Loving the BITE: Homemade Mayo – Condiment Swap
Not long ago, I made a mayonnaise for the first time. From. Scratch. I don’t know why I never tried before. I guess I kinda just gave up on mayo. I had replaced it with avocados (highly recommended) in many recipes, but still, sometimes, a little mayo would be good (like when trying to make delicious homemade tartar sauce for those delicious fish and chips…avocado tartar sauce just ain’t the same).
So, I looked it up and gave it a whirl. About 2 minutes later I had the most delicious olive oil mayonnaise I had ever tried. That’s right. It takes about 2 minutes. And I already had every ingredient just setting there. Waiting. Waiting for me to pick them up and make mayonnaise.
Now that I’m on the other side and have become a full-blown homemade mayo fanatic, I’d like to share it with you. Here’s the how and why of homemade mayo:
Recipe of the week: 2-Minute Homemade Mayo
- 1-1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil OR avocado oil, divided
- 1 egg, cage-free and organic*
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced
- Place 1/4 cup oil, egg, mustard powder and salt in food processor or blender. Mix all ingredients together.
- While continuing to run blender/processor, SLOWLY drizzle in remaining cup of oil until emulsified and thickened.
- Add lemon juice to taste.
- For one of my favorite dipping sauces, simply add chili powder and lime juice to taste – yummo!
*There is always a very small chance of salmonella poisoning when you eat a product with raw eggs; and it can be very serious. Pregnant women, anyone with a compromised immune system, infants or young children, and the elderly are especially advised to not eat raw eggs. To make mayonnaise free from any risk of salmonella, you can use pasteurized eggs like these Safe Eggs (not widely available), try a pasteurized egg product (liquid eggs), or, although there’s no 100% guarantee with this one, try pasteurizing eggs at home using this method to bring the internal temperature of your eggs to 140 deg F. Or lastly, you can try a cooked-egg mayo method – see this recipe.
We’ve discussed this before, but I’m not afraid to tell you again. It’s convenience that’s bringing us down. Well, at least partly. In the food world, it’s our reliance on all those items at the store. All those items that can stay “fresh” for years. That meet consumer demand for taste with no regard to what they actually do in our bodies.
Sure, they may try to deceive you and tell you they’re fine. They’ll call themselves “olive oil mayonnaise” but then still primarily use other oils, behind your back. Double-crossers that they are. But, we know better. When it comes to mayo, there’s 2 problem ingredients in the forefront, and often many others lurking in the background. Here’s what to watch for:
Hydrogenated Fats: First, be on the look out for transfats (partially hydrogenated oils). Transfats are liquid fats (such as oils) that have been chemically altered to become solid at room temperature (such as margarine). This alteration actually changes the “shape” of the bonds (from cis to trans) in the fat. They occur only in very small amounts in nature. They are found in man-made processed foods such as mayonnaise, shortening, margarine, baked goods, boxed foods, candies, snack foods, fried foods, condiments and salad dressings. Transfats had become more common with the increase of processed foods/
Transfats have been strongly linked to increased LDL (bad) cholesterol and heart disease. They are positively correlated to systematic inflammation in our bodies, which increases our risk for all many of chronic disease. What’s more, some animal studies have linked them to (non-alcoholic) fatty liver disease and scarring on the liver, especially in diets that also contain high amounts simple sugars.
Omega-6 Fats: Next, there’s omega-6 fats, which are necessary in our diets for health in small amounts, but become harmful to health in large amounts. And, since they are found in most every commercially prepared food, they are much too abundant in our diets. The worst of it is that they compete with omega-3 fats to steer our bodies’ production of hormones toward more chronic inflammation and away from reduced chronic inflammation.
Omega-6s are primarily found in plant oils, especially grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, and soybean oil (high oleic sunflower, safflower and canola oils are okay with less omega-6s and more omega-9s). They are also found in whole grains, whole grain products, and the meats of animals that are not grazed but fed grains. These fats are widely used in the body and readily absorbed. For the experts who have studied the effects of omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, over-consumptions of omega-6s seems to increase the risk of many diseases including heart attacks, thrombotic stroke, arrhythmia, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, inflammation, mood disorders, obesity, and cancer (especially breast and prostate cancer). I dare you to find me a mayo that doesn’t contain a high-omega-6 oil such as soybean, vegetable, or canola.
