Healthy Substitutions for Condiments and more – A Random Reader Question

April 10, 2009 · 33 comments

homemade condiments

QUESTION FROM A READER: (My reply follows)

As I’ve posted earlier, I’m currently weeding through lots of information and coming up with things I need to find healthy substitutes for. Condiments in general seem to be a big challenge.

One of the things I’ve been looking at is Mayonnaise. I didn’t buy anything I’ve seen at the organic stores because they had soybean oil (ugh), soy lecithin (ugh ugh), or other oils that weren’t good. However, I have found several recipes to “Make Your Own”. There are lots of variations, and I was wondering if anyone had tried any of them? Is it something similar to the recipe I’ve listed below? My big problem is that I haven’t been brave enough to try it yet for one main reason……it uses raw egg, as do all of the “make your own mayo” recipes that I found. Every since raw eggs became taboo I have concerns especially since I’ll be feeding it to a 7 and 8 year old. Again, the one I listed below looked to meet my needs the most minus the use of raw egg.

  • So, does anybody have a good argument for why raw egg is not a problem? Another problem is what to store it in? My last problem is how long does it keep?
  • Also looking for a good ranch recipe.
  • And a good ketchup recipe that’s easy to make. I’ve seen a few but I they all seem to use sugar/splenda/brown sugar instead of something like raw honey.

Any suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. If anyone knows the equivalent substitution for using honey versus sugar/spend/brown sugar it would be helpful.

MY REPLY:

Hi Jen,

  • When using honey in place of sugars (I’ve never used Splenda, and wouldn’t as it’s a fake sweetener), I usually don’t replace ALL of the sugar with honey, or it has a very strong honey taste (although it depends on what you’re making – you don’t notice it so much with chocolate recipes). I often will replace maybe half the refined sugar with honey, then use organic sugar (only if you have to), maple sugar, palm or coconut sugar, or maple syrup for the other half. The My Dark Secrets post has a ton of info in the comments.  (Read more about natural sweeteners and where to buy them.)
  • MAYO UPDATE:  Try my mayo recipe that I’ve finally perfected!!!  Also:  you can store HM mayo in a pint-sized mason/Ball jar.  There’s a lot more great scoop on mayo in the comments!!
  • Read more about raw eggs and safety issues: you don’t need to fear them IF you are getting them from a farm that have their chickens out on pasture, and who are not fed any junk. (Hormones, antibiotics, soy, etc.) We eat a LOT of raw eggs here, in our smoothies, our “protein drinks“, our ice cream, etc. They are full of nutrition, especially when uncooked!
  • There is a recipe for fermented ketchup (super nutritious) in the NT cookbook which you’ll find at the mayo link above. If anyone makes the NT ketchup, please let us know – is it easy? How does it taste?
  • Lastly, check out my homemade ranch dressing!

Hope that answers your questions! Be sure to read the comments, as I’m sure my awesome readers will have many more goodies to share.

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    { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Sustainable Eats April 10, 2009 at 12:49 am

    I am hoping someone will jump in on the NT mayo recipe – I’ve been really intrigued by that and the homemade ketsup & mustard. As soon as mine runs out I’m on it! Not sure how long they last but I’m guessing awhile since they are made with whey. We are still eating down the chocolate cereal and will be trying it again next week – I haven’t forgotten, just been overwhelmed with the front yard…

    Sustainable Eats

    Reply

    2 Lauren B April 10, 2009 at 1:31 am

    The problem with homemade mayo is the taste of extra virgin olive oil. Any extra virgin liquid oil (except maybe canola, which is questionable!) is flavored too strongly to make an all purpose “mayo” condiment. This is why I don’t make it, or buy it. I saw a recipe for coconut oil mayo, but coconut oil becomes firm when you refrigerate. Not sure how that would work!

    Any suggestions as to the fat that could be used?

    Lauren B

    Reply

    3 Kelly April 10, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Hey, I wonder about that “Mary’s Oil Blend” recipe from the Eat Fat Lose Fat book? It’s part olive oil, part coconut oil, and part another oil…can’t remember now and too lazy to go grab my book…….I’ll try googling…

    Check it out! My first hit was this (and if anyone tries the mayo recipe below, let us know!):

    Mary’s Oil Blend

    Makes 3 cups
    119 calories per tablespoon

    This wonderful blend of three oils can be used in salad dressings or as a cooking oil. When used for cooking, flavors come through beautifully, and the blend does not burn as easily as pure coconut oil. In salads, it provides all the benefits of coconut oil and does not have the strong taste of olive oil. In mayonnaise, it provides firmness when chilled. Be sure that the sesame oil you purchase is truly expeller expressed or cold-pressed, since the very high temperatures used during processing destroy the unique protective antioxidants in sesame oil. Since we use this blend in many recipes, we suggest you make enough to have on hand whenever you need it.

