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Okay, so last week’s intended Two-fer Tasty Tuesday was a bomb, but this week’s is NOT.  I have finally found a mayo recipe that is easy, delicious, and fresh – and did I mention it is delicious?  :)

I’ve experimented with other “no fail” mayo recipes – from stick-blender recipes to “so-easy-you-could-do-it-in-your-sleep” recipes.  The stick-blender recipes were a massive failure – I think because my stick-blender isn’t new and is the better part of 15 years old, it just doesn’t do it right/well/enough.  And the SEYCDIIYS (“so-easy-you-could-do-it-in-your-sleep”) recipe?  Yeah, it tasted bad.  I think mayo “blooms” after it’s made and you refrigerate it.  It’s the only way I can describe the different flavours that appeared after I made it – and that made the final product inedible.  😐

So I’ve searched and hunted.  I’ve tried butter-mayo (a great concept, but I’m not buying a different kind of butter than what we normally use, just to make mayo), olive oil mayo (it needs another oil to mellow its flavour), and finally settled on a blended-oil mayonnaise.  The key to making any homemade mayo is this:  DRIZZLE YOUR OIL IN.  Sounds simple, but really, it can be frustratingly challenging.

My blender is a Bosch and fits on my Universal Plus mixer.  I love it.  The top to the blender has a hole in it, effectively making it like a funnel.  You can see it a little more clearly below and to the left.  If you have a food processor whose “plunger” piece (the one you use to shove food that you want to shred down in to the whirling blades without losing a finger) has a tiny hole, that’s also used for oil emulsification.  I just happen to have a blender with a nifty spot for it.

The other option you have is to use a squirt bottle – like the ketchup/mustard kinds that are $.50 apiece once the summer picnic season starts.  The real point is to drizzle the oil slowly, otherwise you’ll end up with an Exxon Valdez-type mess in your kitchen, and as Alton Brown says, “That’s just not good eats.”

Speaking of Alton Brown, he has a great tutorial on making mayo that I’ll include at the bottom of this post.  They’re worth watching just to get the idea of the science behind the stuff.  I’d be remiss in my duties as an AB-fangirl if I didn’t tell you that his recipes are the bomb and nearly fail-proof.  My one dissension from AB’s advice is this:  NEVER EVER MAKE MAYONNAISE IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR EGGS COME FROM.  AB talks about using “pasteurized eggs,” which means they’ve been pasteurized in the shell, but since we’re all about Real Food and Unadulterated Food here, I’m not going to recommend those.  I would never, ever make mayo with store-bought eggs.  Ever.  I’ve had salmonella poisoning and I never want to have it again.  Know where your eggs come from, wash them before sticking them in the fridge, and make sure they are the freshest eggs around.  These are cornerstone rules for making homemade mayo.

My recipe is divergent from AB’s in a few things:  I omit his dry mustard (see above, where I explain my “blooming” theory – dried mustard in mayo = a very strong mustard spread in 24 hours) and I don’t use his corn oil (see above for “Real Food” comment).  I did use a blend of coconut oil and olive oil, and it turned out spoon-lickin’-good.  I prefer an unflavoured/unscented coconut oil for this application – I always have some of Tropical Traditions’ Expeller Pressed CO on hand for stuff like this.  As far as an olive oil, make sure it’s extra-virgin.

Now that I’ve got my explanations and disclaimers out of the way, here’s the actual recipe.  This will make just over a pint of mayonnaise – about a pint and a quarter.  I find it easiest to assemble all of my ingredients first and then begin the mixing process.  :)

Sue’s Homemade Mayonnaise
  • 2 whole, fresh eggs, room temperature
  • 1 t. sea salt (fine grind, I like Real Salt)
  • ½ t. sugar
  • 1 T. white vinegar
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ¾ c. TOTAL olive oil & expeller-pressed coconut oil (equal portions of each)

In your blender, toss your eggs (whites included!), the salt, sugar, vinegar, and lemon juice.  Whirl on highest power for 30 seconds or so.

In a gentle, slow stream, with the blender (or food processor) on high, begin adding your oil combination.  You’ll hear the blender chug differently as the oil begins the emulsification – but keep going until all the oil is added.  Whirl it for about 30 seconds after the last bit of oil is incorporated and then scoop it in to a jar.  The flavour should be light, slightly lemon-y, and altogether creamy.

Alton says that the acids allow this to “proof” on the counter for up to 12 hours – I let mine sit for no more than 3-4 hours.  I think the heat of Arizona is stronger than the heat of Atlanta, where he is.  😉  Cap it up and stick it in the fridge.  Most people say to use it within 7-10 days, but I can’t find a reason why it wouldn’t be good past then, assuming optimum refrigeration is followed.  The eggs don’t spoil in the fridge, the salt, sugar, and acids won’t spoil, and the oils would still be good.  But follow your own best judgment – never eat something that smells “off” or you find questionable.

