Paleo, Keto, no sugar, no vegetable oil, no additives, all in your own salad dressing! Easy and foolproof, these recipes just take a few minutes of your time.
As salad dressing has become a modern convenience we have forgotten how simple and quick it is to make. 95% of the salad dressings you find at the store are full of processed vegetable oils and include soybean, safflower, corn, and canola oil. These oils are inflammatory. They will slow down your cell metabolism and may be the one thing still standing in the way of your health goals. I really advise against industrially processed oils and encourage everyone use cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil for the base of their salad dressings.
For added flavor, oils like macadamia oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, and toasted sesame oil are good options. 2-4 Tablespoons of any of these oils can replace part of the base oil in this salad dressing template. Adding MCT Oil can also be a great way to get extra healthy fats into your diet.
Since we are talking about avoiding industrial seed oils, let me dive in a little deeper and look at their lack of shelf stability and potential harmful effects. Vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats, which are very unstable. They are easily damaged by moderate heat, oxygen, light, and moisture; even just during storage, in their plastic bottles, in the grocery store, they are exposed to damage. These oils turn rancid very quickly and contain free radicals. Most vegetable oils are highly refined and damaged during processing. The nuts and seeds used for vegetable oils are exposed to high heat and pressure sources for extraction. Additionally, solvents (hexane from petroleum) are added to draw out the last bits, which act like a magnet for pesticide residue.
From a health standpoint industrialized vegetable oils are really high in Omega 6 fats and free radicals. Ingesting these can increase inflammation, decrease cell communication, depress immune function, and decrease detoxification, all which can leave you feeling tired, moody, foggy, and inflamed. Something to steer clear of, right?
Homemade salad dressings using this template will stay fresh for a couple weeks out of the fridge. These dressings add essential fats to your meals, can be flavored exactly to your liking, and are easy to assemble. I say let’s make a vow to never buy salad dressing with processed, rancid, oxidized vegetable oils again.
- 1cup Extra Virgin Olive Oilor ½ Avocado Oil ½ Olive Oil
- 1/4cup apple cider vinegaror wine vinegar
- 2Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/3cup ‘creamy’ thickeneroptional. Like - avocado, coconut cream, Paleo mayonnaise
- 1-2cloves garlicfresh, minced
- 1-2Tbsp. herbsfresh or dried
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Try adding 1-2 drops of essential oils (such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass, lemon, lime, or orange) to this salad dressing base. The flavor will really burst and surprise you. My favorite essential oils to add are oregano and thyme.
Italian Herb Dressing (no creamy thickener)
1-2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. parsley
Honey Mustard Dressing (no creamy thickener)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. raw honey
Greek Dressing (no creamy thickener)
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. marjoram
Sesame Ginger Dressing (no creamy thickener)
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
½ tsp powdered ginger
Caesar Dressing (with a creamy thickener)
2 raw egg yolks
2 mashed anchovies
1/3 cup lemon juice in place of 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Ranch Dressing (with a creamy thickener)
½ cup coconut cream in place of ½ cup olive oil
¼ cup coconut milk
2 tsp. dill
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. chives or green onions