    1 cup coconut oil, gently melted
    1 cup expeller-expressed or cold-pressed sesame oil
    1 cup extra virgin olive oil

    Mix ingredients together in an airtight glass jar and store at room temperature.

    Mayonnaise

    Makes about 1 cup
    99 calories per tablespoon

    Mary’s Oil Blend is perfect for mayonnaise–it provides the benefits of coconut oil, including firmness when refrigerated, and does not have the strong taste of olive oil. If you do not want to make your own mayonnaise, an excellent commercial brand is Delouis Fils, available in the refrigerated section of many specialty stores and gourmet markets. Note that commercial mayonnaise is about 110 calories per tablesoon; by using Mary’s Oil Blend with coconut oil, we reduce the caloric value slightly.

    1 whole egg, at room temperature
    1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon Homemade Whey, optional
    Sea salt and and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Reply

    4 Christine April 10, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Lauren, have you tried making mayo with light olive oil? I use EV when we like the olive taste, but light (the last pressing of the oil) for things like this. I currently use Helmans olive oil mayo – we don’t use enough mayo to justify my time making it at home, and the one or two times I’ve tried it, it was a total flop. :P Eventually I may try with my super powered immersion mixer.

    For ketchup, I buy organic. It doesn’t contain HFCS if labeled organic.

    I would love a GOOD tasting basic Ranch recipe, and will check yours out. I cannot tell you how many ranch versions I’ve tried at home over the past decade (at least a dozen!) – only to be rejected by kids who are hooked on Kens Steak House Ranch (which is soy, like most dressings).

    Reply

    5 Kristin April 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I don’t use much mayo either but have made the NT recipe with whey. It is good! And it lasts for at least a number of weeks. I don’t like to use olive oil save for salads (since I have to mail order and it is $$), so I tend to use Creme Fraiche or Buttermilk instead when I’m making egg or tuna salads (which is really not too often)

    I do need to work on some cream-based recipes since it is a fat I can produce.

    We just do without ketchup. When I’ve got enough tomatoes, I’ll try making the NT variety. To eliminate ketchup and still get flavor on things like homemade fries, you can toss potato wedges with:

    melted butter or lard
    chili powder
    black pepper
    a little brown sugar (I use sucanat)
    salt
    paprika

    We’ve pretty much brainwashed the kids about MSG, HFCS, etc in ketchup and condiments so they don’t have a problem with no ketchup. Organic is pricey and not readily available in our small town so I rarely buy it.

    I have made my own BBQ sauce using a recipe from The Grassfed Gourmet (with my own mods to eliminate the ketchup and use tomato paste instead). It is good and there are so many variations. The basics ingredients are:

    Tomato Paste
    Vinegar
    Sweetener (honey, sucanat, molasses or a combo depending on what taste I want)
    Salt & Pepper
    Spices (like garlic, onion, cayenne, cloves or allspice…again, depends on what taste I want)

    I simmer on the stove to reduce and thicken it a bit. Sorry, I don’t usually measure, just taste. And sometimes I’ll use tomato puree instead.

    Reply

    6 Kathy April 10, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Kelly, I believe you have mentioned Wilderness Family Naturals as a source of Mary’s Oil Blend mayonnaise. Actually they are running a 20% off regular price special through April 18th — in case you want to stock up!

    http://wildernessfamilynaturals.com/mayo.htm

    Reply

    7 Rosy April 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I’vd made the Mary’s oil blend mayo. Its tastes a little like sesame oil. The olive and coconut oils mixed togeather were great!

    Reply

    8 Rachael April 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I’ve made the NT ketchup for our family and was fairly pleased with the results. Next time, I’ll make it with a little more water though. It was a bit thick for our taste. And I’ll use minced garlic instead of (whole) mashed and process it in the blender or food processor before fermenting. When we got to the pockets of garlic or fish sauce that hadn’t been properly incorporated, it was less than enticing.

    My kids (3, 2, & 2) ate it without complaint, even when we hit the garlicky or fishy parts. My husband still prefers store-bought organic. :)

    Reply

    9 FoodRenegade April 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve used both Mary’s blend and 1/2 coconut 1/2 olive oil and the mayo tastes great to me. I also don’t use lemon juice, but sub in apple cider vinegar instead.

    Thanks, Kelly, for participating in Fight Back Fridays. This is just the kind of practical advice that makes people feel empowered!