My final product looks like this (the mayo has a yellow tinge because the farm-fresh eggs have bright orange yolks and aren’t pale like factory-farmed eggs):

~~~~~~~

And, because I just can’t stop now – here is my homemade ranch dressing recipe.  The seasoning is kept in a jar and then when mixing it to make salad dressing, I add in 2 T. of dried whole milk.  I love that this has no MSG in it and that it tastes SO good.  Brendan declares it to be as good as store-bought ranch dressing; I love that I know how it’s made.

MSG-free Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 4 T. onion powder (granules)
  • 7 t. dried parsley
  • 4 t. sea salt (I like Real Salt)
  • 1 t. garlic powder (granules)

Mix these ingredients in a jar and cap it tightly.  To make ranch dressing, use 2 T. mix, 2 T. powdered whole milk (for a richer flavour), 1 c. of mayo (hey! you just made some!), and 1 c. of milk or buttermilk.  Mix all together well (I use my stick blender) and refrigerate at least 3 hours for optimum flavour-blending.

The spice blend is cheap (important as food prices are rising), is made with spices in my food storage, tastes really good, and is usable in dips as well as dressing (just blend with 2 T. of the mix with 2 T. of dried whole milk and 2 c. of sour cream).  It takes a remarkably small amount of cupboard space, too.  :)

As promised, here are the AB videos on making mayonnaise – enjoy your newfound culinary skillz!  :)

I haven’t done a Things I Love Thursday in a while, but I realized this past weekend that I needed to do one for coconut oil.  Seriously – I think the stuff is AMAZING.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat (and that’s not bad for you – read about it here) and is multi-purpose in our home.  It is loaded with MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid – all of which are phenomenally healthy for us.  The MCTs stimulate metabolic function (that means you’ll lose weight if your body is carrying more than it wants to), brain function (read at Coconut Keytones about how Alzheimer’s disease can be actually REVERSED with it), and lubricates your body from the inside-out.  Lauric acid is present in mother’s milk, but after weaning, we rarely get the amount that is healthy to stimulate our immune systems.  With a mere 3.5 tablespoons per day, we can get the same amount of lauric acid as is present in a full-day’s nursing for an infant, thereby boosting our immune system and overall health.  And oddly enough, when there is sufficient natural oil in your system (not vegetable oil or other synthetic oils), dry skin goes away.

I also use coconut oil on my hair.  Research has shown that CO is the ONLY oil which actually bond with the keratin (protein) in hair – making it the natural choice for hydrating your locks, ending frizzies, and returning any curls you have to a springy-health.  I use it once a week now that I live in the desert – my hair loves it.  My curls are manageable, beautiful, and my hair is crazy-soft.  I also use it sparingly to style my hair (scrunching the curls when they are wet) and if I decide to straighten my hair with a flat iron, I use a tiny amount on each section before I straighten it – the heat of the iron makes the oil bond with my hair in a new way and the finished style is straight and soft, as well as smooth.

Of course I cook with CO – between butter and coconut oil with an occasional splash of sesame oil, we’ve moved to a traditional-food eating plan and love it.  I put CO in my coffee every morning (an easy way to get the proscribed 3.5 T per day), and when my skin is particularly dry, I rub it in and let it moisturize me from the outside, too.  There is never a greasy residue or oily feel when using it, as it absorbs quickly and well.

We also use CO as an intimate lubricant (ahem) and found that my incidence of yeast infections and other female unpleasantries went away.  When I researched the reason for this, I read that glycerin, which is in most commercially-available lubricants, turns to SUGAR after three months of air-exposure.  Which means that women are more prone to infection and reproductive-tract issues when they introduce sugar in to a potentially off-kilter system that might be too acidic or already have high levels of yeast (systemic candida).  Coconut oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and is hypo-allergenic.  It doesn’t stain bedclothes, either.

A good quality CO will be solid in ambient temperatures of 75F or less and liquid above those temperatures.  I moved from the “Land of Almost-Never Liquid CO” to the “Land of Almost-Never Solid CO” and have yet to have any coconut oil in our home be the white, solid stuff I knew in Michigan.  You can find good COs that smell and taste like coconut or some that are steam-deodorized, but do your research before buying and know if what you’re using is RBD – Refined, Bleached, Deodorized.  That is one kind of CO you’ll want to avoid – and I don’t have enough space here to explain why, so Google it and read about RBD on your own, please.

If you’re concerned about tree-nut allergies, please be aware that although coconuts grow on trees and are called “nuts” (hence their name), they are NOT the same as tree-nuts.  People who have nut allergies react to the protein in the nut; there is virtually no protein to react to in coconut oil.  It is a hypo-allergenic product and I really believe it will enrich your life and your health.

For more Things I Love Thursday, hike over to The Diaper Diaries and check out the posts there!  :)

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