What About Homemade Salad Dressing
I hope you arent getting the idea that all salad dressings are bad. Or that you have to eat your lettuce and carrots like rabbits do, completely undressed. In addition to some clean brands and varieties of organic commercial dressings, theres always homemade. Not only can you control all the ingredients, but theyre much cheaper than store-bought, and fresher, too.
But even though youre probably not adding your own red dye #40 or MSG, a lot of homemade dressings still use oil as one of the first two ingredients. After all, the simplest dressing of all is called oil and vinegar. And it turns out, that might not be the healthiest option either.
The 5 Healthiest Store
Making homemade healthy salad dressing is delicious, but having a jar or two in the refrigerator is great if youre in a pinch or missing key ingredients. The problem with most store-bought salad dressing, however, is that they are often filled with processed ingredients, sugar, and refined oils not exactly what you want on your arugula.
Heres the salad-loving solution. These three store-bought dressings are minimally processed, filled with real ingredients, and the easiest way to make salad bowls crave-worthy and even healthier.
Ways To Go Oil Free With Your Salad Dressings
Oil can add flavor, moisture, and mouthfeel to a salad. And it can serve as an effective transport mechanism for fat-soluble nutrients and flavorings. But its not the only way to accomplish any of these functions. If youre unsure of what to put on a salad, you can substitute other whole foods that contain fat, or even make your dressings completely fat-free.
Some more whole food alternatives to oil include tahini , nuts, seeds, or beans pureed in a blender with a little water, lemon juice, vinegar, or soy sauce, pureed organic tofu, avocados, and plant-based yogurts.
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Brianna’s Homestyle Asiago Caesar
Don’t let the modest and minimally-styled label fool you: this dressing is far from simple. In addition to including a laundry list of ingredients, Brianna’s cheese-spiked caesar also manages to pack in a whopping 270 milligrams of sodium, which is why we omitted it from being deemed a healthy salad dressing.
Follow Your Heart Reduced Fat Ranch Dressing
90 Calories | 9g Fat | 2g Carbs | 1g Protein | 1g Sugar | 150mg Sodium
The Reduced Fat Ranch Dressing from Follow Your Heart is a great plant-based vegan dressing, which is hard to do. If youre not familiar with Follow Your Heart I highly recommend checking them out. All of their products are plant-based and really flavorful.
This dressing in particular is made without dairy or eggs, but still has that creamy traditional ranch flavor. Additionally, its made with hemp and flax seed oils which provide a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
While its slightly high in fat, it has very few carbs, limited sugar and low sodium. Another great healthy option for you ranch-heads.
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The Verdict On Salad Dressings
Dressings add flavor and moisture to salads. But store-bought brands and restaurant salad dressings may not always be very healthy. Even homemade dressings may contain a lot of oil, which has its own set of issues. If youre unsure of what to put on a salad, try out oil alternatives at home. And experiment with some of these oil free salad dressings. And ultimately, keep eating salads full of veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, and other whole plant foods.
Note The Serving Size Sodium Content Saturated Fat And Added Sugars
Most Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium when the recommendation by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, said Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He added that according to the American Heart Association, saturated fat should be no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total caloric intake. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this equals 120 calories or 13 grams of saturated fat.
Valdez likes miso or miso-ginger dressing. Miso is a good source of B vitamins, folic acid, and vitamin K and E, he said. Because of its fermented makeup, it also has positive benefits for the gut, which more research is suggesting could assist with managing inflammation and overall wellness.
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Bolthouse Farms Garden Ranch
80 Calories | 7g Fat | 3g Carbs | 1g Protein | 1g Sugar | 230mg Sodium
Bolthouse is another brand that makes a great Vegan ranch dressing. And, its fairly light in terms of calories and sodium.
The Garden Ranch from Bolthouse is 100% plant-based, includes zero preservatives or artificial sweeteners, and is both gluten and soy-free. In fact, their entire mission is to create healthier products. They have a variety of plant-based dressing that are well worth looking at.
In terms of taste, it was definitely one of the better vegan ranch dressings I tried. Better than Daiya, anyway. It has a bit of the traditional ranch flavor with a slight veggie taste to it.
Worth giving it a try, for sure!
Lemony Garlic Creamy Mustard Dressing
Source: Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
Lemons are one of the best ingredients to use when making a low-cal, nutrient-dense dressing. They are rich in a tangy, refreshing flavor and also offer many health benefits, especially to the liver. This dressing also adds a full flavor profile from the garlic and creamy cashew butter used. You can also use tahini or even almond butter in place of cashew butter, or for a low-fat version, stick with some simple almond or soy milk instead.
