. Add a little tarragon vinegar, that has not boiled, some pepper and salt, and minced ravigotte, or merely some parsley. Then put in the members of fowl, or fillets of soles. Your mayonnaise must be put to ice; neither are you to put the members into your sauce till it begins to freeze. Next dish your meat or fish, mask with the sauce before it be quite frozen, and garnish your dish with whatever you think proper, as beet root, jelly, nasturtiums.” (Wikipedia, Mayonnaise )
Not quite the mayonnaise we know today but definitely one of the many original sources of our modern day variety.
In another 1820 reference, Viard references our more modern day emulsification. He instructs the reader to “take” the sauce in many ways gelatine, raw egg yolk, veal or veal brain glaze and to serve it white or green adding spinach or ravigote (a mixture of chopped chervil, chives, tarragon, and shallots).
Origins based on hearsay
One of the many tales of the actual origins of mayonnaise is that it originated in Spain in the town of Mahón in Menorca. After France’s victory over the British in the port of Menorca, it was introduced to the French who took the culinary knowledge back home with them. Originally known as “salsa mayonesa” and later “maionesa” in Catalan, becoming known as “mayonnaise” during its popular growth amongst the French gastronomists.
The French then argue that the origins are purely Franco cuisine the French word “moyeu” meaning yolk of egg and called “mayennaise” after The Duke of Mayenne, who slowly ate his chicken with the cold sauce before he was defeated in The Battle of Arques.
Trutter et al, perceived that wherever olive oil existed that a simple mixture of oil and egg was inevitable, especially in the Mediterranean areas where alioli (oil and garlic) is made.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term mayonnaise was referred to in English as early as 1823 in the journal of Lady Blessington.
The French globalised the popularity of the sauce. Starting in the very early 19th century, the word mayonnaise (or magnonnaise) began to appear in German and British cookbooks dedicated to French cuisine. Talk of mayo quickly made its way to the United States, often on the lips of migrating French chefs, such that by 1838 the gourmet eatery Delmonico’s in Manhattan was offering both a mayonnaise of lobster and a chicken mayonnaise.
The salad provided the initial beachhead for mayo’s colonisation of American cuisine. Beginning in the late 19th century, elite eaters went bonkers for mayo-drenched potato salads, tomato salads, and Waldorf salads, an elegant mélange of apple, celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise. The sauce was terrific for disguising flaws in vegetables, and its superior binding capacity made it a natural for sandwiches—mayo’s second great platform—which took off as a brown-bag lunch staple following the invention of the mechanical bread slicer in the 1920s.
By 1923, the great white condiment’s star was rising so fast that President Calvin Coolidge was inspired to tell the press that the one treat he simply could not do without was his Aunt Mary’s heavenly homemade mayonnaise.
The President’s nostalgia for his aunt’s luscious sauce was a reflection of broad changes that were afoot in the American food production system. Handmade mayonnaise was fast becoming quaint. Spurred by the condiment’s popular momentum and the spread of refrigeration, hundreds of industrial manufacturers flooded the packaged mayo market. Hellmann’s, a New York City brand with fat jars that could accommodate giant spoons, came to dominate the sector.
Mayonnaise is mostly fat; homemade versions contain up to 85% fat and commercially produced mayonnaise has about 70-80% fat. Most of the fat in homemade variants is unsaturated, the so-called good fat, because the edible oils used come from plant sources.
The two main ingredients, eggs and edible oils from plant sources, contain a great amount of vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin. The antioxidant profile of this condiment might just help decrease the risk of strokes, according to a study conducted on post-menopausal women.
The high-fat content aids in nutrient absorption. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble, meaning, these nutrients need fat for them to be dissolved. Eating mayonnaise in moderation then ensures that the fat-soluble nutrients you take in daily through your diet do not get wasted and are absorbed efficiently by your body.
Mayonnaise has a notoriously high fat content. A commercially produced version of this condiment has about 70% to 80% of fat. The most common edible oil used is soybean oil, which has most likely been extracted from genetically modified soybeans.
The typical mayonnaise is considered high in calories, with every tablespoon containing approximately 100 calories. Commercially produced condiments have a very high sodium content with every tablespoon containing as much as 80mg. Putting two tablespoons of mayonnaise into your favourite sandwich easily doubles its calorie, sodium, and fat contents.
Mayonnaise’s Practical Uses.
Homemade mayonnaise will always be superior in terms of quality, taste and nutrition. You are selecting healthier, edible oils and you are avoiding food preservatives and chemical additives that are present in commercially produced versions.
Making your own mayonnaise guarantees a fresh condiment every time and you can flavour it according to the meal, salad or sandwich you are making.
Olive oil is the most popular additive to homemade mayonnaise. However, there is a smorgasbord of exceptionally healthy, tasty oils you can play with in your own kitchen and according to your tastes.
I am never inclined to be sparing with my helpings of mayonnaise, I indulge in it whenever the desire grips me. As a homemade, healthy alternative to the store-bought versions, I know I have fresh health boosting ingredients and quality in my own condiment.
Interesting Facts About Mayonnaise.
- Mayonnaise has a thermodynamic instability and cannot be frozen. Freezing of the water phase in mayonnaise is catastrophic to the stability and shelf-life of the entire product. (Wikipedia, Mayonnaise, Freezing Mayonnaise )
- Industrial mayo does not spoil if it is not refrigerated. Commercial mayonnaise is so filled with acid and preservatives that it actually extends the life of salads by killing bacteria. The eggs used in prepared mayonnaise are pasteurised as well.
- Tartar sauce is mayonnaise spiced with pickled cucumbers and onion.
