One of the things I really miss (besides cheese) is mayo. Now, I am very picky about my mayo – it has to be Best Foods (Hellman’s for you East Coasters). I can taste the difference a mile away! Face it, mayo is full of fat and not exactly something I should be eating anyway. But if I am going to eat it, I want the real thing! In fact, the main reason I always order sandwiches and other foods dry (no mayo) is because I don’t want someone else’s bunk excuse for mayo.
But there are foods that just aren’t the same without a little mayo. For example an avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwich, a veggie burger, potato salad, cold slaw or an artichoke. And so you know, I truly believe that the only reason to eat an artichoke is as a mayo delivery vehicle.
Since we had such an abundance of tomatoes this summer I have been experimenting with different mayos. I have tried almonds, cashews, nutmilks and even cauliflower. Some were quite good and none were disasters. BUT none of them exactly nailed it.
Then it came to me. . most of the mayos are just fine, they just aren’t Best Foods. Maybe, just maybe, things might work out better for me if I tried just tasting the mayo without all my expectations.
What a concept!
More experiments ensued and I finally found one that I actually like. A nut mayonnaise:
- Soak 1/4 cup almonds overnight (if you are short on time boil them for about 1 minute)
- Slip the skins off the almonds by rolling them in a clean dry towel. Then gently dry the nuts in another clean towel
- Get out your Blender and add:
- Almonds (blanched almonds from 1)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- OPTIONAL: A pinch of salt
- Blend until the ingredients are powdery
- Add wet ingredients:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
- OPTIONAL: A drop or two of agave syrup
- Blend together; when as blended as you can get it start slowly adding (through the hole in the top of the blender lid):
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons hemp oil
- Slowly drizzle in the rest of the oil and water (if necessary) while running the blender at medium speed. You may need to stop the blender and stir by hand a couple of times to get it moving
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or another “flavorless” oil)
- Up to 1/4 cup water as needed
- Put in a sealed container. Will stay good up to 1 month in the fridge.
This recipe will work with Cashews, but I was not impressed with the consistency or the taste. Cashews do actually have a pretty strong flavor, whereas skinless almonds are more bland. And of course, we are still talking an unhealthy amount of oil, but I am all for the occasional treat. And speaking of oil, you can use an 1/2 cup of oil you can dream up. I happened to like the nuttiness of the hemp a the flavor of the olive oil, but that is a purely personal preference.
See, it isn’t difficult and in fact, the hardest part is the clean up! Even that isn’t too bad. Just keep your rubber spatula handy!