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Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese Yogurt Dressing
We love that Bolthouse Farms uses protein-rich yogurt for its base to keep the fat content of this healthy salad dressing respectably low. The combination of yogurt and blue cheese bring the amount of protein to 2 grams per serving. And with an impressively low 35 calories per serving, you won’t believe this bottle packs in velvety blue cheese in almost every bite.
Instead Check The Type Of Fat
The type of fats and oils used in the dressing are important. Though sometimes hard to find, dressings made primarily with flaxseed oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or nut oils are the healthiest bets, since these oils contain a higher percentage of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Your next best options are usually ones made with blends of nut, olive, or plant oils. Opt for less refined plant oils when possible, and always steer clear of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
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Sweet And Savory Almond Butter Dressing
The combination of naturally sweet almond butter combined with savory tamari and tangy lime makes for an almost drinkable dressing. But save it for your salad because its even better mixed with greens! Almonds create a creamy consistency and mouthfeel without the oil due to their healthy monounsaturated fat content. The bonus is that you also get the protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that come with enjoying the whole almonds versus only the oil.
Bold Palate Foods No Cows On This Ranch
50 Calories | 5g Fat | 1g Carbs | 0g Protein | 0g Sugar | 80mg Sodium
The No Cows On This Ranch Dressing, from Bold Palate, is another surprisingly great healthy ranch dressing. Theyve somehow created a dressing without any sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, soy, dairy, eggs, or gluten
And, it only has 50 calories and 80mg of sodium per serving!
Im actually a big fan of the taste, too. Which isnt always the case when it comes to the healthier options of most foods. They paired the classic ranch taste with both dill and garlic, which makes for a super flavorful dip.
Bold Palate also makes a variety of other plant-based dressings that look pretty solid. Ive only had their ranch, but their Apple Spice Vinaigrette looks like a pretty healthy and tasty salad dressing, too.
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Healthy Oil Free Salad Dressing Recipes
Check out our delicious oil-free salad dressings below. And have fun dressing your salad in ways that are both delicious and healthy. Theres no reason to deprive yourself of filling, interesting, and super-healthy salads. Or to skimp on the flavor and mouthfeel of creamy, tangy, spicy, smooth, sweet, or umami dressings. The world is your salad go dress it!
What Kind Of Salad Dressing Is Gluten
In general, there are a handful of salad dressings that are most always going to be gluten-free.
These are the ones that are generally considered safe, but of course youll want to double check ingredients lists and look for gluten-free labels on each package you buy just in case recipes change or a certain brand makes it differently than others.
These types of salad dressing are generally safe for a gluten-free diet:
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The Healthiest Salad Dressings Are The Simplest Ones
The best salad dressings are typically very simple with few ingredients, Pegah Jalali, a registered dietitian at Middleberg Nutrition, told HuffPost. You always want to focus on the first few ingredients avoid a salad dressing with ingredients that you cannot recognize like phosphoric acid, calcium disodium EDTA and artificial flavors.
Jalali lists vinegars, oils and spices found in a typical home kitchen as solid core ingredients. Her store-bought salad dressing of choice is Primal Kitchens green goddess dressing. Its made with minimal ingredients and uses health-supportive ingredients including avocado oil, it has no added sugars and is delicious, Jalali said.
Make Your Own Dressings
If you’ve got a few extra minutes, dressings you make yourself can be even more delicious than the store-bought kind, and you have total control over the ingredients. Here are recipes for two light salad dressings you probably won’t see on the supermarket shelf.
Japanese Restaurant Salad Dressing
Journal as: 1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup chopped onion 2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil 2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root 2 tablespoons minced celery 2 teaspoon light soy sauce 2 teaspoons light corn syrup or honey 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add all the ingredients to a small food processor or blender. Pulse on high speed for about 30 seconds, or until well-pureed.
- Pour into serving container, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
Yield: 14 tablespoons
Per 2-tablespoon serving: 48 calories, 0.3 g protein, 3.1 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 0.3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.2 g fiber, 79 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 73%.
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Journal as: 1 teaspoon oil
3/4 cup bottled roasted red pepper pieces, drained 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoons light mayonnaise 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon dried basil Salt and pepper to taste
Yield: 1 1/4 cup
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Are Kraft Salad Dressings Gluten
Some Kraft salad dressing flavors contain no gluten, however Kraft does not test for gluten in their dressings, and you wont find a gluten-free label on their packaging.
Some flavors have no gluten-containing ingredients, but they may be exposed to cross contamination during processing.
If you love eating salad for lunch or as a meal in the warmer months, I hope this list of information about salad dressings helps you dress up all your future salads.
