How to Make Your Own Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes in 3 Easy Steps

Let’s say you’re at the grocery store perusing the salad dressing aisle. You’ve been trying to make healthier food decisions, so you grab a bottle of Hidden Valley Light Ranch Dressing. Just 80 calories per serving, 7 grams of fat, and 290 mg of sodium … doesn’t look too bad so far. And it’s “light”, so its gotta be better for you, right? The ingredient list has all the answers you’re looking for:

hidden valley ranch ingredient list

This is the dilemma we face with most packaged, processed foods in the grocery store. Food claims on packages and nutrition facts labels often lead us to think we’re buying something healthy. But finding a healthy salad dressing requires some deeper digging on your part.

If you don’t like the idea of your food being created in a lab somewhere and packed with potentially harmful chemicals you can’t pronounce, I’ll show you my formula for creating your own healthy salad dressing recipes. And then, I’ll give you 5 of my top recipes to get you started. Making your own dressings is easy, cheaper, healthier, and tastier. Here’s how to do it …

How to Make Your Own Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

healthy salad dressing recipes1. Start with a good olive oil as a base. Any time you see “fat free” on a salad dressing bottle, be wary. That’s because food companies replace the fat with artificial ingredients like the ones you see above. Or when they do use fat, most use cheap, GMO-filled soybean oil and corn oil. To make your own healthy salad dressing recipes, start with a quality extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is one of the best sources of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. So use a little of it as a base for most of your dressings. Your heart will thank you.

2. Add a little ‘flava. Now it’s time to balance out your dressing. You can use various types of flavored vinegars, citrus fruits, and other liquids to do this. I usually shoot for a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar or other liquid. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Red wine vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • White vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Fresh grapefruit juice
  • Milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos

3. Add fresh herbs and spices. The final piece of the formula is adding some herbs and spices. This is where you can get creative and really experiment with different flavors. Fresh herbs add a lot more flavor than dried ones but I use both, depending on what I have available. Here are some good ones I recommend trying in your healthy dressing:

  • Dill
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Savory
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Lemongrass
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Curry
  • Paprika
  • Minced garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Minced onion

5 of My Favorite Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

1. Ginger Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T minced carrot
  • 1 T minced onion
  • 1 T minced ginger

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 122 calories, 13.5 g fat, 1 g carbs, 241 mg sodium

2. Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 122 calories, 13.5 g fat, 2 g carbs, 165 mg sodium

3. Honey Mustard Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 86 calories, 7 g fat, 5 g carbs, 138 mg sodium

4. Cilantro Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 T Bragg Liquid Aminos

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 122 calories, 13.5 g fat, 1 g carbs, 120 mg sodium

5. Buttermilk Herb Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 T fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 1 T fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 1 T fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 37 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g carbs, 129 mg sodium

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