If you're applying your dressing sparingly or only using half the dressing that comes with a store-bought salad, then you have the WRONG kind of dressing! I always hear people say "oh, the dressing is where all the calories are, so I only use half" or even worse, they're skipping the dressing all together. I'm here to spread the word and shout it from the rooftops that salad dressing CAN be HEALTHY! When we use the right oils, natural sugars, and real salts, salad dressing can be so healing. When it comes to store bought dressings, it's often hard to find one that really checks all the boxes of healthy. Here's a recipe that I love, with no need to only use half! It's a recipe from the book Discover the Power of Food by Janet Jacks:
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar.
2 Tbsp lemon juice.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flax oil or Udo's oil(found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Herbamere salt or pink Himalayan salt
What Makes a Dressing Healthy?
Ideally, to get exactly what you want, try making your own dressing. That way you can add in the exact proportion of ingredients that you like, and it just doesn't get much better than that! But there are some good salad dressings out there, and this is typically what I look for when I'm buying store-bought:
One of the biggest problems with oils is the processing that goes into them. Many oils are actually sensitive to heat, but in order to make them shelf stable, they get processed with high heat, which damages them even before they hit the shelf. What's worse is what these types of oils do to our insides: damaged oils effect our cell walls, and when our cell walls aren't intact, they aren't able take in the nutrients that we need for good health. The most common of these oils that we might see in a lot of salad dressings is Canola oil. Instead, we want to see good quality olive oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame seed oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil. Unfortunately, the shelf-life of some of these oils aren't long(because ideally they went through limited processing), so it's often difficult to find dressings that include these. Some good oils I keep at home for salad dressings are flax oil, hemp oil, olive oil and my favourite combination of oils, Udo's Omega 3-6-9 Oil(a pre-mixed bottle of organic sesame seed oil, sunflower seed oil, olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, primrose oil, and rice and wheatgerm oil--the perfect ratio of our Omega 3s, 6s and 9s).
This one's an easy one: you want to look for sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Regular table salt, is actually a synthetically made combination of the 2 minerals, sodium and chloride, and...who cares, right? Well, one of the reasons why we are struggling as a society with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and many others, is because our diets are so disproportionate with the amount of sodium we consume from processed foods that include "salt" and the table salt that we add to our foods. Sea salt, or Himalayan rock salts, instead, are naturally occurring and contain loads of other minerals at the perfect proportion for our bodies to be able to function optimally. Long story short, get yourself some real salt, and look for that in your store bought dressings too. One of my all time favs in terms of salts is Herbamere(in the recipe above). Its a combination of half sea salt and half herbs. You'll want to use it to season all your salads or pretty much anything else!
Next to oils, sugar is probably the next yuckiest thing found in store-bought dressings. Usually they're inexpensive and artificial sugars, that appear in all sorts of wacky names on the bottle. If you like your salad dressings a bit sweeter, look for natural sugars like stevia, honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar. With these sugars, a little bit goes a long way, and they're a lot better for blood sugar balance because they don't create that spike and crash.
It's Pretty Simple Actually:
When the salad dressing is made with real ingredients and good quality oils, they are actually so super good for our health! My advice: start making your own dressings, load it with all the good stuff, and then pour it liberally over all your greens! Enjoy!