Whether you avoid gluten and dairy, or just gluten, I hope you have found a brand and option that will work well for all your salad munching needs!
If you loved this post, I hope that youll share it with your friends on and pin it for future reference on .
Gluten Ingredients To Avoid In Salad Dressing
In addition to knowing which salad dressings are generally going to be safe for your gluten-free diet, its also important to know what ingredients youll want to look for in order to avoid them.
You can look at the back of any bottled salad dressing and look for these ingredients. If you find them, youll know youll want to avoid this product and look for something different that is gluten-free.
- Malt vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Spice blend
Some of these ingredients may be an indication of gluten in the product, while sometimes it isnt.
For example, modified food starch CAN be made from gluten, but it isnt always necessarily made from gluten.
Modified food starch can also be made from corn, and if the packaging shows modified food starch , youll know that ingredient is gluten-free, as corn doesnt contain gluten.
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The main thing to keep in mind is that if you see one of these ingredients in an ingredients list, they may contain gluten.
If there are details about that ingredient, like more ingredients within parentheses, and these dont contain any gluten-containing ingredients, then you can feel okay about that product being gluten-free.
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
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So What Does This Mean
Looking at the results, you can see that there are some better choices available. Creamier dressings like Newmans Own and Mary Berrys salad dressing are unsurprisingly high in fat, saturated fat, and calories. The ingredients provide an explanation for this: lots of oil, egg yolks and some added sugar.
Most people love salad cream or mayonnaise, so how do they compare? Salad cream has around half the calories, and a third of the fat compared to mayonnaise. The sugar and salt are increased because of this, but not to the level of some other dressings we looked at. So, using a small amount of salad cream instead of mayonnaise could make quite a significant difference. Consider choosing the light version of salad cream to save further calories and fat.
Compared to normal mayo, a lot of the fat – and therefore the calories – in light mayo have been removed. It maintains its red status for total fat content though, as does salad cream. What about Pizza Express House Dressing versus the lighter version? The calories have less than halved and there are only modest reductions in the fat and saturated fat. The light versions tend to have a lower percentage of oil and more added flavours, thickeners and preservatives. This means they are lower in calories and total fat, but contain more artificial ingredients.
How To Choose The Best Salad Dressings For Diabetes
Keep these shopping tips in mind the next time you’re at the grocery store.
Fall for Fat
Fat is not the enemy! In fact, pairing vegetables with a little fat helps your body absorb valuable nutrients like lycopene and beta carotene, antioxidants that help keep arteries healthy. While limiting total fat can be a strategy to help limit calories, many low-fat or light dressings are not necessarily low-cal. When you look at fat on the Nutrition Facts label, focus on saturated fat rather than total fat. Limiting saturated fat may help lower your risk for heart disease.
Get Smart About Sugar
High-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, brown sugar, fruit juice, and plain old white table sugar are all types of sugar that can be found in salad dressings. Most salad dressings will have some form of sugar added, but fat-free salad dressings are often higher in sugar and carbohydrates than full-fat varieties. Check the Nutrition Facts label to see how many grams of sugar and carbs are in each serving.
Shake Out Sodium
Salad dressings can be a surprisingly high source of sodium: we found dressings that packed as much as 360 mg into one serving. Looking at the Nutrition Facts label can help you keep sodium in check, which is especially important if you’re limiting your sodium for heart health.
Mind Your Serving
Know Your Numbers
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Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing Light
60 Calories | 5g Fat | 4g Carbs | 0g Protein | 1g Sugar | 310mg Sodium
I had a hard time putting Hidden Valley at the top of this list. If Im being honest, Im not the biggest fan of Hidden Valley. That said, its definitely rated as one of the best ranch dressings out there so I figured it was worthy of the #1 spot.
The light version of their original recipe is a solid choice if youre looking for a healthy ranch dip. While its a bit high in sodium, it only has 60 calories per serving. Its also gluten-free
I highly recommend checking out some of their other flavors, too. They have a variety of Light flavors to choose from, including Buttermilk and Cucumber. And, for those of you that are Vegan, they have a plant-based option.
A Closer Look At What’s In The Bottle
Salads can give us a lighter, lower calorie option for a quick meal at home, or at a restaurant. But what about the dressing we often drizzle liberally onto salads and side dishes?Oil-based dressings with added flavourings like sugar, salt, cheese and egg yolk can really bump up the calories, fat and sugar in your meal.With so many options out there,how can you be sure youre making a healthy choice?
We looked at 10 popular salad dressings to see how they perform, and offer some balanced dressing recipe ideas to help you at home.
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