Honestly, it’s so easy to make, I don’t know why more of us don’t. Food corporations have tricked us into believing that the store-bought stuff is the only way to go, when in fact homemade salad dressing is a simple way to save money, eat healthier, create less waste, and make salads tastier.
Reasons store-bought salad dressing is no good:
- It’s probably made with soy or canola oil (also known as GMOs)
- It will likely have unhealthy ingredients added to preserve it and give it a nice consistency, like modified corn starch, soy lecithin and potassium sorbate
- Some have sugar added
- NONE of the ingredients are fresh
- All of the ingredients used to make it will be of the poorest quality possible (because that’s just how corporate food is made: quality is sacrificed for profits)
When making yourself a nice salad, keep in mind that the dressing is, more or less, pure fat. This doesn’t mean that it’s “bad” for your health; on the contrary, our bodies need fat to survive and “healthy” fat is an important part of a healthy diet, especially when you eat it with a high amount of fibrous veggies, which slow digestion. As a general guideline, I try not to build meals that have both higher fat and carb content combined – if my meal is higher carb, like it tends to be around the time I do a workout, I cut the fat; and if my meal is higher fat, like say a lunchtime salad when I’m sitting idle at my desk, I cut the carbs.
Also keep in mind that the meaning of “healthy” fat is constantly changing. Our understanding of saturated fat – a food that was (and still is) considered the source of many chronic health problems in the past several decades – is now greatly shifted, hence the re-emergence of coconut oil. The rise in popularity of grass-fed beef and dairy – which are twice the price of regular products – is because these products contain omega-3s, which their grain-fed counterparts that we’ve been eating for decades do not.
For me, unhealthy fats are ones that are highly processed, hydrogenated, or genetically modified (and of course trans fat). I try my hardest to stay away from canola oil, soy oil, vegetable oil, grain-fed butter and dairy, and smooth peanut butter.
So how does it work? It’s easy! All you do is add the ingredients to a mini blender (like a Magic Bullet) or – if you don’t have one – simply whisk it together in a coffee mug with a whisk or a fork. I never really measure the exact amounts, but in general the oil will be the main ingredient, with everything else as the flavouring agent. Then, pour your dressing over your salad, eat, enjoy, and be healthy.
Honey Dijon Dressing Variations
Honey Dijon dressings are easy and great in a pinch when you need to just throw together a dressing from what’s left in your fridge. Here’s three variations to try:
- Olive oil, Dijon mustard, tahini, honey, salt and pepper
- Avocado oil, whole-grain Dijon, pumpkin seed butter, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper
- MCT oil (liquid coconut oil), lime juice, honey, ginger, shredded garlic [optional], salt and pepper
You could also try maple syrup in place of honey for a slightly different taste.
I love miso, and as an added bonus it contains healthy bacteria for your gut. Here’s a couple variations:
- Olive oil, sesame oil (small amount), miso, white vinegar (small amount), orange juice, black pepper
- Avocado oil, sauerkraut or dill brine (small amount), miso, ginger (shredded with a rasp), peanut butter, honey, black pepper
Blue cheese: In a double boiler melt blue cheese and add a touch of vinegar and Dijon mustard.
Caesar: Blend together lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, worcestershire and garlic. (Substitute Parmersan for cashew butter for dairy-free option.)
Green Goddess: Blend ripe avocado, olive oil, coconut milk, garlic, parsley, basil, tarragon, salt and pepper.
These are just a few dressings off the top of my head, but there’s literally millions of variations you can come up with. Skip the store-bought garbage and make you’re own salad dressing. It’s a delicious way to enjoy healthier eating with money saved and less waste created.