I have a confession to make.
To me, it’s not really a confession; but to you, it may come as a shock:
I LOVE MAYONNAISE.
This conversation came up over a side of potato salad on the Fourth of July. I confessed my love of mayonnaise and was immediately asked, “is mayonnaise your splurge food?” No, mayonnaise is not my “splurge” food. Mayonnaise, in it’s best form, is a delightful mixture of eggs and oil, full of fats that my stomach will use to tell my brain that I’m full and will provide my body with the nutrients it needs to build healthy skin, hair, nails, cell membranes, and produce essential hormones. It also tastes delicious.
Our fear of mayonnaise came about because of the low-fat food craze and many concerned parents passed this unnecessary fear on to their children. One friend at the table confessed that as a child she believed mayonnaise to be actual whale fat, and convinced all her classmates to believe likewise.
Let’s take a deeper look at what’s really in that jar we’re all so afraid of:
Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. Choline is essential for the production of hormones that promote mood stability like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Yolks also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against vision loss and are also high in sulfur, promoting healthy skin, hair, nails.
Olive Oil (or other unsaturated oil): The monounsaturated fats in olive oil have been shown to reduce total cholesterol and LDL levels and its high polyphenol content has been shown to reduce inflammation.
Lemon Juice (or vinegar): Rich in vitamin C, lemon juice provides nutrition to support the immune system and is also an excellent source of antioxidants and other anti-cancer nutrients.
Salt: Salt is an essential nutrient necessary for muscle function, taste sensation, proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, and important digestive functions.
Mustard: Mustard is rich in vitamin C and many of the B-complex vitamins as well as important minerals like potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium. Mustard often gets it’s yellow color from turmeric, which is a nutritional powerhouse all on it’s own.
To ensure the best quality, make your own mayonnaise (everyone needs to do this at least once in their lives)! Here’s a great video on how to make mayonnaise (unfortunately Julia Child didn’t make a YouTube video).
I like to make my mayonnaise in a mason jar using an immersion blender – fewer dirty dishes!
Mayonnaise should last about 2 weeks in your refrigerator. You can add ¼ cup of whey, leave it on the counter for 7 to 8 hours, it will ferment and last in your fridge for 2 to 3 months.
If making your own is too much trouble, try these store-bought alternatives:
Note: Avoid mayonnaise made with canola oil. Though canola oil is high in brain boosting omega 3 fats, it goes rancid very easily which requires manufacturers to deodorize the oil to hide the smell. This process results in the creation of trans fats, which is not listed on the label.