When you’re taking on a healthy, primal, whole foods lifestyle you learn a few things. You experience a few let downs. You redefine the meaning of things. One of those things is the term “natural” in the food industry. This has forced most of us humans to return to cooking and baking pretty much every element that goes into our family’s bodies. While we are glad to do this for our loved ones, we have certainly had to redefine the term “convenience”.
There is a growing number of “primal” and “paleo” baked goods recipes out there in the world wide web, and we increasingly have options for alternatives to our favorite warm memories. We are still having to make judgement calls and filter through the misguided and untested recipes that make big claims, but yield dissapointment. We educate ourselves because we know we can’t trust our health to anyone but ourselves. This makes us question just about every ingredient called for in any recipe, and one of my first reserves in our primal journey was about baking powder.
Baking powder….how could this be a “real food ingredient”? Does it come from a plant? What the crap is it, really?
There are many different brands out there with a variance of ingredients, sometimes including a preservative, but always including these three: baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch.
But before you start hyperventilating…. there is a very easy solution!
I had already been doing research on alternatives to cornstarch and arrowroot powder seems to be the most recommended. I’ve experimented with it in other recipes and it has become a household staple worthy of a mason jar in our pantry, so this was the obvious choice.
I knew there had to be plenty of recipes for baking powder already out there, so I found one that seemed right and replaced the cornstarch with arrowroot powder. The proportions are as follows…
You will need:
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp arrowroot powder
Combine all ingredients in a small jar with air tight seal.
I think I usually triple the batch, but it depends on the size of your jar.
There should be no problem with it expiring on you :).
Don’t forget to label it!
And there you have it. One less worrisome ingredient for your baking adventures.
Let’s be honest, though. It feels really good to have another item in your pantry that’s “homemade”, doesn’t it? You know it does…
Ah, mayo. The tang. The versatility. The gosh awful stress of making it yourself!!!
Well, no more! First, a history…
If you’re like me you read ingredient labels and if you like mayonnaise you know there isn’t any store bought mayo out there not completely full of crap! So, if you’re like me and on a whole foods primal journey, you figured that,like everything else, you’ll just make it yourself! No big deal!
I’ve seen all kinds of recipes and blog posts and methods on making this scrumptious staple and almost every time it broke. I tried it in the blender and the food processor, I tried different recipes and was very precise. No luck. I had nearly given up until I tried Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s method of using a immersion blender in a mason jar. This version worked well, but I hate having to clean off of the blender (in my mind I’m wasting precious yumminess!). Then I remembered an episode of French Food At Home where the hostess made a mayonnaise dip completely by hand. She didn’t even really measure anything. So, being the “soul cooker” that I am, I decided to gather the ingredients I knew were usually in mayonnaise and wing it with a whisk. Now, I’m not a huge fan of step by step pictures for every recipe post, but this is mayo we are talking about here…. it helps to have a visual.
So, I decided to go with one egg yolk because I wasn’t convinced this would really work after being let down so many times. I didn’t want to waste two, which is what most recipes call for.
I added the yolk, a cap full of apple cider vinegar, a splash of lemon juice, a squirt of dijon mustard, and a liberal amount of salt (after all, a lot of oil goes into it). If I were to guess I’d say it was about a tsp each.
Whisk it all together thoroughly and allow it to sit until the mixture is room temperature, allowing the acids to work on the raw yolk.
When you come back to it, it will most likely have thickened up…
Now the fun begins. Take your bottle of avocado oil and “pulse” a little into the mixture, whisking immediately until smooth and completely incorporated.
Continue “pulsing” and whisking, but make sure each “pulse” of oil is completely incorporated before adding the next one. It doesn’t have to be a drop at a time, but it is important to make sure it is well mixed before adding more.
So you’re pulsing and whisking, pulsing and whisking, pulsing and whisking, and then… what’s that? The laundry is ready? Well I better go take care of it!
So you go take care of the laundry and you get distracted for the next 20 minutes and then you realize: “crap! My mayo!”
You rush back to the kitchen and you find this…
See? It’s fine.
Actually, it’s thickened since its been sitting there.
I love doing it this way because not only is it easy and has less clean-up, you also don’t have to worry about it sitting too long or breaking on you when duty calls. I often start making mayo while I’m cooking and take breaks from pulsing oil to stir something else, go change a diaper, whatever. It’s not something that requires a ton of arm strength or full concentration. Somehow, this makes it even more delicious!
Keep pulsing oil and whisking it in and you will see it become whiter and thicker…
Almost looks like store bought crap, right? Well, it’s way better than that!
Each batch I make usually takes about 1 cup of oil, but you can add as much or as little as you would like. Remember that this will continue to thicken on its own when it sits there, even in the fridge, so if to you it’s “just about right” it may be a good time to stop.
Taste it. If you need more salt, gently whisk it in. Make your adjustments before storing in the fridge.
No measuring. No mess. No precise pouring or blending. Works every time.
Here is the breakdown…
You will need:
1 egg yolk in a medium sized mixing bowl
Apple cider vinegar
Redmond’s Real Salt
Lemon juice (yes, I knooooooow, I should only use fresh…)
Dijon mustard (mind the ingredients, now…)
I don’t measure. Place egg yolk in bowl and add a cap full of apple cider vinegar, an equal amount of lemon juice, a squirt of dijon, and a good amount of salt. If I were to guess I would say that I use about a tsp each of salt, lemon, Dijon, and apple cider vinegar.
Whisk all of these together thoroughly and allow to sit until it reaches room temperature. It will have thickened.
Begin “pulsing” a little oil into the yolk mixture and whisk thoroughly. You don’t have to wear yourself out, but act quickly and make sure all the oil is whisked in completely and “holds” before adding another pulse of oil.
Continue “pulsing” oil and whisking it in until the mayo has thickened and whitened and the consistency is “just about right”.
Taste test and add salt if necessary.
Transfer to a jar with a tight seal and store in fridge.
I prefer to only use avocado oil because of its mild flavor. Many recipes call for a combination of oils, and while I love real extra virgin olive oil, I don’t trust “light olive oil” and the consistency and taste is usually on the runny/oily side when you choose olive oils.
I like my mayo on the tangy side. Feel free to adjust the dijon, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar to your preference. You may want to start with half the amount shown in the picture.
If you need to make a bigger batch just add another egg yolk in the first step and adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Add your avocado oil until is reaches the right consistency.
More than a sandwich spread…
We are a primal household and we don’t eat sandwiches anymore. If you’re needing your mayo fix and need some ideas on how to incorporate it, try these on for size…
A nice big spoon full of this healthy fat-packed creamy deliciousness can help curb cravings and sooth hunger pangs when you’re having a snack attack
I hope this is a help to those of you who love mayo, but like me were having trouble getting it right. Who would have thought that, once again, the old-fashioned way was the easiest way? I think once you give this a try you will have no problem never, EVER going back to the store bought crap. Even if it claims to be “made with olive oil.”