I am a slave to mayonnaise. I love the stuff. I love it so much that I can eat it by the spoonful. The problem is the types of fats typically used in mayonnaise. I typically avoid seed oils like the plague because they are chock full of omega-6 oils, which are necessary to health, but the amounts in seed oil are way beyond what we need and have the potential to be harmful – this, at least, is what I believe.
As omega-6 fats are found in scads of other foods – avocados, meat, eggs, and scores of other stuff – there’s little concern of not getting enough. It’s the ‘too much’ that could prove worrisome.
Now, for those of us with culinary skills, you can make your own authentic mayonnaise from olive oil – but I’m not talented enough – or persistent enough – or maybe just too darn lazy.
So I have been on a quest to come up with a ‘replacement’ – rather than a substitute. While it might seem like just semantics, calling something a ‘substitute’ sets you up for disappointment as a substitute will always prove lacking.
A replacement on the other hand stands on its own, with its own flavor profile and its own unique pleasure. I asked myself what it was that most drew me to mayonnaise and it was first and foremost the creaminess, then the tanginess from the vinegar.
As of late I have taken to using Fage full fat Greek yogurt for everything. I put it in soups, eat it plain, and am even tempted to use it as spackle on a crack that developed on my wall. While the spackle idea might be going a bit too far, I thought perhaps I could whip up a mayonnaise replacement.
Here’s what I tried:
- 3 ounces Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
I tried this with a can of tuna, mixing the two, the. Eating on lettuce. I thought it pretty darn good – not mayo, certainly, but it imparted the creaminess that helps cut the dryness of canned tuna, a tang of vinegar, and a texture from the dill relish that worked. While I might need to adjust the proportions a bit (a tad too much yogurt flavor), I enjoyed it.
My wife, not having seen that I had made a concoction and most likely thought the tuna salad was standard issue, grabbed some lettuce and ate some. There was no comment like: “What the HELL is this!?!” but instead she ate it and went back for more.
As my wife is cat-like in that she is extremely choosy in what she eats, this was proof that this concoction ain’t that bad. Moving forward I am going to try to use this easy-to-prep replacement whenever I want to reach for the mustard and see if I can make this an enjoyable long-term replacement.
An extra added benefit is that it’s lower calorie as well. I try not to worry about calories too much, but when you slather on mayo like I slather it, we could be talkin’ some serious caloric intake.