    All the best,
    KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

    FoodRenegade

    Reply

    10 Nancy April 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    There are several good condiment recipes here http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/recipe-index The kethcup is awesome, easy and cheap! I have used tomato sauce instead of the paste and water. I just cooked it a little longer. Last time I made it I was out of rapadura so I used only honey. I typically use 3/4 honey when I substitute it for sugar products. Since we don’t use a lot of ketchup, I froze it in muffin tins and then dumped the cubes in a gallon size baggie. I have a couple of bbq sauce recipes that start with 1 cup ketchup. I made sure that each muffin had 1/2 cup ketchup in it so when I need to make bbq sauce I can just grab 2 cubes.

    I have made a couple of mayo recipes. You can slowly pour the first half of oil in the blender but I would drip in the second half. Just one drop too much oil will ruin your mayo. Here’s a great tutorial using a mason jar and an imersian blender. I love that there are no dishes to wash after this! http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/04/homemade-mayonnaise-2.html

    Reply

    11 Anna April 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I love mayo and use it frequently as a base for dipping sauces, dressings, egg/tuna/salmon/chicken/fruit salad (hardly ever as a spread, because bread and sandwiches are so rare in our house).

    I make a small batch of mayo often, once a week, give or take. After a few times, you can do this in your sleep in about 5 minutes without even measuring anything. I use a handheld (stick) blender because the blender is a pain to get out and clean for such a small amount (1-1/2 cups). Once making mayo becomes routine, it won’t seem like a lot of trouble for a little mayonnaise.

    I also think the EVOO taste is too strong in mayo, especially when made with a motorized blender method instead of hand whisking, so I use refined light OO only for mayo, though I’ve used half walnut or macadamia nut oil, too. I wasn’t wild about the Mary’s blend mayo, but maybe I am just too lazy to make the blend.

    I don’t worry about the raw eggs anymore, though it is possible to buy pasteurized eggs in the shell or lightly pasteurize yolks at home (see Harold McGee’s instructions online). Most of my eggs come from local “backyard” chickens, but sometimes I buy TJ eggs. I just check to make sure there are no microcracks in the shell, and I give the shell a good wash first. I think a lacto-fermented NT-type diet tends to make one resistant to many GI illnesses, anyway, and my family has no immunosuppressive conditions that would the very slightly increased risk of pathogens from raw eggs more risky. I view the chronic and heavy ingestion of soybean oil a bigger risk for us.

    Food Renegade had a terrific post and recipe up on Mayo in December: http://www.foodrenegade.com/enzyme-rich-mayonnaise/

    Reply

    12 Kylie Thomas April 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I find the taste of mayo made with olive oil too strong. So I use organic sunflower oil. It has a completely neutral taste- perfect for making mayo!

    Reply

    13 Local Nourishment April 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    If you are a coconut oil fan (like I am) you can try my recipe for Cocomayo. It stiffens a little in the fridge, but taking it out to warm a little before using it softens it right up: http://localnourishment.com/2009/02/18/real-food-wednesday-coconut-heaven/

    Local Nourishment

    Reply

    14 Alyss April 10, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Point 1: With the acid of the vinegar/lemon juice you don’t need to worry about raw eggs anyway. Alton Brown talks about how the low pH of the mayonaise will kill anything in the eggs (and there is a miniscule chance of anything being INSIDE even commercial eggs). You can check out the transcript of his mayo show at The Good Eats Fan Page. Just Google it :)
    Point 2: Instead of mayonaise I often combine sour cream with a little olive oil, a little vinegar and some salt. It works perfectly on sandwiches and in tuna salads. And it’s pro-biotic.
    Point 3: I made a homemade ketchup following this recipe:
    http://www.brooklynfarmhouse.com/2009/02/10/homemade-ketchup/
    I made mine with tomato puree, minus the jalapeno, and added in some raw onion at the end. It’s quite cinnamonny… I’ll try to write it up in my blog one of these days. But it’s a fine jumping off point.
    Point 4: Thanks for blogging about all this cool stuff!

    Alyss

    Reply

    15 Kelly April 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Isn’t it fun to find other food nerds like ourselves, who also love talking about things like healthy condiments!! :)

    Reply

    16 Kathy April 11, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    Didn’t I read that you could substitute Sunflower oil for the olive oil in the NT book? ( I read it somewhere) I used the olive oil and since I was using it for chicken salad and had added other spices it was fine. I bought the sunflower oil to try the next time. I also made the ketchup and agree with Rachael that I would just add a little more water. I made the mustard and added a little water to that also, it was very tasty. We laughed when we put a little store bought ketchup next to mine it looked hideous all thin and sugary. I will just keep on making it myself.

    Reply

    17 CHEESESLAVE April 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Lauren –

    Most olive oil is too strong but Chaffin Family Orchards produces an olive oil that is extremely mild. So mild, in fact, that it makes AMAZING mayonnaise! They pick their olives at the very end of the season which is why their oil is so mild.

    http://www.chaffinfamilyorchards.com/store/results.php?category=13

    I now make my olive oil with 100% olive oil (Chaffin) and I add the whey to make it probiotic and to make it keep longer.

