Most store-bought salad dressings have things like high fructose corn syrup (or even just sugar), thickeners, gums, preservatives, highly refined vegetable oils, and all kinds of other yucky, inflammatory ingredients. Luckily, there are options for making your own, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
There is a certain brand of salad dressings that are zero fat, zero calorie, zero sugar, but to be honest — that’s just not real food! REAL FOOD isn’t calorie free. REAL FOOD doesn’t even worry about calories. Real food is nourishing, satisfying, satiating. Don’t you want your meals to feel that way? If you’re doing some sort of clean eating challenge or doing my Radiant Reboot, I would say no for this particular brand, and definitely no for those with less than desirable ingredients.
Having said that, there are some GREAT recipes for real food dressings that I use and love. One of my favorites is actually a template for dressing in a blog post from Diane Sanfilippo, which you can change up based on your mood. During one of your food preparation days, you can make a bottle of this dressing and use it throughout the week! That’s what I do. 🙂
The template she uses for dressing is roughly this:
- Some sort of fat (olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil) – remember, don’t ever heat these, only for cold salads
- Some sort of acid (lemon juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, kombucha vinegar)
- Dried herbs (she uses oregano, but I like using all kinds of dried herbs and spices. Go with your mood!)
If you like to make creamy-based salad dressings, it’s easy to make your own mayonnaise as a base (all store-bought mayos I’ve found have highly refined vegetable oil in them) and then add other ingredients to make creamy dressings and dips! Here is my own recipe:
There is one exception that I know of to the bad store-bought mayo, and that is Primal Kitchen Mayo, which is made with avocado oil. It’s a little pricey, but if you want mayo but don’t want to bother making it yourself, it’s worth it.
I know it can be a little of an adjustment making these changes when we are so used to eating a certain way, but it’s only difficult until it’s habit! And it’s worth it! 🙂