Make Your Own Salad Dressing (So You Don’t Have to Throw Yourself Off a Bridge)

December 9th, 2012 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits

I don’t think it will come as a surprise that I eat salad. A lot.

Like a lot, a lot.

So now picture me in the health food section of my local supermarket, skipping merrily (and cluelessly) through the store aisles, humming some crunchy-granola-new-agey-kumbaya song that my homeschooled kids taught me, sometimes buying the supposedly healthy salad dressings, sometimes buying canola oil to make my own salad dressing at home.

THEN picture me reading Deep Nutrition, getting a better understanding at how completely terrible vegetable oils are for us and thinking, phew! Good thing I don’t buy vegetable oil!

Now picture me taking a closer look at the ingredient label of the so called “healthier” salad dressings in my fridge.

Annies Woodstock Dressing

Do you see what I see? Are you seeing red like I am?

Here, look again.

Vegetable Oil in Annies Dressing

NOW do you see red? Vegetable oil is the first ingredient people. THE FIRST INGREDIENT!

OK. It’s going to be OK. Let’s not panic. Let’s not getting get our organically grown cotton panties in a bunch just yet. We have options. We can make our own salad dressing at home, it’s OK.

Oh wait, I already do that.

OH WAIT, I use canola oil when I make my own salad dressing at home.

OH WAIT, canola oil is just as bad for us too!

Alright, let’s go everybody! Time to head out and pitch ourselves over the side of a ravine!

Oh right, we’re not going to panic. We’re not going to get upset about this. We’re just going to make floor cleaner (for crying out loud) with our old dressing ingredients and get on with our salad making day.

Are you smiling? I’m smiling. You can barely even tell I’m cursing through my gritted teeth.

So here we go, this is what I’m dressing my salads up in these days.

Homemade Salad Dressing Ingredients

There’s even controversy surrounding olive oil, but we’re not going to talk about that.

Please don’t tell me about the crimes against humanity the people of Kraft foods may or may not have committed or that their mustard seeds are a fake. Please just pass the Grey Poupon.

Kraft Classic Dijon

At least the first ingredient is WATER! Three cheers for being able to say the rest of the ingredient list without needing to pinch our tongues between our forefingers and thumbs to get the pronunciation right.

A dollop of Dijon mustard, a splash of olive oil and another splash of balsamic, a little salt, pepper and some garlic powder too.

Dressing in the Bowl

Greens and vegetables piled into the bowl,

carrot in salad

stirred up and topped with all the usual lunch time salad suspects.

Usual Salad Suspects

Carrots, red pepper, hard boiled egg (and hemp seeds that I remembered to add after the foodie photo shoot was over).

I’m really into this combo of ingredients for salad dressing right now, and I especially like that all of these ingredients are considered good for us.

For now, anyway.

Chew your salad slowly, take deep breaths and try to stay present. We’re eating salad. We’re in our happy place. Life is good. Salad dressing made with vegetable oil is not.

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8 Responses

  • Pat says:

    Hi. Me again. If you have ground mustard in your spice cupboard, use that. A little goes a long way. Ingredients: mustard.

    What scares the crap out of me in that list of ingredients on that salad dressing is the xanthan gum. I have never laid my eyes on a xanthan… to goggle it……

  • Pat says:

    Okay, xanthan gum originated in the 1960s when the department of agriculture was looking into ways to use whey….they take the bacteria that causes the yummy black mold to grow on broccoli, cabbage, and other greens to ferment the lactose extracted from the whey to create a new polysucrose, then use isopropyl alcohol to further process it and dry it out, then use it as a food additive to stabilize sauces that tend to separate.

    I think I would rather just shake up my salad dressing before using!

    Guar gum also came up in the google search. guar is an actual bean that you can eat in it’s original form.

    • Thanks for the info! I see it in the health food section and know that it’s often used in recipes for a thickener (I think?) but yeah, it’s one more ingredient I think we can do without!

  • Sarah says:

    My favorite “salad dressing” these days is kind of a cross between bbq sauce and French dressing (bonjour!). I mix some tamari or Braggs, dijon, organic tomato sauce, Worchestershire sauce, a pinch of stevia, a few drops of liquid smoke and hot sauce.

    But I also go the balsamic route a lot too. I don’t miss bottled dressings at all!

  • Alicia says:

    Have you ever tried Boetje’s mustard? It’s the best.
    I keep a backup jar on hand at all times! It’s got a nice little kick and a super simple ingredient list. Plus it’s made not too far from me which makes me happy.