There are so many salad dressings on the market today but sadly not all are created equally. Turn over a bottle of salad dressing at your local store and you’re bound to see ingredients such as sugar, additives, preservatives, fillers, buffers, artificial flavors, common allergens, and my least favorite ingredient – bad fats. Take this example of a popular brand found in grocery stores all over the country. Only seven out of the nineteen ingredients listed are real foods that belong in a salad dressing. The rest either aren’t necessary (like sugar for example) or are synthetic industrial products that shouldn’t be part of our daily intake (like soybean oil).
INGREDIENTS: SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, VINEGAR, SUGAR, EGG YOLKS, SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, BUTTERMILK*, WHEY*, XANTHAN GUM, GARLIC*, SPICE, PHOSPHORIC ACID, ONIONS*, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, SORBIC ACID AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR) *DRIED
But it’s not all doom and gloom though. There are more people talking about the importance of good fats than there have been in decades. Because of this growing movement of consumers demanding higher quality fats on the market, there seems to be greater access to some amazing store bought brands of salad dressings and marinades that are both tasty and healthy.
But what about turning the clock back to the time where spending five minutes in your kitchen to whip up your own dressing is a real thing? The act of cooking is both meditative and yet empowering all at once. Even as importantly, since the ingredients in a good quality dressing require us to be selective, when you prepare your own dressing you get to control the ingredients you put in your body. I want you to start drizzling good fats on everything you eat – from meats and fish to vegetables, eggs and even in your beverages. This Ultimate Salad Dressing is an excellent way to begin!
Wondering what type of good fats to use in your salad dressings?
My go-to list:
- Olive Oil
- Tea Seed Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil
- MCT Oil
- Avocado Oil
Avoid these oils:
- Soy Oil
- Corn Oil
- Canola Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Red Palm Oil* (while it is inherently a healthy fat it’s hard to source sustainably. Choose coconut oil unless you trust the brand’s production methodology)
Ultimate Salad Dressing Recipe
If I’m going to make something from scratch I want the flavor and texture of my food to be highly rewarding. This salad dressing hits every level of flavor you could ask for! It’s decadent with hints of a deep umami essence and a slightly creamy texture that still drizzles on your vegetables easily. I use this on everything from simple salads and steamed vegetables to roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts or even sautéed mushrooms and zucchini. If you want to give your normal morning eggs a twist then add a dollop or two of this dressing on poached, scrambled or over easy eggs too. You can’t go wrong with this dressing’s delicious flavor!
Even better, its nutrition content is parallel to how tasty it is! Dozens if not hundreds of studies show how heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil is. Due to its monounsaturated fats and to a smaller extent, its saturated fats and omega fatty acid content, olive oil is known to promote healthy cholesterol levels. Its antioxidant capacity may also play a role in decreasing risk of chronic diseases running the gamut from cancer and type 2 diabetes to obesity, Alzheimer’s and even Rheumatoid arthritis.
I also love adding MCT oil to my dressings as an easy way to sneak in more of these healthy fats. MCT oil or medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) are therapeutic fatty acids that are found naturally in coconut oil. I love including them in recipes because they are not only easy to digest, but they keep my blood sugar steady for extended periods of time and provide a recognizable boost to my workouts. (Seriously, if you haven’t started using more MCT oil I want you to go out and get some after reading this!).
I use tahini because I like the slightly sweet, slightly nutty flavor it imparts. It’s also an excellent source of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. One of my favorite things about tahini is that because it’s made from ground sesame seed, it contains a healthy dose of phytoestrogens to help balance my hormones, which has become especially important to me ever since I entered my 40’s. If you don’t have any tahini lying around you can easily swap in some almond butter instead.
Why go to the store when you can create or your medicine in the convenience of your own home, right?
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
- 2 tablespoons MCT oil
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste or almond butter
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh or 2 teaspoons dried herbs of choice (basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, tarragon, rosemary etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- Himalayan salt to taste
- OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup avocado oil-based mayonnaise if you desire a creamier texture
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Store in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Nutrition Facts: (serving size: 2 tablespoons) Fat: 17 g Protein: 1 g Fiber: 0 g Carb: 2 g Net Carb: 2 g