There are many versions of prepared vegan 'mayonnaise' out there on the grocery shelves. But they're also quite simple to make at home where you can adjust the sweetness/tang ratio to your taste. Read on for two versions, one made with tofu and another made with almonds.
Raw Almond Mayo
This recipe calls for peeled raw almonds (making it also is good for raw foodists.) The nuts are ground with water in a blender along with classic mayo flavorings: lemon juice, mustard powder, salt and pepper. I prefer to omit the sugar.
The texture is thick and unctuous but slightly rough from the ground almonds. I gave them a long time under the blender blade, so I think I got them as finely ground as I could. Perhaps a mega-blender like the Vita-Mix would get this mixture silky smooth.
1/2 cup soaked almonds (soak almonds for 8 hours and drain)
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard power
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
1 to 3 teaspoons agave or raw sugar
Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and blend until very smooth. With blender still on, carefully and slowly pour a thin stream of olive oil through the opening in the blender's cover. Start with 1/2 cup of oil and continue until you reach the right consistency, up to 3/4 cup. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice or some apple cider vinegar if you want more tang and the agave/sugar if you want sweetness.
Vegan Tofu Mayo
This has been my go-to vegan mayo for years. I like it because it's simple and uses less oil, due to the thickening power of the tofu. I make this with regular tofu because that's what I tend to have on hand. It can be made with silken tofu but be sure to eliminate the water and start with 4 tablespoons of oil.
12 oz firm tofu
4-6 tablespoons water
4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 T lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweetener like agave or a little sugar, or to taste
Whirl all ingredients together in a blender, starting with the lesser amounts of oil and water, adding more if needed until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. More lemon juice will bring out the tang and more sweetener will obviously up the sweet. I prefer no sweetener at all.
Recipes originally published March 17, 2010.
(Image: Dana Velden)