What Oils Are Best for Making Mayo?
The smooth, creamy texture and sheer elegance that quality mayo imparts to sandwiches, salads, and sauces is certainly unrivaled at least in American cuisine.
Never does the thought cross my mind to “go light on the mayo”. If I am feeling like a huge dollop or two, I feel free to indulge myself given that the mayo I insist on using is of superior freshness and quality and made with health boosting oils and liquid whey for additional digestive enzymes and even probiotics.
Given that the fats used in the mayo are the most critical ingredient, which oils are the best ones to select?
I tell folks that when making mayo for the first time, use sunflower seed oil as this will give the closest consistency and taste to store mayo. However, sunflower oil is a high omega 6 oil and while this is fine if one follows a whole foods, traditionally based diet where the omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio is roughly between 1:1 and 1:4 – if one is still in the process of transitioning off processed foods, a lower omega 6 oil is probably a better choice given that processed foods are loaded with rancid omega 6 oils which encourage development of inflammation.
Including even a few processed foods in the diet can skew that omega 3 to omega 6 balance toward inflammation in a hurry!
If watching your omega 6 intake, sesame oil is a good choice for mayo as it is higher in oleic acid (monounsaturated, omega 9 fat) and lower in omega 6 fats (polyunsaturated) than sunflower oil. Oleic acid is the healthy fat found in great quantity in olive oil.
Which is Better – Coconut Oil, Ghee or Olive Oil?
If oleic acid is so fantastic, then why not just use olive oil for mayo then?
Extra virgin olive oil can be a good choice for mayo but many folks find the flavor too strong when used by itself. Using half olive oil and half sesame oil is an option for a milder tasting mayo which still is high in oleic acid.
In addition, some folks find that olive oil really packs the weight on as oleic acid is a longer chain fatty acid and is more likely to contribute to the buildup of body fat than the shorter chain fatty acids found in coconut oil or ghee.
My current favorite oil mix for mayo is to blend 1/2 sunflower or sesame oil (whichever I have on hand) and 1/2 expeller pressed coconut oil. Since coconut oil goes very firm below 76F, using half coconut oil produces a mayo that is very thick and scoopable.
I wouldn’t advise using virgin coconut oil, though, unless you enjoy a coconut flavor to your mayo.
The final suggestion I would make for healthy mayo making oils is ghee. I’ve made mayo with ghee before and it turns out absolutely fabulous. The one drawback is that the mayo turns out so rich that you can’t use a lot of it without feeling very full.
Since I like to use a lot of mayo, using all ghee doesn’t really work for me, but half ghee and half sesame oil would be a good option to lighten up the richness factor a bit.
Which oils and in what combination do you use for making your mayo? Are you switching around all the time like I tend to do or have you found a combination that you stick with consistently?
Where to Source Quality Oils for Your Mayo
Be sure to check my Resources page for a list of vendors I trust that supply quality oils for all your mayo making endeavors!
Update: Since this post was written, I have found another healthy oil that is fabulous for making mayo: avocado oil.
This is the quality unrefined brand that I use. It is mild tasting, has a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil, and the mayo stays creamy in the fridge. Bonus, a new mayo on the market with totally clean ingredients uses avocado oil and tastes just like homemade. Check it out here. The only downside is that it does not use raw egg yolks.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.