When you first learn how to make vegan mayonnaise, you might be in for a surprise when you realise that it just isn’t as difficult as you might have thought. In face it’s a piece of cake!
I used to want to learn how to make vegan mayonnaise, but I had it in my head that it was a bit of a fa-fa. A bit of a to-do. I would say to myself, one day I’ll do it – but that day kept being mañana because I thought it would be a pain.
And then, one day I did it.
I made vegan mayonnaise and I realised just how easy it is.
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How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise
Vegan mayonnaise is an emulsion between oil, plant milk and a little bit of acid, like lemon juice, or a white vinegar, or both. Other ingredients are just for flavour – it’s the blending of those three essential ingredients that creates what we recognise as a mayonnaise.
Basically, when you want to make homemade mayonnaise, all you need to do is get your head round how easy it is and just go ahead and do it. Because it is easy, and procrastination is the biggest negative-influencer to stop this from happening.
So Just Do It!
If you speak to people who used to make mayonnaise in the past, the oil had to be very carefully drizzled into the milk – and even so, sometimes the mayonnaise wouldn’t actually emulsify and had to be thrown away, only to start all over again (or use remedies – see troubleshooting below).
But these days, well, let’s just say that things have changed . . .
With our fancy new kitchen appliances (aka bog standard hand blender), we can put everything in a jar all at one time, all together. Yes. Exactly. Much easier!
Put all the ingredients into the blending container, or straight into the jar where you plan to keep the mayonnaise, as long as the blender fits into the top, and place the blender into the mixture at the bottom.
Now, the important part . . . are you listening? The important, no essential part, is to hold the blender vertically into the mixture and place the bottom on the bottom of the container.
Now, just switch it on! Don’t move it at all. Hold it vertical without moving and just blend.
The mayonnaise will appear before your very eyes! And if you find there’s a touch of oil left on the top, then you can move the blender upwards so that the last drop of oil gets blended in. But in the first instance, the blender stays put in a vertical position.
Hey Presto! Vegan Mayonnaise appears!
Vegan Mayonnaise Ingredients Overview
The most important thing about making vegan mayonnaise, or any mayonnaise come to that, is that it has a ratio of 1 measure of plant milk to 2 measures of oil, or 1/2 a measure plant milk to 1 measure oil, plus either lemon juice or white vinegar for the acid ingredient.
With those three ingredients the mayonnaise will emulsify but there are a few other things which you can add for flavouring.
So what about the extra ingredients? Well, a good pinch of salt is normal in my household, though my mum makes it salt free and hers is absolutely delicious. As well as that you can add half a teaspoon of mustard to give it a bit of a depth. And you can also add a dash of soy sauce or sweet soy sauce if you think it needs improving.
For a touch of yellow colour, add turmeric. And of course, if you like you can add a hint of garlic, but not too much.
I’ve read recipes where they add maple syrup to the mayonnaise mix, but as a rule I just don’t add sweetness to things, especially if it isn’t essential – so I haven’t tried maple syrup in mayonnaise.
Best Oil for Making Homemade Mayonnaise
The best oil for making homemade mayonnaise, taste wise, is something like sunflower oil because of its flavourless character. It gives the mayonnaise that blandness that goes well with almost every food out there! And apart from making a lighter mayonnaise, it’s also whiter in colour, which can look more attractive.
However, if you go for sunflower oil or canola oil or vegetable oil you aren’t choosing the healthiest oil out there. So choosing the best oil for making homemade mayonnaise will depend a bit on your personal preference and which oil you feel fine eating.
Remember the oil you choose will have a direct impact on the flavour of your mayonnaise. The best way to know is to try with various oils. I made two mayonnaises with two different olive oils and they had a significantly different flavour, the lighter oil always making for the better mayonnaise taste.
I am a diehard olive oil fan, so I still use olive oil for my vegan mayonnaise but really, to be honest, you’ll probably prefer the flavour of a less powerful tasting oil.