- Thousand Island dressing is tomato sauce, pickle relish, assorted herbs and spices mixed into a mayonnaise base.
- Ranch dressing is made of buttermilk, mayonnaise, and minced green onion.
- In the Netherlands, Canada, and Belgium mayonnaise, not tomato sauce, is the condiment of choice for chips.
The secret is in the oil
The fats used in mayo are the most critical ingredient so I’m sure you are wondering which oils are the best ones to select?
If you are making your own mayo for the first time, you can use sunflower oil as this will give the closest consistency and taste to commercial mayo.
However, sunflower oil is a high omega 6 oil and if you are still in the process of transitioning off processed foods, a lower omega 6 oil is probably a better choice. Processed foods are loaded with rancid omega 6 oils which encourage the development of inflammation.
To cut down your omega 6 intake, sesame oil is a good choice for mayo as it is higher in oleic acid (monounsaturated, omega 9 fat) and lower in omega 6 fats (polyunsaturated fat) than sunflower and vegetable oils.
Oleic acid is the healthy fat found in great quantity in olive oil.
Some people like to use a high oleic sunflower oil. These are hybrid sunflowers that have been modified to produce more oleic acid (monounsaturated fat). It’s a commercially produced oil so I don’t really consider it a health food, however, it’s fatty acid profile is similar to olive oil.
Olive oil has the highest oleic content, so I’m sure you are asking why not make it simple and just use olive oil.
Olive oil is the most popular oil that everyone uses as a staple ingredient to their homemade mayonnaise mixtures. However, extra virgin olive oil is very dense and strong rich taste which most people find too intense for their mayo’s. It is better to use a light olive oil.
Another very healthy alternative is to mix the oils in half or even thirds. So if your recipe calls for 1 cup of olive oil, halve it with any of the other oils, or have some fun in your flavouring and add three parts of three different oils.
You can choose any of the healthy oils to add to your sauce, mix it up, play with flavours, add more, add less.
Sesame oil, macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, ghee, coconut oil, grape seed oil, bacon fat, truffle oil.
I have even seen some recipes which replace the oil with mascarpone, yoghurt and crème fraiche. I haven’t tried them yet but I do find the suggestions very interesting.
Flavours of Mayonnaise
The most exciting part of making my own mayonnaise is the flavours. I can mix and match and complement any dish I like with an explosion of flavour just in one simple mayonnaise.
The oils we have discussed already add flavour to your condiment. Now let’s find out what else can make an interesting concoction.
The vinegars are next and depending on your taste buds you can go sweet, sour or bitter.
These are some ideas to inspire you but you can go wild with all sorts of choices.
Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, basil vinegar, balsamic vinegar and distilled vinegar.
Other ingredient ideas to fill your mayo with flavour:
Mustard, chillies, ground salt and pepper, garlic, chipotle ground pepper, chopped bacon, sardines, cayenne pepper and stevia.
Another option is to use different eggs in your recipe maybe duck eggs, quails eggs or even an extraordinarily large Ostrich egg.
Mayonnaise with Bacteria
Lacto-fermentation is the process of introducing healthy bacteria and probiotics into foods and then letting them naturally ferment. Consuming fermented foods regularly is known to keep the immune system healthy. There are two methods of lacto-fermentation, one uses whey (normally a liquid whey) and the other uses salt.
Make your mayonnaise with whey. Let it stand at room temperature for 7 – 12 hours and then refrigerate.
Homemade mayonnaise does not last as long as store-bought brands as it does not contain all the unhealthy chemicals and preservatives we are trying to avoid.
3 -4 days is probably the entire lifespan of a natural mayo. This is one of the reasons why we make it in smaller batches. I find it is also an easier way to play with flavours, so if you detest the result of your experiment, it isn’t a big waste if you really have to throw it away.
Lacto-fermented mayo will last about 6-8 weeks or longer, in all probability it will be finished before it does turn bad.
How to use mayonnaise
Since mayo is probably a staple in your home already, no one really needs to tell you what to use it for. Sometimes it is interesting to see new ideas and culinary twists of the very usual food stuff.
- Potato salad: For those who like nuts in the potato salad, make the mayo with macadamia nut oil, instead of adding nuts.
- Lobster rolls, nothing like seafood slathered in mayonnaise.
- BLT sandwiches, bagels, and every other bread accompaniment you can think of.
- Coleslaws with mustard mayo are awesome.
- Devilled eggs with truffle oil mayonnaise.
- Grilled cheese with chilli mayo.
- Mayonnaise cakes including chocolate cake.
- Sushi and hand rolls.
- Tuna avo and bacon salad.
- All types of gorgeous delectable salads.
- Stuffed burgers with flavoured mayo and bacon or avo.
- Dips with potato skins or sweet potato skins.
- Roasted veggies curried with lime and a mayo dip.
- Sauce filling for shwarmas.
- Spread it on corn
- Nachos, this delectable Avocado Oil Mayonaise as an alternative or combination with guacamole is simply irresistible.
Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
Author: Michelle Minnaar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1.25ml (¼ tsp) salt
- 1.25ml (¼ tsp) Dijon mustard
- 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
- 15ml (1 tbsp) white wine vinegar
- 250ml (1 cup) avocado oil
- Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and mustard in a food processor and blend until combined and thickened.
- While the food processor is running, slowly pour in a thin stream of oil. The mixture should start thickening immediately. The mayonnaise is ready when you’ve added all the oil.
- Some might find the mayonnaise slightly tangy, in which case, lessen the amount of lemon juice and vinegar slightly.
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 23.4g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Total Carbohydrates 0.2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.