Mayonnaise Recipe

by | Handouts

Making your own mayonnaise is easy!

This is a nearly-foolproof recipe. My partners and I fine-tuned it in 1973 when I was co-owner of the West Bank Café, the first natural foods restaurant in Corvallis, Oregon. More good mayonnaise recipes can be found online or in a wonderful natural foods cookbook titled Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon.

2 large eggs
2 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar (preferably organic, such as Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tsp. prepared/wet mustard (optional, can also try specialty mustards)
1 tsp. salt (may need a little more if you use sea salt)
3/4 cup oil (any healthy oil will work except coconut; try light or extra light olive oil or safflower oil)

1/3 to 1/2 cup more oil (add to taste)

Blend all ingredients except the 2nd amount of oil in a blender until smooth. Slowly add the second amount of oil in a thin stream until blended smooth. If the last oil is added too fast, the emulsion will ‘break’ and the oil will separate from the other ingredients. If this happens, add an extra egg yolk and blend again. Between adding 1/3 cup and ½ cup, stop a few times to taste. If it’s too tart, add more oil. If it gets too thick to easily blend in all of the remaining oil, that’s okay. Return remaining oil to its bottle. Pour mayonnaise into a glass jar and refrigerate. In 1-2 hours, it’s thick enough to spread with a knife.

Consistency of the suspension requires only two essential ingredients: oil and egg yolk. All other ingredients are for flavor. So, after tasting the first batch, you may adjust the recipe with more or less of certain ingredients to suit your taste. The less oil you add, the tangier the flavor, and the more oil you add, the duller the flavor, since the oil dilutes the bold flavors of the condiments. But the mayonnaise will be runny if you get too little oil. The size of the eggs makes a difference, too. This recipe works best with standard “large” size eggs, but “large” organic or free-range eggs can be extra-large, so you may need just a little more of the other ingredients besides eggs and oil. You can also make a mildly sweet mayonnaise by adding raw honey (start with about a teaspoon). Blend the honey with the vinegar first so the honey is dissolved before adding the other ingredients.

If you’re allergic to egg white and not egg yolk, make the recipe with yolks only. If you’re allergic to egg yolk, this recipe won’t work for you, since the yolks are essential as the emulsifier needed for mayonnaise’s consistency.

This mayonnaise will keep for 3-4 weeks, maybe longer, before it starts to lose flavor. It will deteriorate faster if you substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, but some people prefer the flavor with lemon juice.

Special notes

  1. Mayonnaise is not a cause of foodborne illness as was thought in the past. Vinegar is highly antibacterial, so bacteria can’t grow in mayonnaise made with vinegar. Protein ingredients, not mayonnaise, are the source of pathogenic bacteria in tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, ham salad, and potato or macaroni salads that contain hard-boiled eggs, ham or bacon bits. Don’t leave these foods at room temperature more than two hours, even less in the warm sun at a picnic. These dishes aren’t always good choices at a potluck, since you don’t know how long the cook left the protein ingredient out of refrigeration.
  2. Nearly all commercial mayonnaises contain hydrogenated, trans or damaged fats. You can’t tell this from the label. If the mgs of trans fats per serving is under the legal limit for all foods (0.5 g. trans fat per listed serving), it’s illegal to list it. And, the package may have “no trans fats” right on the front. This includes organic foods! This legal amount, eaten daily in many foods, is still enough to negatively affect your liver, digestion, skin, arteries and more. 
  3. Avoid oils sold in plastic bottles, as the toxins from plastic move easily into fats. If you have to purchase oil in plastic, transfer it to a glass jar or bottle at home. Refrigeration is a must for all oils except coconut and olive, and even olive oil may need refrigeration if you aren’t going to use it up within a couple of months. Keep unrefrigerated oils a few feet away from stovetops, as exposure to heat causes oils to deteriorate much faster.