Most of us don’t take the time to make our own salad dressings, but did you know they can be:
easy to make
…compared to your store-bought dressings?
It’s true and let me give an example.
Yesterday I was preparing a salad to go with the Mechanic Griff dinner. Remembering I had a lime that needed to be used and there was fresh ginger root in the fridge, I thought “Hmmm… I’ve not used these ingredients together in a salad dressing before. Let’s whip up a quick dressing before dinner is ready.” Yes, I really did think this.
After a quick interwebs search, I found a recipe to quickly adapt to my liking (thank you, Fine Cooking). I omitted the sugar, swapped the vinegar, adjusted the ingredient amounts a bit… and a few minutes later, READY. Fast and easy - check.
juice and zest of 1 medium-sized lime (about 3 Tbsp of lime juice, ~1/2 tsp zest)
1 tsp fresh ginger root, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup avocado oil (I use Chosen Foods)
Use a Mason jar or equivalent container with a tight-fitting lid to mix all ingredients. You can whisk the ingredients or put the lid on and shake well.
Yield: ~4 oz
Nutritional value: ~135 calories per 2 Tbsp
You can certainly experiment on your own with the ingredient amounts if you like more or less of the ginger taste, limey-ness, garlicky flavor, etc. To me, this mixture was fresh-tasting and light.
What about quality and cost?
Most store-bought dressings contain added sugars and highly processed vegetable oils (soybean, canola, sunflower, etc.), which we can argue are “unnecessary” and may contribute to systemic inflammation. Using olive oil or avocado oil is preferred as an oil base. For one reason, we boost our intake of monounsaturated fats, which most of us need to do. And what about added sugars? I’m pretty sure most of us agree that salad dressings aren’t the way we want to get more sugar in our system.
Unfortunately, many of the companies touting their “olive oil” dressings aren’t exclusively olive oil-based (check the label and you’ll see what I mean). There are a few companies (such as Primal Kitchen) that are making avocado oil-based dressings, but the cost can be a bit high at $6-9 per 8-oz bottle. If you can afford it, that’s great and I encourage you to switch to this brand of dressing (or a comparable brand).
My cost analysis for this recipe came out to $2.02 total for about a 4-oz batch. This tallies to just over $4 for an 8-oz batch, which is still less expensive than the bottled dressings that contain avocado oil. Yes, you can find cheaper dressings at the store, but remember that the majority aren’t all that great from a nutritional perspective.
There are endless quick, cheap, easy, and nutritious recipes for homemade dressings. Got one to share? Tag me on Insta and lemme see!