Here at Dr. Foodle, we’ve talked numerous times about the health dangers of store-bought salad dressings. If you’re serious about eating healthy, then learning a bit about cooking is essential. That’s why we want to show you the secret to making tasty and healthy salad dressings.
Vinaigrettes are by far the easiest and most healthy salad dressings to make. Vinaigrettes have two main components to them: an oil and a vinegar. That’s it. Everything else in a vinaigrette is just there for flavor. A very basic but incredibly delicious and nutritious vinaigrette can be made with just four basic ingredients found in most kitchens: olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you’re wanting a sweeter dressing, start with an olive oil base, lemon juice, and then roasted berries of your choice. A roasted strawberry or raspberry in the mix is just plain delicious. By roasting the berries, it caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit and makes them that much sweeter.
Get creative and let your senses guide you in experimenting in the kitchen. Fresh herbs, roasted fruit and vegetables, and culinary staples like garlic all go great in a vinaigrette. If you’re not liking how your salad dressing is splitting, try adding some Dijon mustard to the mix. Mustard, while not only being a great complimentary flavor, is also a natural emulsifier that will bind oils to other liquids. Try to experiment with what oils and vinegars you are using. Grapeseed oil and sunflower oil are both healthy alternatives to olive oil and provide a very different flavor profile. For vinegars, don’t be afraid to use wine vinegars to add a different flavor.
If you are wanting to eat healthy, really pay attention to what you’re putting into your dressing. Most fruits and vegetables are great additions, but adding things like processed sugar or store-bought condiments is a sure-fire way to turn a healthy dressing unhealthy.
Caesar dressing is loved all over the world, but store-bought Caesar dressings rely on sugar and a high fat content to replicate that delicious Caesar taste. Making it at home is not only cheap, but simple to do, and while traditional Caesar dressing is naturally high in calories, we’ll also provide you with a way to make a healthy Caesar alternative.
Traditional Caesar dressing packs an explosive taste thanks to the use of some potent ingredients. All you need to make a traditional Caesar dressing is the following: garlic, anchovies, olive oil, egg yolks, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, and parmesan cheese. The combination of these ingredients creates a rich, creamy dressing that is like nothing else. Try experimenting with the ingredients at home in varying amounts to create your own signature Caesar dressing.
Due to the cheese, egg yolks, and emulsified oil, Caesar dressing tends to be on the fatty side. However, by using the following ingredients, you can create a healthier Caesar dressing: Greek yogurt (make sure it’s unflavored; flavored yogurts tend to be packed with sugar), garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies, olive oil, hot sauce, and a bit of mustard to hold it all together. While it’s not quite as creamy as a traditional Caesar, this variation has a much lower fat content and tastes delicious while hitting all the same flavor beats as the traditional Caesar.
Be creative with cooking. We haven’t provided any specific amounts because we want you to have fun in the kitchen. Remember, dressings rely on an oil and vinegar base; these are your two main ingredients. Everything else is just used to add distinct flavors, so you don’t need a ton of them in your dressings. When you’re making your salads, try to keep in mind what lettuces you are using. Iceberg and romaine have very little nutrition, while kale and spinach are nutritionally dense, and to be honest, have a much better flavor as well. Check in with Dr. Foodle later on to see what other healthy tips we have to offer.