When you think of eating healthy, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably salad right? Well, what's salad without salad dressing? Just raw, boring vegetables, if you ask me! (OK fine you got me, I love eating raw veggies on their own too, I can't help the dietitian in me!) Regardless, I still think that the right salad dressing can make or break a salad.
That doesn't necessarily mean you should pick up any salad dressing while you are at the grocery store. While salad dressings may be disguised as a healthy condiment, they can quickly rack up on calories, fat, and sugar. Not to mention, a long list of ingredients you can't pronounce. Before you know it, your colourful salad isn't the healthiest option on your plate.
Now you might be thinking, hey! I'll just pick up a low-fat or fat free salad dressing to avoid the extra calories and fat. Here's my dietitian tip for you: when an item is labelled as "fat-free" or "low fat", the fat is usually replaced with something else so that the product still tastes good. Any guesses what that might be? Sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.
Eek. I guess that salad dressing sitting in your refrigerator might not be too healthy after all.
While there are healthier salad dressing options, I am introducing an even easier, tastier option for you: make your own salad dressing! Even if you don't consider yourself an advanced cook, you can still make your own salad dressing. The best part is that it is made using ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen!
To make the simplest form of salad dressing you need equal parts of something acidic (vinegar, lemon juice etc.) and oil. So if you want to make 1 cup of salad dressing, you would mix 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup oil. My favourite combination is apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
To suit your flavour profile, you can add your own spices, herbs, and additional flavourings. My favourite add-ins are minced garlic, dried basil, and a pinch of black pepper.
In the spirit of summer and to celebrate fresh berries all around, I am sharing a recipe for Raspberry Vinaigrette. I know it sounds fancy, but trust me when I am saying it is quick and easy to make.
This Raspberry Vinaigrette has been my go-to salad dressing that has been in my refrigerator for the past few weeks. It tastes especially delicious on my balcony-grown kale and lettuce salad (more on that later!).
Makes: 3/4 cup dressing
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1. In a bowl, mash raspberries with a fork until raspberries liquify and a thin paste forms.
2. Add remaining ingredients and whisk with fork.
3. Pour salad dressing in a mason jar and shake for about 30 seconds or until salad dressing comes together and thickens slightly. Store in refrigerator sealed until ready to use with salad. Dressing stays fresh in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
If you make this recipe, don't forget to share a picture and tag me @NutritionbyNaz on Instagram or Twitter!
Are you ready to begin your healthy lifestyle journey but don't know where to start? Join me and many other women with The Muslimah’s Meal Plan!