    CHEESESLAVE

    Reply

    18 CHEESESLAVE April 12, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    PS: I love the Wilderness Family Naturals mayo, too. I think it is the best tasting and healthiest mayo you can buy.

    CHEESESLAVE

    Reply

    19 Tamara April 13, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I dunno, but ever since I first heard about it, ive been holding out on making my own mayo until i can get my hands on some duck fat to put in it. It just sound so luxurious even though ive never even had duck fat, lol.

    Reply

    20 CHEESESLAVE April 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Duck fat in mayo? Hmmmm….. YUM that sounds delicious!!

    Why have I not heard of this before? Do you have a recipe?

    Could you do half duck fat and half olive oil I wonder?

    Do you have a source for duck in your area? They sell them at our Whole Foods (and our farmer’s market, which is where I buy mine). You can get quite a bit of duck fat from roasting a duck. I roast a duck about once a month and I always have plenty of duck fat.

    CHEESESLAVE

    Reply

    21 Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam April 14, 2009 at 8:48 am

    I love this…thank you so much for linking up to Tasty Tuesday. Finding so many healthy alternatives and posting them is a wonderful way to educate everyone.
    Since we have our own chickens, I cheat and do use raw eggs every once in awhile for some things. i know…I could regret it, but I figure for centuries they did with fresh eggs. Let me know if I should definitely not do this.

    Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

    Reply

    22 Kelly April 14, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Jen, you definitely SHOULD do this, it’s very good for you! Read up in the post where it talks about raw eggs for more info.

    Reply

    23 Ginger April 14, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Wow! People are serious about their condiments, huh? I don’t like mayo. Love Ketchup, love homemade BBQ.
    Ginger

    Ginger

    Reply

    24 Kirstin April 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve tried the mayo with olive oil from the store and it’s pretty good. I haven’t ventured too far into this realm yet. I like Trader Joes Organic Ketchup! Pretty natural.

    I make my own BBQ sauce, and I’ve posted it on my side bar on my blog.

    Kirstin

    Reply

    25 ~M April 14, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Grapeseed oil would work well for mayo (that’s the oil in Vegenaise grapseed that I use). Light (not extra virgin) olive oil would work too.

    Reply

    26 Kelly April 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Kirstin, the problem with the mayo with olive oil that I’ve seen at the store, though, is that the main ingredient is still soybean oil. :(

    M – I would agree on the light olive oil, but not the grapeseed, here are a couple posts I did recently about Canola oil:

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/04/canola-oil-last-time-random-reader-question.html

    &

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/03/healthy-cooking-oils-whats-wrong-with-canola-info-from-nina-planck.html

    Reply

    27 Anna April 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Oh YUM! I made the bacon fat mayo tonight. I had the oven going, so I set the 1/2 cup of cool bacon fat on the warm stovetop to melt. Except for the time waiting for the fat to become liquid, it only took about 3 minutes to make. I didn’t even dirty measuring spoons, just estimated the lime juice as I squeezed, scooped the mustard with a knife, and added sea salt to taste. I blended it in a quart tall glass beaker with a hand held stick blender. Will store in a glass jar in the fridge. Makes about 9-10 oz.

    The Fat book recipe calls for an egg yolk, but I generally make mayo with a whole egg (plus I didn’t want to have to find a use for that egg white). I also used lime juice because I have a bushel of limes after pruning my tree last weekend and removing the mature limes to make room for the new ones. I didn’t have any dijon, so I used coarse grained mustard. Mmmmm.

    I thinned out a few tablespoons of the mayo with white wine vinegar and EVOO for salad dressing.

    Will be making this more often!

    Reply

    28 Kelly April 16, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Who would’ve thought that talking about MAYO of all things would make me hungry…?! I’ll have to try that!

    Reply

    29 Kelly May 16, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Hey guys, I messed up. Above in comment # 26, I mixed up RAPESEED oil (Canola), with the one someone mentioned, GRAPESEED. They are two different things. Neither are good, in my opinion.

    The Canola/rapeseed links are listed above in that same comment, #26.

    Info about Grapeseed is here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/05/is-grapeseed-oil-a-good-choice-random-reader-question.html

    Reply

    30 Erin August 14, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Hello…just wondering if you’ve tried the lacto-fermented ketchup recipe in NT, yet? If so, how did it turn out? Do you think the 1/2 c of maple syrup is necessary or does the yeast eat most of it? Thanks for your help!

    Reply

    31 KitchenKop August 14, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Sorry Erin, I haven’t tried it. We don’t eat too much ketchup lately and I just buy organic. I know Ann Marie (www.cheeseslave.com) makes it, though, maybe you could check with her?
    Kelly

    Reply

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