Mother Earth Living

Green Your Life: Make Homemade Mayonnaise

Making your lunch and bringing it to work or school is an easy way to cut down on excess packaging, avoid unnecessary preservatives and decrease your carbon footprint (especially if you’d usually be found idling in the drive-up line). But you can further darken your shade of green by foregoing store-bought mayonnaise and making your lunch with the homemade variety.

A few squeezes of lemon juice really brighten up a batch of homemade mayonnaise. For some variety, throw in some diced chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce and a little lime juice, or some freshly roasted garlic and ground pepper. Photo By Dani Hurst.


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch or two of sugar (optional)
  • ¾ cup canola oil (or olive oil if you prefer the taste)


1. Whisk together egg yolk, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.

2. Drip the canola oil into the egg mixture while continuously whisking: drop-by-drop for the first ¼ cup or so, then gradually add the rest in a steady stream. The mixture should change from deep yellow to light cream in color, and should stiffen after a few minutes of constant whisking. You can rock it old-school with a manual whisk, but if your arm gets tired (which it likely will) turn to an electric hand-held mixer or food processor.

3. Refrigerate leftovers for three to five days.  

Mayonnaise begins as a thin, yellow mixture of vinegar, oil and egg yolk, but with minutes of continuous whisking slowly thickens and lightens in color. To ease the strain on your arm, consider an electric beater or food processor to get the job done. Photo By Dani Hurst.

After you’ve made the mayo, customize it to fit your taste preferences. Spice it up by adding some canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce and a few squeezes of lime for a great chipotle-lime mayo, or else fold in some freshly roasted garlic and ground pepper. The possibilities abound, and I encourage you to experiment with new and exciting flavors and combinations.

Use pasteurized eggs (or pasteurize your own) if you’re worried about consuming raw eggs. And check out this recipe from Food Network Magazine for homemade mayonnaise using heated egg yolks

Mayonnaise is a sandwich staple that you can easily make at home. It takes just minutes to make and you can experiment with new and exciting flavor combinations. While making your own mayonnaise is a great idea, homemade mayo does spoil more quickly than the store-bought kind. However, the store-bought kind only lasts longer because of all the added preservatives that the homemade mayo lacks. So my take on it is this: make your own mayonnaise if you use enough to justify a new batch every week, for special occasions, and when it is most likely to be used up quickly, like for a party or cook-out. But if you only occasionally indulge and don’t feel like making weekly batches, you might be better off sticking with store-bought.

  • Published on Apr 25, 2011
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