My husband Dave and I are on Day 61 of our elimination diet, and he recently learned that he has a mild sensitivity to eggs. [sad trombone]. We can try re-introducing them in a few months, after our guts have healed, but for now, he can’t eat eggs — and I’m boycotting them in solidarity. While Dave is most bummed about breakfast, I was more concerned about the lack of homemade mayo in our lives.
In desperation, I turned to the dark side: vegan mayo recipes.
The concept seemed pretty simple: Replace the egg with flax seed + water and add acid and flavorings. All of the recipes I found used iffy technique for the emulsification, and some of the added flavorings were decidedly questionable. I wondered what would happen if I just swapped in the flax and used my own mayo ingredients and instructions.
The traditional blender version was pretty good taste-wise, but the texture left a lot to be desired. Then I tried again with my stick blender. It worked!
A few things to keep in mind:
1. If you don’t have to, I don’t recommend it.
If you don’t have a damn good reason to avoid eggs, stick with the “real” version of my homemade mayo. This eggless version is very good, but not as creamy as the original.
2. You need a stick blender.
You can make this in a blender or food processor, but I don’t recommend it. The texture from the regular blender was more like thick salad dressing than mayo. If you can’t eat eggs, and you’ll be eating eggless mayo for the foreseeable future, it’s worth the $35 investment (and yes! another kitchen gadget) to get a stick blender. I really like this Cuisinart model. (Plus, then you can use it to make Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, Golden Cauliflower Soup, and Sweet Potato Soup.)
3. You need ground flax seed.
You can grind the seeds yourself, but it needs to be really fine to work well in the mayo, so I recommend buying ground flax seed. I’ve been using Flax USA 100% Natural Flax Seed. (Note: Flax seeds are Whole30 compliant.)
4. It’s not exactly the same.
The flavor is the same — light and lemony — but the texture is a little bit different. It’s less creamy and more firm. It reminds me of the texture of store-bought mayo, like there’s maybe a little gelatin in it. But it is tasty, and it’s better than going without!
5. Pay attention!
If you’re familiar with my original homemade mayo recipe and try this one, pay attention to the ingredients list! The quantities are slightly different because the emulsion works a little differently.
6. Be gentle.
When mixing eggless mayo into dressings — like Creamy Italian or Cumin-Lime — or into tuna salad (Waldorf Tuna Salad!), be gentle so it maintains its texture. If you’re too rough with it, it will break and become mere oil.
Makes 1 cup | Prep 10 minutes
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (I use Flax USA.)
3 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons lemon juice, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light tasting olive oil (NOT extra-virgin. Two good light brands: Bertolli, Filippo Berio)
1. Combine the ground flax seed and hot water in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork until combined. It will look like paste, but have the texture of something vaguely noxious and sticky. It’s almost like a beaten egg, only it’s tan instead of yellow. Set aside to cool to room temperature. This is also a good time to allow the lemon juice to come to room temperature.
2. When the flax and lemon juice are room temp, place them in a jar or the canister that came with your stick blender. Add the mustard, salt, and olive oil all at once… then stick in the stick and go for it. This doesn’t take long at all — maybe 30-40 seconds. As you blend with the stick blender, tilt the jar and move the blender around to continue to incorporate the oil.
WARNING: Do not overblend the mixture. If you blend it too long, it will get warm and the emulsification will break, so that you’re left with an oily mess. As soon as it looks like mayo, stop blending.
UPDATE: We have a winner… YAY, Karen!
In celebration of finding a way to get creamy-ish mayo in our lives, one lucky random winner will receive a copy of Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat, a Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender (in your favorite color!), and a bag of Flax USA ground flax seeds.
To Enter: Leave a note in comments on this blog, telling us your favorite way to use homemade mayo.
Deadline: Midnight on Wednesday, October 30. I’ll pick a random winner on Thursday and announce it here. WOOT!
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