My goal is to make my own salad dressings. It is really not a big time investment. It only takes about 5 minutes to plop the ingredients together. I think we are so used to buying (and seeing) salad dressing in grocery store bottles, that we feel insecure about making our own.
The benefits of making your own salad dressing are many:
The average quality dressing may cost $2-4 per bottle, but the ingredients seldom cost you more than $1. Most people have about 6 salad dressing bottles in their fridge door at a time, right? So, if you make your own, and save an average of $3 per bottle (6 x $3 = $18) and repeat that every month, you’ll save over $200 a year. What would you like to spend your $200 on instead?
*enjoy the healthiest, freshest ingredients
. . . such as extra virgin olive oil, brown rice vinegar, fresh garlic, and minced raw onion. We think of salad dressing as a high-calorie “extra”, but when using these type of ingredients, which are actually health foods that are medicinal in nature, putting them into salad dressing is a great way to get them into your diet.
* get out of the “Ranch Rut”
New salad dressings can add a lot of variety, new tastes, and enjoyment to your meals. And make your kids (and you) eat more salad!
If your kids are “hooked” on Ranch dressing (which has several undesirables), getting your family to adjust to homemade salad dressing might take a little creative packaging! Here’s what I do: I save bottles from store salad dressings, keeping the empty bottles in the fridge (no need to wash them out the first time you use them up, as they had plenty of preservatives in them, so what tiny amount that remains in the bottle isn’t going to hurt anything). When I make up a batch of homemade dressing, I use a funnel to pour it into one of these bottles. It helps if the label matches the type of dressing, but it is not necessary. It is just the comfort of that store-bought dressing bottle that makes everything familiar to the family!
Just for your information, here is the ingredient list from your favorite Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing:
Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil and/or Soybean Oil), Egg Yolk, Sugar, Salt, Cultured Nonfat Buttermilk, Natural Flavor, Spices, less than 1% of Garlic (Dried), Onion, Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Modified Food Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Flavors, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium Edta As Preservatives, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.
Yum-yum. I just love that Disodium Guanylate . . .so appetizing!
Instead, try these delicious and healthy homemade dressings:
Tangy Catalina Dressing
a lovely orange color!
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup milk (can use dry milk)
( 1 1/2 T. non-instant dry milk powder + 1/2 cup water OR 1 1/2 T. non-instant dry milk powder + 1/2 cup water)
1 1/8 cup olive oil
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon raw honey (or 2 drops of liquid stevia)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 of a small onion (about 3 tablespoons finely diced) (or 2 tablespoons dried onions)
1 clove of fresh garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
Put ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and thick.
Authentic French Dressing
what they really use in France!
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon virgin olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Put ingredients into a salad dressing bottle and shake well.
Creamy Italian Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/8 of a medium onion (or 2 tablespoons dried onions)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried parsley)
1 teaspoon fresh basil (or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Put in a blender and process until smooth.