Imagine this: You sit down to lunch over a big heaping bowl of salad. Every color in the rainbow is represented, all your favorite goodies from sun-dried tomatoes, some artichoke hearts, maybe an olive or two. Tender greens, fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes. Maybe some leftover wild salmon from last night’s dinner.
Your mouth is watering as you tuck into your delicious, unprocessed lunch and you reach for the bottle of salad dressing.
Just as you’re about to pour, you remember it’s October Unprocessed and maybe you better check out that ingredients. You’re pretty confident it’s got only the good stuff because after all, it’s screaming its health benefits from the label. Low fat! Low sodium! Organic!
What a disappointment to find the list filled with artificial crap you can’t pronounce.
It’s sad but true. I’ve seen many gorgeous, nutritious, absolutely amazing salads get destroyed by this stuff.
Salad dressing. It sounds so healthy and innocuous, and yet it’s one of the places so many un-naked and over-processed ingredients sneak into the lives of even the most well-intentioned real food lover. Even – and perhaps most deviously so — in those dressings that advertise all their health benefits. Additives, preservatives, low-quality (rancid!) oils, flavor enhancers, emulsifiers, colorings, excessive amounts of salt, and of course, sugar (or worse: artificial sweeteners).
The bad news is that 99% of commercial salad dressings out there have this problem. The good news is that making your own is ridiculously simple.
Here’s the formula:
- 3 parts high-quality oil – extra virgin olive oil, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil, pumpkin seed oil – get creative! Think outside the olive oil box.
- 1 part something acidic – vinegar, lemon, lime
- A dash of salt and fresh ground pepper
- Some fresh or dried herbs if you’re feeling fancy
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and give it a big old shake. That’s it. You’re done! Keep it in the fridge for the week and use it when you need to.
You can experiment with different oil and vinegar combinations. Here are some of my favorites:
- Flax seed oil and lemon, with a pinch of ground mustard seed
- Hemp seed oil with apple cider vinegar, and a sprinkling of fresh thyme
- The classic Italian extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with some oregano, basil and garlic
- For something a little more Asian, try sesame oil (unrefined) with lime, and stir in some peanut butter and a dash of tamari