I have worked very hard on getting this egg free mayonnaise recipe just right. But all the hard work was definitely worth it!
I am right in the middle of writing my Clean Cuisine Cookbook (due out in January 2018–Yay!), which will include clean remakes of classic favorites. I really wanted to create an egg free mayonnaise recipe for the cookbook that tastes like America’s favorite: Hellmann’s. A staple in dishes like potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs and fish dip, mayonnaise is definitely a classic favorite. So yes, this egg free mayonnaise recipe will be in the upcoming cookbook, but I was so excited about it that I could not wait a full year to share it!
Although I already have an oil-free, vegan mayonnaise recipe on the blog, I have to admit that that one does not taste exactly like Hellmann’s. My original oil-free version is still very creamy and delicious (well, I think so anyway!), but if you are after the taste of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, then this is the recipe to make.
Why Not Just Use Real Mayonnaise Made with Eggs?
As bad of a rap as mayonnaise gets, if you use the highest quality ingredients, then homemade mayonnaise (with eggs) is actually a healthy food. Real mayonnaise is made of eggs, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt, mustard, oil and a tad bit of sugar.
If you are familiar with our definition of clean eating or you happen to have our Clean Cuisine Book, then you know we are not against eggs. So why don’t I just buy Hellmann’s “Real” mayonnaise and call it a day? Why go to all the trouble of making an egg free mayonnaise recipe?
Lots of reasons actually…
Raw Eggs Make Me Nervous
I can’t help but worry about raw eggs and salmonella, one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States.
I buy the absolute highest quality pasture-raised eggs from chickens that are raised the way chickens are supposed to be, outdoors and truly free to range on pasture. In theory, high quality eggs should be much less likely to be contaminated with salmonella. However, I just can’t bring myself to eat raw eggs no matter how “clean” they may be.
The problem is, all real mayonnaise homemade recipes call for raw eggs.
Why I Don’t Like Store-Bought Mayonnaise with Pasteurized Eggs
Hellmann’s uses whole eggs but they are factory-farmed eggs, not pasture-raised eggs. Plus, since their mayonnaise is not sold refrigerated, in order to make the eggs shelf-stable Hellmann’s needs to pasteurize them. Any other brand of mayonnaise that is not sold refrigerated needs to do the same thing.
Pasteurized eggs might be “safe” to eat in that you won’t get salmonella, but I don’t like the idea of eating a food that has eggs as an ingredient and that sits on the store shelf “stable” for over a year. Maybe you won’t get salmonella from Hellmann’s mayonnaise, but it can’t possibly be as healthy as eating fresh eggs, regardless of how “safe” it may be.
By the way, Hellmann’s main competitor, Miracle Whip, was introduced as a cheaper alternative during the Depression Era. Because Miracle Whip used powdered eggs instead of whole eggs, it lost the “real” appeal to consumers, since “real” mayonnaise could only contain whole eggs, vinegar, and olive oil. Hellmann’s used this as a key marketing tactic against Miracle Whip for a long time, promoting its own truly “real” mayonnaise and getting a leg up on the competition.
Hellmann’s “Real” Mayonnaise is Not Like It Used to Be…
Hellmann’s is not like it was 100 years ago.
As mentioned above, the eggs in Hellmann’s are not exactly pasture-raised either. Instead, the eggs are sourced from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), commonly referred to as factory farms.
The actual list of ingredients in Hellmann’s “Real” Mayonnaise are (those that are likely directly or indirectly GMOs are bold): soybean oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), natural flavors.
Almost All Store-Bought Mayonnaise is Made with Refined Oils
The other problem I have with Hellmann’s mayonnaise is that every single variety contains refined (and highly pro-inflammatory) soybean oil or some other pro-inflammatory vegetable oil. Even Hellmann’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise contains more soybean oil than olive oil!
If you have our Clean Cuisine book then you know we dedicate an entire chapter (Chapter 5) to talking about how important choosing unrefined and anti-inflammatory oils are to your health. If you don’t have the book, you can read the Cliff’s Notes version on choosing healthy oils here.
FYI: Unrefined Avocado Oil Is One of the Cleanest & Tastiest Oils to Use in Homemade Mayonnaise
Whether you decide to make my egg free mayonnaise recipe below or a conventional mayo recipe using eggs, if you want your mayonnaise to be healthy, it is essential you use a high quality and unrefined oil.
I have found unrefined avocado oil to be the best-tasting and healthiest oil I have yet to try for homemade mayonnaise. By the way, did you know avocado oil has even received prescription drug status in France because of its proven ability to counter the negative effects of arthritis! (1)
I have tried using extra virgin olive oil in the past, but I found the flavor to be a bit too strong. Unrefined macadamia nut oil would also surely be very tasty, I just haven’t tried that one yet…
Look for Unrefined Oils
Unrefined oils are minimal heat processed oils (cold or expeller pressed) that have not been bleached or deodorized after extraction. Refined oils have been bleached and or deodorized. Also, heat damages the delicate polyunsaturated fats in oils, so it is very important for the oils you use to be of the least refined.
The Cleanest Store-Bought Brand of Real Mayonnaise
Ok, so you don’t want to make your own egg free mayonnaise recipe even after reading all of my reasons above explaining why I make my own. I totally get it!
If you just don’t have the time to make egg free mayonnaise then your best bet for the cleanest store-bought brand that I have yet to see is the Avocado Oil Mayonnaise by Primal Kitchen. I actually only recently discovered Primal Kitchen brand, before this I always just told people to avoid store-bought mayonnaise.
Ingredients in Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise: Avocado Oil, Organic Cage-Free Eggs, Organic Cage-Free Egg Yolks, Organic Vinegar (from Non-GMO Beets), Sea Salt, Organic Rosemary Extract
Primal Kitchen does still use eggs and the product IS sold not-refrigerated. As mentioned above, this means the eggs are therefore processed in order to remain shelf-stable, which is not optimal in my opinion. However, if you do not want to go to the trouble of making your own mayonnaise then in my opinion Primal Kitchen is definitely your best bet.
How to Make an Egg Free Mayonnaise Recipe
For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this Egg Free Mayonnaise Recipe meets the following dietary restrictions:
Egg Free / Grain Free / Bean-Free / Gluten Free / Paleo Friendly / Vegan / Vegetarian / Dairy Free
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unrefined avocado oil
- 1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked in water 30 minutes to 2 hours)
- 1 medjool date
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground dry mustard seed
Put all ingredients in a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) in the order listed above. Process on high speed for one full minute, or until ingredients are thoroughly blended and mixture is smooth and creamy.
Mayonnaise will keep for up to a week if stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator.