Ranch (specifically Hidden Valley) used to be my dressing of choice. I could have played the role of enthusiastic taste-tester in the video above. I mean, what’s not to love? It goes on everything: frozen burritos, pizza, and even the occasional salad, if you’re feeling crazy. (True story–I took a bottle of ranch dressing in my suitcase when I moved to Northern Ireland because I wasn’t sure I would make it all year in a country that didn’t sell the glorious white stuff. I also had my dad bring me a replacement bottle halfway through the year.)
But once I read the label, I knew Ranch would no longer be appearing on my plate on a regular basis, whether as a dressing or a condiment. Instead I turned to making my own salad dressings, which is surprisingly simple and fun to experiment with! Dressings are one of the most common places to find hydrogenated oils, sugar, and hard-to-pronounce compounds used to keep it from separating. Luckily it is easy to make a healthy alternative at home!
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed juice from orange (or citrus of choice)
- finely grated zest of 1/2 orange (or citrus of choice)
- 1 garlic clove, mashed
- ½ tsp whole grain mustard
- Salt to taste
Whisk or shake ingredients together in a mason jar or salad dressing bottle. Enjoy! Serves 4
Even though this dressing is really easy, truth be told–there’s nothing easier than a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which is how I usually dress my salads. But when I’m feeling like mixing it up a bit I will make a batch of this dressing to store in the fridge.
I don’t miss my ranch anymore, because I can now actually taste the deliciousness of the salad ingredients instead of drowning them in unhealthy sauce. And I am happy to know that I am using good fats that will help me to absorb the nutrients from my veggies.
What’s your favorite salad dressing? Have you ever tried making a homemade version?
Important disclaimer: I have no medical training. Just lots of passion for real food! Please consult your own doctor and do your own research in support of my suggestions. It’s an important part of taking control of your health!