Emulsification and Eggs

mayonnaiseSome people will tell you that mayonnaise is bad for you.  Perhaps it is, if you look at the ingredients in a store bought brand.  It is full of so many extra additives and ingredients and if you get low-fat you are bound to have some sort of starch to create the wonderful thickness that mayonnaise is known for.  Why the thickness?  It’s due to emulsification.  Really quite amazing how it works actually!  The combination of oil added slowly to egg yolks creates a stable sauce.  The egg yolk is the emulsifier as it contains lecithin, which is a fat emulsifier.  If you add mustard to your recipe it also has a bit of lecithin and serves to add more stability to your mixture.  You have to add the oil slowly though while beating at a high speed.  I use my Vitamix which makes the process relatively easy.  I cannot imagine the intensity it would take to do this by hand as my husband’s grandmother supposedly did.

I am not fooled by thinking that this high-fat dressing and sauce is bad for me.  I use high quality olive oil, good farm fresh eggs, mustard, lemon, sea salt and pepper.  I will add whey when I want the mayonnaise to last for a longer length of time and I am not using it right away.  The taste is amazing.  I hated mayonnaise all my life until I made my own.  Now I cannot get enough of this rich creamy condiment.  The fresh lemon brightens the flavor and I have always loved the taste of olive oil.  So with homemade mayonnaise you get lipase.  Lipase is an enzyme that helps your body break down and digest fats.  Making your own mayonnaise with fresh, organic raw eggs gives you so many enzymes that pasteurization would destroy.  When I add why to this I leave my mayonnaise out for about 7 hours and this begins some lacto-fermentation which brings out more nutrients.  I can then keep my mayo for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.  Honestly in the summer it doesn’t last more then a few days though.

Now let’s talk about eggs…

So I suppose the subject of adding raw eggs to something might be a bit freakish to think about.  What with all the salmonella warnings and all.  If you are using battery chickens I would be concerned about that as well…and more.  The truth is that the risk is low even in your commercial eggs.  The better truth to look at is that if you are buying your eggs from healthy, cage free, organically (at the very least properly fed) fed chickens there is almost no risk as sick chickens are who lay salmonella covered eggs.  It makes sense doesn’t it?  If you are fed poorly and taken care of poorly you are more likely to be sick with something and pass that on to others.  So why raw eggs?  Well, for one thing when you cook anything you begin to break down the nutrients in that food.  If you cook your eggs you lose a lot of protein and other vital nutrition for the brain, nerves, glands and hormones, they are such a perfect food.  So what exactly is in an egg in it’s raw state that makes it so wonderful?  Protein, essential fatty acids along with niacin, riboflavin, biotin, choline, vitamins A, D and E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, iodine, copper, zinc, lecithin and sulphur.  Oh and guess what?  Egg yolks are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D.  Yeah that’s a whole lot of goodness packed into one tiny thing.  So why wouldn’t you begin to add some to your diet?  I have 2-3 eggs a day and regularly add a raw egg to my smoothies.  I send my husband off in the morning with a raw egg smoothie whenever I am awake enough to send him off.  As a pregnant mama and getting ready to be a nursing mama all those nutrients are invaluable.  So anywhere I can get a raw egg in I am all for it.

My basic recipe for mayo…

  • 1 egg yolk,
  • 1 whole egg,
  • juice of a lemon (to taste),
  • about a teaspoon of mustard (or to taste),
  • 1 Tablespoon of whey (if I want it to last more then a few days, optional),
  • celtic sea salt (to taste)
  • grind or two of pepper
  • 3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

chxsaladCombine everything but oil  in your food processor or I use my vitamix for about 30 seconds.  Then slowly drizzle in your olive oil, slowwwlllly, almost one drop at a time.  This is where the emulsification process kicks in.  Slowly that oil incorporates and becomes your mayo.  Now if I have added the whey then I will let my mayo sit out for no longer then 7 hours to slightly ferment, this also makes your mayo more solid.  Pop in the fridge and use up before 2 weeks.  And one of my favorite ways to use mayo?  On chicken salad.  I can’t get enough chicken salad or salmon salad these days.  I love the fresh coolness of it combined with lettuces and a few grapes for crispy sweetness.  Don’t forget the pickles!  Pass the mayo anyone?!


  1. Jessica Says:

    Great post Sarah! your homemade Mayo sounds wonderous! I use the lowfat olive oil kind from the store … it’s pretty good. I like it better than the normal flavours, but it is by no means a clean food, though I don’t use it that often.
    I however HATE miracle whip though … tastes like chunky milk, ugh.

  2. Jessica Says:

    Yay! I can’t wait for you to visit! Mike almost bought some other regular eggs but I kept saying no farm fresh – we were about to buy something else and then i saw this huge flat for pretty much a few cents more, and from the brand i always get – YAY!
    i would love to try some of those araucana eggs! they sound amazing!

  3. Angie Says:

    Hi Sarah! Can’t believe I just found your blog. I also made mayo, but I like your recipe better. Good to see you on the ‘net!

  4. S. E. Clark Says:

    Glad you enjoyed it! It’s just so yummy. Sometimes I sneak in even more lemon juice if I want a brighter flavor! Fresh herbs also go great in it.

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