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My Own Mayonnaise

My mayonnaise, ready to use and then store in the fridge. (Photo by Sophie Huget)

Mayonnaise is one of the most maligned of foods. Because it's made with egg, it's been branded as too high in cholesterol for anyone's good. And because it's also made with oil, it's been deemed too full of fat to be nutritious.

But while nobody would recommend eating mayo by the spoonful (gag!), the creamy condiment actually isn't all that bad for you, nutritionally speaking, if used in moderation. First of all, research has failed to find a reliable connection between dietary intake of cholesterol and high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream or between egg consumption and heart disease. The American Heart Association doesn't suggest a limit on the number of eggs folks should eat, only that we restrict ourselves to 300 mg of cholesterol daily. A large egg contains about 220 mg of cholesterol.

You can make mayonnaise with just these five ingredients. (Photo by Sophie Huget)

But eggs are also a great source of protein, folate, riboflavin and selenium, an antioxidant that's thought to help protect cells from being damaged by "free radicals."

Making mayo at home allows you to control its salt content and to choose a healthful oil such as canola, which is thought to promote cardiovascular health. Best of all, because it tastes so very good, you'll likely find a little goes a long way in making your sandwich tasty. I'm guessing that once you've tried making your own, you'll never go back to store bought.

And for those of us who value purity and simplicity, home-made mayo has this to offer: just five ingredients, all of them things you likely have in the fridge or pantry right now. Mayonnaise takes less than ten minutes to make in your blender. Here's a recipe I like. But you don't even really need to follow it: just put one egg, a half-teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a blender. Mix it up till it's smooth, then, with the mixer running, add 3/4 cup of canola oil very slowly through the hole in the blender lid. Blend it until it's smooth and creamy.

Because home-made mayo tastes so great, you need less of it to dress up your sandwich. (Photo by Sophie Huget)

This recipe makes 3/4 cup of mayonnaise (which you can store in the fridge for up to 5 days). Each tablespoon contains about 130 calories, 14 grams of fat (1.6 grams of that saturated) and 18 mg of cholesterol. Use it sparingly -- and enjoy!

As I note in today's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, you can make home versions of other popular condiments. Here are recipes for ketchup, mustard and pickle relish.

Do you have any tips for making healthful condiments? Share them in the comments section, please!

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  May 26, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Nutrition and Fitness  
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Would alive oil work instead of canola?

Posted by: jlh2 | May 26, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Sorry,'s olive not alive.

Posted by: jlh2 | May 26, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Hi! Just a reminder for mayonnaise, especially in warm weather: wash the eggs thoroughly before using them, makes the risk of salmonellosis disappear; keep the sauce always in the fridge (for similar reasons). Never try to "save" a mayonnaise that didn´t blend correctly the first time - and finally, yes, olive oil can be used, as a matter of fat here in Spain it is always done with olive oil. And it´s sooo yummy! Good luck and I hope you enjoy it!

Posted by: chonorato | May 26, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I never thought to make mayo on my own -- and I use it so infrequently, it's probably a cost-saver to make it at home as opposed to buying. Thanks for sharing (and for making me feel better about eating it!)

Posted by: Schaalster | May 27, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

What speed for the blender?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | May 28, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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