3 Basic Ways To Avoid Store Bought Salad Dressings

Many of you may already know that I am from Ecuador and one of the few important things about this is that I want to share with you is how much of a cultural shock it was for me to get used to salad dressings. I do believe we have salad dressings in Ecuador but they are not as popular - especially the creamy kind. When I moved to the US at first I was disgusted with ranch but then I grew to like and even became obsessed with it (probably like you). There is nothing about ranch that is healthy to your body so I’m here to inspire you to seek a healthier alternative - especially if you eat salads often!

Here is the thing about salad dressings:

+ Though they are labeled ‘healthy’ they contain many added ingredients that are unnecessary and unhealthy.  These ingredients may be added to help the preservation of the salad dressing.

+ Typically, store bought salad dressings contain soybean or canola oils, artificial flavors, colors & high sodium. They may also contain sugars like high-fructose corn syrup, and other trans fats.

There is no realistic need for store-bought salad dressings, especially because some of the best salad dressings can be made at home easily. Making this change may prove hard at first but you will soon realize how much better salads taste with homemade dressings. Here are a few of my favorite:

 
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+++ OLIVE OIL + BALSAMIC VINEGAR: This combination can vary in flavor so much considering there are various kinds of infused olive oils & vinegars. A great place to start getting familiarized with this combination is to visit a store like the Olive Tap & the Olive Scene (there are many like them around) they usually let you sample their oils and vinegars and have many suggested combinations that you will LOVE!

One of my go-to recipes includes:

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
½ Tbsp of dried oregano leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste

I just mix these ingredients in a small bowl & call it a win. Best paired with a lettuce based salad.

+++ YOGURT BASED DRESSING:  Forget mayonnaise, try yogurt instead. These salad dressings will last about a week in your refrigerator - so it is better to make them as you need them. Yogurt based dressings are best paired with mexican or asian salads. Here are a few of my favorite kind:

-  Creamy Greek Yogurt Dressing

- Creamy Balsamic Greek Yogurt Vinaigrette

- Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

+++ OLIVE OIL + LEMON: So maybe you don’t like vinegar? No problem, you can use olive oil & ½ lemon (or lime) instead. Here is one of my favorite recipes: 

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
½ Lemon Juice
Finely Chopped Cilantro
Salt & Pepper to Taste.

This type of dressing is best paired with a cooked salad such as carrots, broccoli & corn. You can add any spices & herbs of your preference to the above mentioned dressings - I love to experiment all the time! Some of my top favorites include lemon pepper, thyme & paprika. 

 
 
 
 

By ditching store bought dressings you will save money, calories and loads of plastic too. This one is a easy win, win, win! Other homemade sauces that I also use as salad dressings if I have any leftover include: homemade salsa, guacamole, chimichurri sauce & Tzatziki greek sauce. What are some homemade healthy dressings you love?