Salad without salad dressing is pretty blah, but have you looked at the list of ingredients on the dressings you buy? It’s enough to make you want to eat your salads plain. Most of the ingredients listed are either synthetic or chemical based. Check your bottled dressing against the list at the end of this post and see for yourself.
Fortunately it isn’t necessary to consume these chemical-laden products. Salad dressings are easy to make using ingredients found in most kitchens. Homemade dressings also tastes way better and cost a whole lot less.
Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
- 3/4 cup light pure olive oil
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. dry mustard (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Balsamic Vinaigrette: Replace the white vinegar with balsamic vinegar and the mustard with 1 garlic clove, minced.
To make any of the variations below start with ½ cup of the basic dressing and add:
- Italian Salad Dressing: Blend in 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. dried basil, 1/8 tsp. each: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, optional 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, optional 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes.
- French Salad Dressing: Blend in 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes, and ¼ tsp. each: onion powder, paprika, sugar, garlic powder.
- French Dressing Variation: Blend in 1/2 Tbsp. catsup, ¼ tsp each: sugar, onion powder, paprika..
- Russian Salad Dressing: Blend in 1 Tbsp. chili sauce.
- Catalina Salad Dressing: Blend in ¼ cup catsup, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp. onion powder, pinch of paprika.
Ranch Style Salad Dressing:
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 ½ tbsp. fresh chives, cut fine
- 1 ½ tbsp. fresh parsley, cut fine
- Salt and pepper to taste
NOTE: Since homemade salad dressings contain no preservatives, it is best to make them up in small batches. They should be kept refrigerated for no longer than a week.
See how easy this is? It almost takes less time to make salad dressing than it does to read all the ingredients on the commercial products.
Common ingredients found in commercial salad dressing:
- Soybean, canola or corn oil – GMO products – will increase cholesterol
- Glucose –throws blood sugar levels out of whack and drains nutrients from the body
- Flavour or Artificial Flavour – made in a lab and may contain chemicals and preservatives known to be toxic
- Monosodium glutamate – can cause headaches, pain, nausea and asthma-like symptoms; severe allergic reactions in some people
- Phosphoric acid – several studies have shown a link to decreased bone density
- Propylene glycol – this is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water – it is used as a solvent for food colours and flavours
- Potassium sorbate – an easy to make chemical preservative
- Sodium benzoate – a synthetic preservative that may be linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and premature aging
- Polysorbate 60 – common contamination with 1,4 dioxane has linked this product to cancer in lab studies
- Calcium disodium EDTA – currently being studied for possible link to reproductive problems, birth defects, and cancer along with a host of other health related issues.
Who wants to eat that stuff? Much better to head to the kitchen to make up a fresh batch of salad dressing – better tasting, lesser cost, no chemicals. Works for me.
Talk to you again next week,