Monday, July 27, 2009

Makin' mayo

Most commercially-available mayonnaise contains sugar, and as such is not really acceptable on the paleo diet. If you decide that you really want "mayo", you have three choices:
  1. Accept that you're going to have to eat a bit of refined sugar with your tuna salad,
  2. Hunt all over for a commercially-prepared brand that doesn't contain any (it exists, it's just very hard to find in some places), or
  3. Make your own.

If you decide to go the third route, every cookbook you read will tell you the same thing - the oil has to be added to the emulsion very slowly. Here's a tip I picked up a while back, which has enabled me to make perfect mayonnaise every time: find a "squeeze bottle" (like you'd have ketchup and mustard in at a picnic - check the local "dollar store"), and place the oil in that, and use that to pour the oil in a small, steady stream into the blender (assuming you're using a blender rather than whisking by hand).

Recipes for mayonnaise are literally a dime a dozen, and they all contain pretty much the same basic ingredients - oil (olive oil is suitably primal, but unfortunately this is one place we can't use coconut oil), mustard (which helps the emulsion hold together so your mayonnaise doesn't separate), and raw egg, along with some salt and pepper and maybe lemon. The raw egg can be problematic for some - only use fresh eggs from a reliable source, refrigerate anything you don't use promptly, and use it all up within a few days. Here is one possible recipe, which also suggests using almond oil or walnut oil in place of the olive oil.

That link also notes that homemade mayonnaise has a much lighter taste than the commercial stuff. Don't be afraid to "zip it up" - add a dash of cayenne pepper to the mix, or maybe a couple of roasted cloves of garlic.

One of my favourite things to make that requires mayonnaise is "tuna wraps", using lettuce as a method of conveying the tuna. These would also be good with crab, chicken, or other such meat, and you could add chopped onions or peppers to the mix to spice it up a bit.


  • 1 can tuna in water, drained (or use other similar meat, such as chicken, turkey, crab)
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • leaves of butter lettuce or similar


  1. Mix the tuna or other meat with the mayonnaise (and any other ingredients you'd care to add).
  2. Place a dollop (1-2 Tbsp) of the tuna mixture in the middle of a lettuce leaf, roll it up, and tuck the ends in.
  3. Repeat as necessary.

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