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!
Note: Don’t do soy? Be sure to check out my tofu-free MiracleNaise!
- 1 12.3 ounce package lite firm or extra-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.
To make this in a food processor or regular blender, use 1/3 cup of cashew butter instead of cashews and process until smooth.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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.
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Sam BFebruary 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm
Hi. Can I use Mori-Nu “Firm” Silken Tofu with this recipe? How long will it stay totally fresh in the fridge? Thank you!
Susan VoisinFebruary 19, 2019 at 1:41 pm
Yes, firm will work fine. I don’t like to store it for more than a week, but you can freeze part of it and it thaws perfectly.
SamFebruary 19, 2019 at 1:51 pm
Hi Susan! Thank you! Should I soak the cashews before blending? Will it affect the taste? How much salt did you find works best in this recipe?
Susan VoisinFebruary 19, 2019 at 2:38 pm
I used a Vitamix and didn’t need to soak the cashews. If you have a high-speed blender (like Vitamix or Blendtec) you shouldn’t need to soak. But if you’re using a regular blender, soaking for a few hours will give you a smoother mayo. As for salt, I like things salty, so I’m always hesitant to give an amount. I would start with 1/2 a teaspoon (which would not be enough for me) and add more to taste.
DeedraMarch 15, 2019 at 9:37 pm
Hi Susan! I’ve been a lurker on your site for a while. I made this mayo to include in your chickpea salad wrap recipe. With the extra I didn’t use, I made a dip for veggies and an also aioli for some steamed asparagus. It was all very yummy! Thanks for the great recipe and also for including WW points in your recipes (I’m on WW too!)
KimApril 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm
This is excellent!!! Herb it for crackers, , make an egg salad with it! Slather away! It’s Plants! Heavenly, Susan. Really , really good! I use about 1/2 tsp salt and probably a bit too much mustard, but it is really good. yay!!!
Susan VoisinApril 23, 2019 at 5:09 pm
I’m so glad you liked it!
Jamie bunkleyJune 4, 2019 at 11:15 am
Yay! Awesome recipe!!!
SandiJune 23, 2019 at 7:45 pm
Can I use no oil hummus with some flavored vinegar for a dressing?
Susan VoisinJune 23, 2019 at 11:33 pm
Hummus and vinegar makes a very good dressing,
Tamara HanelAugust 19, 2019 at 12:21 pm
Love this recipe for facon lettuce and tomato sandwhiches. Also love the fat reduction compared to commercial vegan brands.
paulJanuary 17, 2020 at 12:06 am
This is actually a high fat recipe: 22 grams for the whole batch.
Granted, compared to the mayos you mention it is lower but that does not make it low.
Granted, a single serve is only 0.88 grams fat but the whole tablespoon would weigh only about 3 grams.
And, granted, on the standard American diet (which is poison) is it lower, but for a healthy diet it is HIGH FAT.
martardnJanuary 22, 2020 at 10:07 am
Paul, I’m a registered dietitian. Please keep in mind that this is plant fat which is good for your heart and at only .88 grams per tablespoon it is very little fat per serving. I have not made or weighed this recipe, but I find it hard to believe that a whole tablespoon weighs only 3 grams. 3 grams is an extremely small amount. There are 28.3 grams in an ounce.
Of course there are medical reasons to avoid all fats, but for generally healthy people, this would be a very acceptable alternative.
Sunny WhiteApril 23, 2020 at 1:26 pm
I love all your recipes including this one, but I was wondering if I made this with firm tofu if it would have more of the texture of mayo. It tasted great but was more like the thickness of a salad dressing than a condiment.
Susan VoisinApril 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm
It’s worth a try. You may have to blend it a while to get it smooth. I haven’t had that problem before. What brand of tofu were you using?
MicheleJuly 20, 2020 at 3:10 pm
I use white beans instead of cashews in sauce recipes, do you think they’d work in this?
Susan VoisinJuly 20, 2020 at 8:03 pm
I think it would work, but it won’t taste the same. But since you’re used to white bean sauces, you might like it better.
GayiFebruary 2, 2021 at 5:32 pm
YUM!! Did not have tofu on hand. Substituted with soaked and boiled soybeans which I already had. Enjoying on pita bread. Thank you Susan for sharing this recipe.
Julie EdwardsJune 13, 2022 at 8:07 pm
What is this sorcery?!?! Mayo that is healthy and tastes great?! Amazing!