Salad dressing is not the most interesting subject to talk about on my blog. You are probably thinking yeah, I have a beautiful bottle of thousand island dressing in the fridge. Before you go reaching for that bottle again please let me teach you about the high calories and bad fats in those bottles.
A salad dressing from the supermarket will not only contain bad fats but they will be full of preservatives and added chemicals to prolong their shelf life. Manufacturers make large quantities of these products, often using cheap quality ingredients. If you make your own you can decide on the quality of ingredient that goes into your dressing.
If you are buying a dressing from the supermarket then please remember it will contain white sugar. How much depends on the brand but white sugar used in packaged foods impacts the body badly. It is highly processed and therefore does not have much nutrition left. When sugar is eaten in processed foods it imbalances the body, depletes it of basic nutrients and encourages weight gain.
Poor quality oils are also used in supermarket dressings. Oils like canola, corn and sunflower are problematic when added to products that undergo light, air and pressure. Many dressings will travel miles before reaching our table. So it means they become rancid and this increases the cholesterol in our bodies. Another problem with shop-bought dressings is they contain a lot of artificial colours and flavourings. Even in very small amounts these chemicals are toxic to the human body.
The greatest benefit of making your own salad dressing is getting to use the finest and freshest ingredients. Oil in a salad dressing provides the smooth texture and flavour. A good quality organic oil will contain healthy essential fats that the body cannot make on its own. These fats can actually help to lower the body’s cholesterol and blood sugar levels. An organic oil can also help to speed up the body’s metabolism and protect the body from free radicals by supporting the immune system.
Cider vinegar adds acid for flavour and health. Vinegar also adds a unique taste while encouraging a healthy bowel, it helps to aid digestion and it provides the body with vitamins and minerals. Adding a citrus acid to greens actually helps the body to absorb nutrients while providing the body with antioxidants.
For this recipe I have used a local cider vinegar as opposed to an organic one. It is unpasturized and a lot better for the body. If you can’t get a local cider vinegar I would go for an organic apple cider vinegar.
Finally, adding a natural thickener ensures your not consuming chemicals and toxins found in commercial salad dressings. Thickeners are great at emulsifying all of the ingredients together. In this dressing I have used honey and an avocado. Again I would suggest using a local honey as it is better for the environment and the body. Avocados can be shop-bought and don’t have to be organic. They are on the World Health Organisations clean 15 list.
By making your own dressing you are making a small change. However, it can make a huge difference not only to your health but to your bank balance as well. Shop-bought salad dressings are not the healthiest and they are also not the cheapest either. This recipe is simple, quick and easy and it tastes delicious too. Why not give it a try!
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Stick blender
- Glass jar for storage
- Olive oil (preferably organic) x 80mls
- Apple Cider Vinegar (preferably organic) x 60mls
- Local honey x 1 tbsp
- Avocado x 1/2 (throw the rest in the salad)
- Mustard seeds x 2 tsp or to your taste
- Garlic x 2 cloves crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all the ingredients into the jug and blend together.
- When ready to serve your salad, pour over the dressing and toss.
- Pour any remaining dressing into the glass jar and store in the fridge for later use.
Normally I find that the dressing will last for about 2 – 3 salads that easily serve 4 people. I do not like too much dressing but just enough to cover it. I love a salad especially with dressing and we hope you will too. Enjoy!