Friday, July 19, 2013


I love condiments.  Don't you?  They make the world seem a little happier, and your food seem a little brighter.  Creamy mayo, tangy ketchup, smokey barbeque sauce....  What would life be like without condiments?

Well, most of us who are low carb, paleo, primal, and generally whole foods know exactly what it's like.  The only store bought condiment in my refrigerator is mustard, and I was never really a mustard fan to begin with.  But everything else in the store is loaded with crap; vegetable or seed oils, HFCS, sugar, artificial flavors, preservatives you can't pronounce.  And don't get me started on salad dressing. 

Chad and I went without condiments (except mustard) for quite a while, and salads were out of the question.  Which is sad, because I love salad.  After a couple of months of this, I finally said to myself THAT'S IT!  I'm going to make my OWN condiments!  And I did!

Today I make my own mayonnaise.  I use this recipe for regular mayo, except I use Linda's method from Linda's Low Carb for mayo, which is to put the all the ingredients except the oil into a quart mason jar, stir, pour the oil in, and then blend with an immersion blender.  Works every time! 

And when I'm feeling frugal/decadent, I use a modified version of this recipe for BACONNAISE.  Yes, baconnaise, a delicious mayonnaise created with saved bacon fat.  It's a great way to save money since the bacon grease is practically free.  But I only make baconnaise once in a while, because it's quite bacony, and you don't want to overdo that. 

Fresh hot bacon grease.

Now ketchup can be tricky.  There's such a subtle balance of sweet, tang, and spices that need to be just right.  My attempts to make it in the past have been pretty ugly, but then I came across Linda's recipe for Better "Heinz" Ketchup.  This is a winner!  You don't have to use Splenda.  I have used stevia and also xylitol.  Personally, I like it with xylitol better.  I bet honey would work well, too, if you allow that in your diet.

I've tried a few times to make barbeque sauce, but that's eluded me so far.  My next attempt is going to be Linda's Favorite BBQ Sauce recipe.  It looks like it should be very good.  I just don't know what to do about the liquid smoke; I'm not sure I want to use it.  I DO have a ton of applewood smoked sea salt I could use instead of regular salt, though, and maybe get some smoked paprika. 

What about salad dressings?  Those I make, too.  Mostly they're vinaigrettes, using whatever kind of spices or seasonings sound good when I'm making it.  We sometimes buy the Good Seasons Italian dressing mix in the store.  Even though it does have sugar in the ingredients, most of the rest of the ingredients are surprisingly not terrible.  But lately, I've been having fun making creamy dressing.  I've tried this recipe for ranch dressing, using my own olive oil mayo, and the other day, I just whipped together a Thousand Island dressing from the top of my head.  I knew it was basically mayo, ketchup, and relish.  Since I already had homemade mayo, and homemade ketchup, and I even had homemade pickles made from my own home grown beans, I thought what the heck!  And it came out so delicious!

I even used home grown lettuce for the salad.
I try not to think of my way of eating as restricting.  It's not, really.  I CHOOSE not to eat the yucky seed oils, or the HFCS, or the sugar, or nasty preservatives and colors and flavors that are in store bought condiments.  And because that's a choice I make, I get to go experiment in the kitchen.  How cool is that?


  1. I have tried to make mayo, but haven't had much luck--maybe I'm just spoiled because I loved the store-bought kind so much. It doesn't help that I really don't like it made with olive oil. I've tried substituting it with peanut oil, which tasted okay, but it was kind of bland and was more foamy than creamy. I wonder if there's a way to combine it with sour cream or something so it'll have a texture more like store-bought mayo. I've tried doing an internet search on that idea, but didn't find anything, and don't want to take the time to experiment for fear that it just won't work and I will have wasted that time.

    I make ranch dip by taking the dry ranch dressing mix and combining it with sour cream. The ranch dressing mix isn't too bad as far as the ingredients--at least it doesn't have any bad oils in it like the store-bought dressing.

  2. Hey Dena! I understand your plight. Even though it's good, homemade mayo isn't exactly the same as store bought. The kind of oil I use most of the time is pure or even mild olive oil. It's a more refined olive oil; pure has a slight olive taste, whereas mild has no taste at all (I think sometimes it's called light). It's a decision I had to make; I didn't want refined oil (especially seed/vegetable oil), but I can't stand the taste of extra virgin olive oil, so pure olive oil is a decent compromise :)

    If you're making like tuna or egg salad, I say go ahead and mix in sour cream! I do that all the time, mostly because I hate the thought of using like a cup of my expensive homemade mayo, lol. Plus, if you add a dash of vinegar and salt, the sour cream tastes surprisingly similar to mayo.

  3. "Plus, if you add a dash of vinegar and salt, the sour cream tastes surprisingly similar to mayo."

    Ooh, I'll have to try that, thanks. I've been meaning to try to make chicken salad with just sour cream but had some reservations about it being too bland or something. Before I gave up mayo, I used to use a combination of that and sour cream.