One of the simplest and most effective changes you can make in moving to a healthier lifestyle is to eat more fresh salads. It’s tough to top a heaping plate of leafy greens, lean proteins, fresh veggies and legumes loaded with fiber for sheer nutritional value. The place where many people go wrong is they use the salad mainly as a delivery device for dressing, which can destroy a lot of the good you were trying to do by eating the salad in the first place.
Grab a bottle of your favorite store bought dressing and take a look at the ingredients. You are probably looking at a list of what NOT to put in your body. MSG, artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fats, and preservatives are common ingredients in store dressings. The good news is that making homemade salad dressings on your own is fast and easy! As a bonus, you are making it to order from other ingredients you have around the house so you are saving money and space, especially if you don’t use it a lot or want a variety.
Simple Homemade Salad Dressings are Easy and Healthy
Vinaigrettes are delicious and simple to make quickly. The typical rule of thumb when making them is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (or other acidic ingredient). If you like your dressing to have a little more zip, try a 2:1 ratio.
Everyone knows about white, red and cider vinegars, but there are probably hundreds of other types and flavors that you can experiment with. Don’t be scared to try balsamic, fruit-infused, aged or rice vinegars a shot. You can also use citrus juices like orange, grapefruit, lemon or lime as well.
A good starting place for oil is a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, but there are other healthier options also such as grape seed oil. Infused oils are great, given you options like garlic, rosemary and other herbs to add to the flavor of your dressing.
A third popular component in homemade vinaigrettes is Dijon mustard. This is a good choice because it adds another layer of flavor and acts as a binder for the other ingredients.
Once you’ve got a couple of bases that you like, you can really start experimenting with things like minced garlic, herbs, honey, fruit juices, onions – really whatever you are willing to try. Use this simple recipe as a starting point and see what delicious combinations you can come up with!
¾ c olive oil
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 tbl Dijon Mustard
2 tsp honey
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in glass bowl or tightly lidded container and mix thoroughly.
Here are a couple of my favorite recipes that include a homemade salad dressings recipe!