Summer is here! When it’s hot out, all we want to eat is salad. No, we don’t mean that sad thing we’re forced to eat to be “healthy.” We mean a crunchy, flavorful, satisfying salad.
Dressing. Dressing can make or break a salad. We like making our own so we can make it taste just right for how we are feeling that day.
It’s easy, we promise.
Bottled dressings often have less than wonderful ingredients. Making your own cuts calories, salt, and additives. Yay! Check out how to create vinaigrettes, creamy dressings, and a few unique dressings you can’t find in stores.
The basic ingredients for a classic vinaigrette are:
- Herbs & spices
- Dash of sweetener (optional)
Oil and vinegar make up the bulk of the dressing. The type of oil and vinegar you use matters here. High quality extra virgin olive oil adds flavor to the dressing, while canola or avocado oil have a neutral taste. Balsamic vinegar tastes very different than apple cider vinegar. See what you have in your pantry, and think about flavors you enjoy.
Mustard (dijon, whole grain, spicy brown…the possibilities are endless!) is there to emulsify the oil and vinegar. What does that mean? It’s a fancy word for mix. You know how oil and water (or vinegar) don’t mix? Mustard helps them blend together better. It can also add flavor, depending on how much you use.
Herbs and spices bring additional flavor, and a dash of sweetener can be added if you like your dressing a tad less “zingy.”
Here is a recipe to get you started, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to create a vinaigrette in minutes without breaking out the measuring utensils. Hurray, less dishes!
Pro-tip: Have a blender bottle you aren’t using? The little whisk-like sphere that comes with it makes a fantastic salad dressing mixer. Just pop your ingredients into a bottle with a wide enough mouth to accommodate the blender sphere, put on the lid, and shake to combine.
Some creamy dressings can be made in a blender bottle like the vinaigrettes above, but other require a food processor or blender.
Ditch the ranch seasoning packet for this mix you can make at home. With a little mayo (or greek yogurt) and milk, you can serve up some fresh, delicious ranch any time.
Try this creamy honey mustard dressing that uses Greek yogurt instead of classic mayo for a lighter dressing with more protein.
Love blue cheese? try this blue cheese avocado dressing recipe that uses Greek yogurt and avocado as it’s creamy base, slashing saturated fat and boosting nutrients.
There are so many options when it comes to salad dressings. The best part about making dressings at home is that you can make it to your exact liking, and you can even have a different salad dressing everyday if you want. Flavor possibilities do not stop at creamy vs. vinaigrette, they are truly endless.