- Sunflower or vegetable oil – the best for a clean flavour but not so healthful as other oils
- Extra virgin olive oil – most people think it can be too overpowering but a lighter version can be fine
- Coconut oil – normally one of my favourite oils but quite pricey for mayonnaise. You can use a bit of coconut oil in your homemade mayonnaise along with another oil
- Avocado oil – again, expensive for mayonnaise and it makes a heavy mayonnaise, but can work well if you use it in part. It will add a yellow colour to the mayonnaise.
Best Plant Milk for Making Homemade Mayonnaise
It’s vital that the plant milk you use isn’t sweetened. Where I live, almost all the plant milks are sweet, even when they’ve got ‘No Added Sugar‘ plastered across the front.
Because of that, I use soy milk as it’s the only one I can get easily which is 100% pure without any additives.
As long as you buy pure, organic plant milk, there are lots of choices available for you. Almond milk, cashew milk and soy milk would be in the top three.
Best Vegan Mayonnaise
Is there one, simple, best vegan mayonnaise recipe? I don’t think there is. You’ll get delicious mayonnaise time and time again, but they won’t always taste identical!
The taste definitely varies and there are clearly better flavours and worse flavours but the exact ‘best’ vegan mayonnaise would have to be all those times when your 10 minutes in the kitchen pay off the most!
Some people love garlic in their mayonnaise. To me then it becomes alioli, not mayonnaise!
But! Actually, you can add a little touch of garlic to your vegan mayonnaise without it crossing the line over into alioli, but be careful not to add too much and overpower the flavour.
Vegan Mayonnaise Ingredients
- 1 measure oil
- 1/2 measure unsweetened plant milk
- 1 (tablespoon) lemon juice
- 1 (tablespoon) apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
Optional additional ingredients to tweak to your taste:
- 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- soy sauce
- sweet soy sauce
- touch of garlic
- nutritional yeast (for emergencies!)
If you keep the blender upright, on a high speed and without moving, you shouldn’t run into any problems with emulsifying. But, if the mayonnaise mix separates instead of blending, you can try to regain the mayonnaise by blending again with a couple of teaspoons of water.
Too Thin Consistency
Use the trickle method to add more oil to the mix while the blender’s still running. If you don’t want to add more oil, you could change the mayonnaise completely by adding some ground cashews or nutritional yeast but these will of course, change the flavour considerably.
When you’ve blended the mayonnaise and tasted it, if it isn’t exactly how you want it you can still add things to it to tweak the flavour. If it’s a bit too sharp, you can add soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, nutritional yeast, yeast extract or ground cashews.
If it lacks character it might need more lemon juice – add an extra squirt and taste again.
You can also add herbs like fresh chopped fresh parsley or other herb of your choice.
Keep the vegan mayonnaise in a sealed jar in the fridge. It might get a bit of liquid separating from the mayonnaise, but it’s nothing to worry about, just stir the mayonnaise and enjoy.
You can keep the vegan mayonnaise in the fridge for a few days. Remember, it’s so easy to make it’s better to make a small quantity and use it in a couple of days rather than try to keep it for too long.
The less quantity the better so that you always get to eat it fresh but the amount you blend should be enough to cover the head of the blender or it might not emulsify properly.
Is Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise Healthy?
Shop bought mayonnaise can be full of additives so homemade mayonnaise is naturally much healthier option.
But that doesn’t make it a healthy food. Much healthier would be to eat a healthy homemade cashew sauce, which you can make plain or with more vinegar to substitute a sour cream, or with herbs like basil to give it a different flavour.
In essence mayonnaise is high in oil (which would arguably be actually be better off eaten in its original form, as raw oil). So while homemade vegan mayonnaise is the best way to eat mayonnaise, it’s very high in calories and low in nutritional value, so it isn’t something to eat every day.
Eat in moderation and enjoy!
Homemade vegan mayonnaise is one of the best discoveries you can make when you go vegan, because almost everyone thinks it’s a hassle to make when the truth is it’s absolutely the opposite.
Easy to make, delicious and (relatively) healthy!
If you make vegan mayonnaise, how do you like it best? What ingredients do you use? Have you ever had any problems making vegan mayonnaise?