The idea of a Mayo Free Potato Salad might make you think this recipe is something like German Potato Salad. It’s not. Instead, this is a clean remake of creamy Classic Potato Salad. But if it doesn’t have mayo, what on earth makes it creamy? Don’t worry, it’s not yogurt! The secret is the cashew cream…
How to Make a Creamy Mayo Free Potato Salad
Cashew cream does the trick! It’s clean, dairy free and takes about 5 minutes to whip together. And it really does work WONDERS for giving potato salad an incredibly rich, creamy texture. Cashew cream has no funky “aftertaste” either.
But Why Not Just Use Mayo?
If you are trying to eat clean then you definitely want to avoid store bought mayo. I talk more about the downsides of store bought mayo in this blog post. But in a nutshell, here are two major reasons to avoid any jar of mayo that has been sitting unrefrigerated on a grocery story shelf for months (or longer!):
- Store-bought “real” mayonnaise that is made with eggs will never be healthy because the eggs have to be pasteurized in order to have a long shelf-life. I don’t trust any product that has eggs in it that is sold unrefrigerated. In order to make eggs shelf-stable they need to be highly processed.
- Store-bought mayo uses globs of oil (oil is never as healthy as the “whole food” from which it was derived) and to make matters worse, every brand of mayo I have ever seen –with the exception of Primal Kitchen brand-–uses refined oil, which is basically just an empty calorie, pro-inflammatory ingredient.
What is Wrong with Homemade “Real” Mayo?
“Real” homemade mayonnaise recipes call for raw eggs—and of course a lot of oil too. Even though I have nothing against eggs (assuming they are pasture-raised), I still can’t bring myself to make mayo from raw eggs for health safety purposes. I am just not up for salmonella over here! By the way, I do have an egg and oil free clean mayo recipe that you could use in place of the cashew cream. I just use the cashew cream to keep the potato salad recipe as easy as possible 😉 Enough talk about the mayo.
Want the Best Potato Salad? Choose the Right Potato!
In developing my Mayo Free Potato Salad Recipe, I stumbled on The Kitchnn’s article spotlighting the 5 Steps to Avoid When Making Potato Salad. One of the most important take-away tips I got was to choose the right potato!
When It Comes to Potato Salad, Not All Potatoes Are Created Equal
Potatoes are divided into three general categories based on their texture—starchy, all-purpose, and waxy. For the best potato salad, you want to choose waxy potatoes such as:
- Red Bliss Potatoes
- New Potatoes
- Fingerling Potatoes
Waxy potatoes have the least amount of starch and do the best job of retaining their shape during boiling. Although I use red bliss potatoes in my Mayo Free Potato Salad Recipe below, feel free to substitute fingerling or new potatoes if you like.
And DO Choose Organic Potatoes
I admit, I don’t always buy all of my foods organic. However, when it comes to potatoes, I think it is very important to go the extra organic mile. You can read more about why here and the statistic quoted from the New York Times below…
The New York Times:
“A 2006 U.S.D.A. test found 81 percent of potatoes tested still contained pesticides after being washed and peeled, and the potato has one of the the highest pesticide contents of 43 fruits and vegetables tested, according to the Environmental Working Group.”
Ok, let’s make some potato salad everyone! It’s so easy…
- 3 pounds organic baby red bliss potatoes
- 3/4 cup raw cashews (ideally soaked for 1 to 3 hours)
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Pink Himalayan sea salt, plus more to taste
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 17 minutes. Drain; let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
2. In a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix, add the cashews, water, honey, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Process on high speed until smooth and creamy. Set cashew cream aside.
3. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
4. To the mixing bowl, add the celery, scallions, parsley, garlic, thyme and Dijon mustard. Mix in the cashew cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
And finally, just in case you are worried about potatoes not being healthy, I hope this blog post eases your mind a bit 😉