Sure, maybe you’ll find one. But I bet it’ll cost you a pretty penny.
Other Junk: If you take the time to look at a mayo ingredient list, you’re sure to find a whole bunch of ingredients that are NOT in our recipe. Extra sugars, weird chemical salts. Flavorings. Maybe even colorings (what the?). You know better. These are needed and you don’t have to take it any longer.
And now for my favorite part, we’ll discuss what our mayo actually does for you. After all, it’s not just about avoiding what’s bad. The real quest is to proactively get what’s good.
Olive oil: Especially when served unheated, olive oil has quite a bit to offer. Here’s some of it, from whfoods.org (one of my favorites):
- Olive oil is a hallmark of the Mediterranean Diet. And studies of this diet, with high intake of olive oil, are associated with decreased risk of heart disease. What’s more, “a recent group of studies has provided us with a fascinating explanation of olive oil’s cardioprotective effect. One of the key polyphenols in olive oil—hydroxytyrosol (HT)—helps protect the cells that line our blood vessels from being damaged by overly reactive oxygen molecules. HT helps protect the blood vessel cells by triggering changes at a genetic level. The genetic changes triggered by HT help the blood vessel cells to enhance their antioxidant defense system. In other words, olive oil supports our blood vessels not only by providing antioxidants like like vitamin E and beta-carotene. Olive oil also provides our blood vessels with unique molecules like HT that actually work at a genetic level to help the cellular walls of the blood vessels remain strong.”
- “Olive oil has long been recognized for its high percentage of monounsaturated fat. This plant contains about 75-85% of its fat in the form of oleic acid – a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid. As a concentrated source of monounsaturated fat, olive oil actually has some good company in the plant oil department. Three increasingly popular plant oils that immediate come to mind in this respect are high-oleic safflower oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, and avocado oil. The total fat content in each of these oils can rise to 70% or more in terms of monounsaturated fat. (Canola oil usually drops this percentage one step lower, with its monounsaturated fat content typically falling into the 60-65% range. And some popular plant oils drop the monounsaturated fat content down a lot more. Corn oil, for example, is usually 25-30% monounsaturated, and coconut oil is even lower at 5-7%.)”
- “When diets low in monounsaturated fat are altered to increase the monounsaturated fat content (by replacing other oils with olive oil), research study participants tend to experience a significant decrease in their total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and LDL:HDL ratio. Recent research studies have taken these heart-healthy effects of olive oil one step further. Olive oil’s monounsaturated fat content (specifically, its high level of oleic acid) has now been determined to be a mechanism linking olive oil intake to decreased blood pressure. Researchers believe that the plentiful amount of oleic acid in olive oil gets absorbed into the body, finds its way into cell membranes, changes signaling patterns at a cell membrane level (specifically, altering G-protein associated cascades) and thereby lowers blood pressure. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the monounsaturated fat content of olive oil has been linked not only to cholesterol reduction, but also to reduction of blood pressure.”
- “Cancer prevention has been one of the most active areas of olive oil research, and the jury is no longer out on the health benefits of olive oil with respect to cancer. Twenty-five studies on olive oil intake and cancer risk—including most of the large-scale human studies conducted up through the year 2010—have recently been analyzed by a team of researchers at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research Institute in Milan, Italy. Firmly established by this research team were the risk-reducing effects of olive oil intake with respect to cancers of the breast, respiratory tract, upper digestive tract and, to a lesser extent, lower digestive tract (colorectal cancers). These anti-cancer benefits of olive oil became most evident when the diets of routine olive oil users were compared with the diets of individuals who seldom used olive oil and instead consumed diets high in saturated added fat, especially butter.”
I get little feisty about commercial condiments and their complete disrespect for our health. I can’t help it. Soybean and other harmful oils are everywhere in the store, and I’m here to let you know about it. This week, I hope you’ll bust out a good oil and try homemade mayo for yourself. By replacing a bad fat with a good one, you can increase cardioprotective properties in your body while decreasing your risk of chronic disease. Sounds like a good plan for a cyclist.
Fuel your Ride. Nourish your Body.
If you’d like to work with Kelli one-on-one with a Custom Nutrition Plan & Coaching, or download one of her acclaimed Instant Download Plans like Fuel Right Race Light, click here: Apex Nutrition Plans for Endurance Athletes. Be sure to use coupon code lovingthebike for a 15% discount!