It’s summer time and that means lots of salads in our house. For lunch, dinner, as a side. All three of my girls LOVE salads, so it’s pretty much a staple in our house. Anything from a simple side salad tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette, to filling it with grilled chicken, fresh corn, avocado, bacon, peppers, red onions, and tossed with a cilantro vinaigrette. Over the last 15 years I have been making my own salad dressing, everything from this vinaigrette dressing to homemade blue cheese dressing (so good with wings) to a Greek dressing, honey mustard dressing, the options are truly endless…AND EASY! I know right now you all are thinking it’s just time consuming and a waste of time, right? It’s easier to go and buy premade salad dressings…but, let’s look at some facts about the ingredients in salad dressing and what you SHOULD NOT be putting in to your body.
- Sugar- Most salad dressings not only contain sugar but they also contain high fructose corn syrup (yes, made from corn I know, but HFCS is also pumped with Chloralkai which contains traces of mercury- heavy metals will eventually accumulate in your body, causing many health problems such as liver disease).
- GMO’s- Genetically Modified Oils are found in most salad dressings that are non organic and are genetically modified soy or canola oils or they may contain cheap vegetable oils which contain higher amounts of fat and omega 6- those high fats can lead to inflammation.
- Artificial Sweeteners- These are found in the salad dressing listed as sugar free- studies have shown that artificial sweeteners lead to cancer and most artificial sweeteners contain GMO’s.
- MSG- MSG is called Monosodium Glutamate and is a food addictive. It supposedly enhances the flavor but has been linked to migraines. Maltodextrin in another name for it, as well as autolyzed yeast extract.
- Potasium Sorbate– A preservative that keeps canned and jarred goods fresh for months without needing to be refrigerated
- Artifial Coloring- This happens to be found in many products these days, including salad dressings. Red #40. Yellow 5- these have been linked to ADHD in children and have been known to cause allergic reactions and even cancer.
- Titanium Dioxide- This ingredient truly floored me. I knew that store bought salad dressing were loaded with horrible ingredients, but this really blew my mind. Titanium dioxide is a chemical found in paint, yes you heard me, PAINT. Supposedly it is used to make the dressing look fresher, gross. Lead is usually found in titanium dioxide.
- Gluten– yes, there is gluten products in salad dressings. Again, gluten is a binding agent and is used also as a thickening agent. Gluten can be disquised in many different names so be careful.
As you can see, these ingredients are truly harmful to you and your family. Salad dressings can be quick to make and can be made ahead and stored in your refrigerator for a few days in a glass mason jar (look for the plastic PBA free lids for your mason jars, I found them on Amazon and they are great for using when storing dressings).
- 1/2 cup white vinegar (you may use balsamic for a different taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup olive oil
- Combine all of the ingredients except the olive oil in to a blender and blend for 20 seconds. Add the oil and blend another 15 seconds. If you are using a mason jar, add all of the ingredients and cover and shake well. You are ready to use the dressing or simply put in the refrigerator and use when you are ready. This dressing will hold for a few days. Just make sure you shake it well before you use it.
As you can see, making salad dressing can be easy and certainly will not only taste much better, it will be much better for you!