Healthy Salad Dressings

Healthy Salad Dressings


These healthy salad dressings will make any salad shine, they are easy to make and so much healthier than typical store bought dressings.

Many store bought salad dressings are full of things like high fructose corn syrup, additives and preservatives.  They are mostly made with low quality oils and other highly processed ingredients that are not good for our health.  

Not to worry, your salad need not go undressed...

It is very easy to make your own very healthy salad dressings.




Balance of Flavors

When making healthy salad dressings (or any recipe) it is very important to balance the flavours.  When all the flavours are balanced is when the recipe shines and your tastebuds dance with joy at every bite. 

A fully balanced recipe will leave you satisfied and not wanting for that little something that is missing.

In your healthy salad dressings, it is good to balance the four components made up of salty, fat, acid and sweet.

If you pull healthy ingredients from each of these four categories, you are well on your way to mastering the art of creating amazing healthy salad dressings.

Below are some ideas of ingredients that you can use for each category, you will notice that some ingredients fall under more than one category which means you can cover more than one flavour component with some ingredients.  Be creative as you go and add to this list.


Flavor Chart

Choose ingredients from each category to create your salad dressings, and don't be limited to this list, add in any other nourishing foods you can think of:

SALTY/SOUR

-Sea salt

-Seaweeds

-Celery

-Miso paste

-Olives

-Olive brine

-Umeboshi plums

-Sauerkraut

-Sauerkraut brine

-Other cultured/fermented foods (kimchi, kefir, coconut yogurt, etc.)

-Tamari

-Tamarind

FAT

-Cold pressed oil (olive, flax, chia seed, coconut oil, walnut, sesame, almond, macadamia, avocado, etc.)

-Infused oil (chili oil, truffle oil, garlic oil, etc.)

-Avocado

-Raw nut/seed butter (almond, hazelnut, cashew, sesame, macadamia, etc.)

-Raw nuts/seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, brazil, pistachio, pine, macadamia, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax, sesame, hemp, etc.)

-Coconut meat

-Olives

ACID

-Vinegar (apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc.)

-Lemon juice

-Lime juice

-Other citrus

-Tomatoes

-Soaked sun-dried tomatoes and/or soak water

-Fermented/cultured foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, coconut yogurt, etc.)

SWEET

-Dates

-Berries

-Cherries

-Raw local honey

-Miso paste

-Raw nut/seed butter (almond, hazelnut, cashew, sesame, macadamia, etc.)

-Raw nuts/seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pecans, brazil, pistachio, pine, macadamia, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax, sesame, hemp, etc.)

-Balsamic vinegar

-Mustard

-Coconut water

-Coconut palm sugar

-Fresh fruits (papaya, mango, etc.)

-Dried fruits, rehydrated

-Fresh Vegetables (sprouts, beets, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, peas, etc.)

-Tamarind

EXTRAS

-Black pepper

-Cayenne

-Chilis

-Pepper sauce

-Chili oil

-Herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, dill, etc.)

-Garlic

-Onion

-Turmeric

-Ginger

-Other spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardomom, vanilla, carob, cacao, mesquite, curry powder, etc.)

-Maca powder

-Spirulina

-Lemon zest or lemon rind powder





Putting it all Together

Anyone that knows me, knows that I don't typically follow recipes or measure ingredients.

Basically, what I do is I stand in my kitchen and look at what ingredients I have on hand.  I pull flavours from the four categories (plus the 'extras' category) above and blend in my blender, continually tasting and adding ingredients until I have something I am happy with.

As a basic guideline, use about equal parts of fat and acid and then add in salty, sweet and extras to taste.  Play with this, you may want more fat and less acid or vice versa depending on what type of dressing you are looking for. 

Below are some ideas to get you going.


Healthy Salad Dressings - Recipe Ideas

When I make salads, often many of my flavour components are in the salad itself. 

For example, my bowl of green leafy vegetables may contain olives, basil, thyme, mint, avocado and berries and then the dressing would be a simple drizzle of flax oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

The dressing is there to compliment the bowl of salad. Think about what overall taste you are looking for and then choose what goes in your salad bowl and what goes in your dressing.

Below are some ideas of how you can dress up an already great salad:


Simple Avocado

Avocado Salad Dressing

If your salad bowl is already full of flavourful ingredients this one works great!

Ingredients:

  • Ripe avocado

Simply add a very ripe avocado into your salad bowl and mix well.  The avocado will coat everything in the bowl giving it the feeling of being dressed with a creamy dressing.


Simple Oil & Vinegar

If your salad bowl is already full of flavourful ingredients this one works great!

Ingredients:

Optional add in

  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch crushed black pepper
  • drizzle balsamic vinegar


Creamy Dressing

Ingredients:


Citrus Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1-2 TBSP of raw almond butter
  • drizzle of good quality oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 dates, pitted

Options:

  • for different flavours replace almond butter with cashew butter, tahini or nut/seed butter of your choice
  • for a citrus miso dressing replace almond butter with miso paste


Persimmon Mandarin Herb Dressing

This is a beautiful light creamy dressing that I made for our salad over the holidays.  Use local fresh food that is in season when creating your salad dressings.  During the winter holidays in Nevada persimmons and mandarins are abundant and so flavourful!


Persimmon Mandarin Herb Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 very ripe persimmon
  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 TBSP olive oil (or any good quality oil)
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill

Place everything in your blender and blend well.  Taste and adjust if needed. 

Pour over your salad and mix well to coat.



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