Creamy Homemade Salad Dressing
A dressing can really make or break a salad. I see two common mistakes when choosing a dressing and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum,
A.) Choosing a fat-free dressing. These are usually packed with sugar & preservatives.
B.) Choosing a creamy dressing. Conventional creamy dressings are packed with unhealthy oils, preservatives and other ingredients that create more inflammation in your body rather than helping your body absorb the nutrients from your salad.
Take these two popular choices. The ingredients make me C R I N G E.
KRAFT Fat Free Italian Dressing
Ingredients: WATER, VINEGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, SALT, PARMESAN CHEESE* (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF GARLIC, ONION JUICE, WHEY, PHOSPHORIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, YEAST EXTRACT, SPICE, RED BELL PEPPERS*, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, GARLIC*, BUTTERMILK*, CARAMEL COLOR, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, ENZYMES, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS). *DRIED. CONTAINS: MILK
KRAFT Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Ingredients: WATER, SOYBEAN OIL, VINEGAR, SUGAR, EGG YOLKS, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF WHEY (FROM MILK), DRIED ONIONS, BUTTERMILK, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, PHOSPHORIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, DRIED GARLIC, SPICE, POLYSORBATE 60, NATURAL FLAVOR, SORBIC ACID AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FRESHNESS). CONTAINS: EGG, MILK.
If you are eating a salad in the first place, more than likely, you are making a decision toward your health. Don’t sabotage your meal with an insulin-spiking, inflammation-provoking blend of ingredients. A salad dressing should be an easy, convenient and tasty way to get healthy fat onto your salad.
Put that store-bought dressing down and consider making your own. Some of you are already using a healthy fat and an acid (i.e. Balsamic Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon and Olive Oil). Give your salad a boost with a creamy dressing.
Making your own dressing doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. All you need is a blender or food processor and your favorite ingredients. Read on and I’ll help you build your own.
A creamy dressing has very basic ingredients, a base, fat, acid, herbs, salt and pepper.
BASE: I usually suggest Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but water will work as well.
FAT: Avocado or Cashews.
ACID: Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar or citrus such as lemon, limes, blood orange or grapefruit.
FLAVORING: Fresh herbs are the best choice. Consider using garlic or shallots, herbs such as basil, mint, oregano.
SALT & PEPPER: to taste
Experiment with the flavor combination you love. Here is a sample recipe to work from:
1/4 C Olive Oil
2 TBS Cashews
1/2 Raw Shallot
2 Raw Garlic Cloves
Pinch of Sea Salt & Peper
Simply blend add Olive Oil if too thick. A little bit goes a long. About a TBS (+ a small scoop more) is usually enough for a salad.
Enjoy! Check back for more Nutrition tips and recipes. If you are interested in how you can ‘clean up’ your diet, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.