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.
Salad Dressing (recipe template)
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or ½ Avocado Oil ½ Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup ‘creamy’ thickener optional. Like - avocado, coconut cream, Paleo mayonnaise
- 1-2 cloves garlic fresh, minced
- 1-2 Tbsp. herbs fresh or dried
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Using a Creamy Thickener
- Use a blender to emulsify and blend up the creamy thickeners.
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, about 20-30 seconds.
- Pour the dressing into a glass jar or glass bottle and screw on the lid. Give it a good shake before each use. Enjoy.
- Salad dressings with added creamy thickeners should be kept in the fridge and will last for 5-7 days.
Not Using a Creamy Thickener
- Add all of the ingredients to a glass jar or glass bottle with a lid that fits tightly.
- Close the lid and shake vigorously until well combined. Give it a good shake before each use. Enjoy.
- Salad dressings without creamy thickeners will stay fresh at room temperature for 2 weeks.
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