So much depends upon mayo. If you think that’s an exaggeration, try eating a dry sandwich or a tempeh salad with nothing but lemon juice to moisten it. For omnivores, the solution is easy: Grab a jar of egg-based mayonnaise off any supermarket shelf. For vegans, it’s a little more difficult; oil-based Vegenaise* and soy-based Nayonaise* aren’t exactly everywhere, but people in larger towns and cities should be able to track them down. However, for those of us who avoid added oil, there’s only one packaged option, the strange-tasting, not-very-mayonnaisey Fat Free Nayonaise*. Well, I say “Nay” to Nayonaise. Make your own mayo!
Tofu-based mayonnaise recipes abound–FatFree Vegan Recipes has some here, here, and here–but most are too sweet and all taste too much like blended silken tofu for my family’s tastes. My husband and daughter have gotten used to the not-fat-free stuff in the jar, and when our local stores recently stopped carrying the brand we use, I knew I had to create something that they would like as much or more.
We’ve never met a cashew-based dressing or sauce that we didn’t like, so I combined the fluffiness of silken tofu with the flavor (and a little fat) of blended cashews to come up with a mayo that somehow manages to be lighter than regular Nayonaise and much, much better than FatFree Nayonaise. Even with the fat from the cashews, a tablespoon of my mayo contains only 15 calories and less than a gram of fat. You can use it on sandwiches, in salads, even in cooked dishes–anywhere you’d use mayo. You can also use it instead of oil in any oil-based salad dressing, instantly transforming it into a creamy dressing. Try blending a couple tablespoons of it into my Balsamic-Raisin Dressing. Or mix it with sweet relish to make a tartar sauce perfect for serving with Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes. Yum!
- 1 12.3 ounce package firm silken tofu (see note)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (about 2 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard, any variety
- 1/8 teaspoon granulated onion powder
- salt to taste
- Drain water from tofu and place it and all other ingredients except salt in a high-speed blender. Blend at highest speed until light and creamy. Add salt to taste and blend again. Seal tightly and keep refrigerated. Stir before each use.
Sodium depends on the amount of salt used.
To make this in a food processor or regular blender, use 1/3 cup of cashew butter instead of cashews and process until smooth.
Vegenaise Original has 90 calories and 9 grams of fat per tablespoon. Regular Nayonaise has 35 calories and 3.5 grams of fat. Fat Free Nayonaise has 10 calories and 0 grams of fat.
Update: I tried freezing and then defrosting the mayo, and it came out a little less fluffy but still tasting the same.