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Lemon Mayonnaise

Mon 26th Apr, 2021 - 12:25pm by Emma Cockrell

With warmer days just around the corner, we want to make salads as enjoyable as possible. Because most mayonnaise and salad cream contains vinegar,  it is not suitable for those on an ‘anti-Candida diet’.  However, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on delicious dressings for salad meals. In fact, we can make this condiment nutritionally rich, rather than ‘a naughty extra’.

Commercial Salad Dressings

So what is the problem with most commercial salad dressings? Let’s have a look at some typical ingredients:

  • Vinegar – a quality vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar may possess some beneficial properties. However, if there is excess intestinal yeast, then any fermented foods can encourage that yeast. While following a yeast-free and sugar-free diet it is important to avoid all fermented foods. Once Candida is under control, apple cider vinegar may be incorporated into the diet again, if it is tolerated.
  • Oil – this makes up the bulk of a mayonnaise, and is usually a cheap and highly refined oil. Extracted from seeds by heating to high temperatures, these oils bring no nutritional value to the diet, but can encourage inflammation in the body.
  • Sugar – to offset the sourness of the vinegar. Food manufacturers know the exact blend of processed fats and oils, sugar and salt to ‘zing’ our taste-buds and keep us coming back for more. If you go for a ‘Light’ mayonnaise, sugar moves up the ingredients list.
  • Flavourings – if you use cheap-grade oils you have poor natural flavour, so this has to be enhanced.

A Healthy Mayonnaise Option

Using quality extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and free range/organic eggs, a delicious mayonnaise can be made in a few minutes and add creaminess and flavour to lots of meals and recipes. Use the basic recipe for homemade coleslaw, as a Sauce Tartar option for fish, mixed with mashed cooked beans for a hummus alternative, or with flaked mackerel for a fish pate. The options are limitless…

Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The main ingredient in mayonnaise is of course the oil, and in my recipe I use extra virgin olive oil. Anyone who has tried extra virgin olive oil as a salad dressing will know that it has a full and fruity flavour, that is slightly bitter and peppery. It is the presence of polyphenols – the compounds that contain so many health-supporting properties – that bring this bitterness. In fact the more bitter the flavour, the fresher, and more beneficial the oil.

Blending extra virgin olive oil actually increases the strength of flavour. Whilst this may seem very different to a commercial mayonnaise, when the homemade version is mixed with food, the bitterness becomes less apparent. Indeed, it won’t be long before your taste buds adapt to this richness in flavour, and products made with cheap-grade oils taste rancid and oily, compared to the fruitiness of a quality extra virgin olive oil


Lemon Mayonnaise Recipe 

There are just three main ingredients in my lemon mayonnaise: extra virgin olive oil, eggs and lemon juice. The full flavour needs no additions unless you want to add variety. I nearly always throw in a clove of garlic, and nothing else, but if the raw garlic is too strong for you leave this and try stirring in half a teaspoon of dried chives when you have finished blending. Most mayonnaise recipes include a pinch of mustard powder, and that is certainly a tasty addition if you have it to hand. I don’t find any seasoning  with salt is needed.

I make my mayonnaise in a jar with a stick blender to minimise cleaning, but a blender or food processor will achieve the same results. 

  • 1 egg
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil – you may need a little more, depending on the size of the egg
  • Optional – 1-2 cloves of garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon of dried chives, and/or pinch mustard powder, or any herbs you fancy.
  1. Break the egg into the blender or jar and add the lemon juice, and chopped garlic, or mustard powder if using.
  2. Start blending on the lowest speed setting. Very gradually pour in the extra virgin olive oil. Don’t rush this stage. If you are tempted to go too fast, add a tablespoon of the oil at a time.
  3. The oil and egg will gradually become creamy and thick.
  4. If you used a large egg, you may find that after adding a cup of the oil, the mayonnaise is still quite runny. In this case gradually add some more oil until the mayonnaise thickens.
  5. If you want to add herbs, such as chopped dried chives, stir them in once you have finished blending.
  6. Place in a jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you can’t use the whole batch that quickly, then make half the quantity (easiest with a stick blender). Whisk a whole egg and then halve the amount you add to the blender. The other half can be added to baking or an omelette.