Healthy Red Wine Vinegar Dressing
Here’s another classic salad dressing you need to have in your recipe book. My Healthy Red Wine Vinegar Dressing is a bit heavier on the vinegar to keep the calorie count lower. It gets lots of flavor from lemon and more herbs.
Serve in almost any salad where you’d use a vinegarette. It’s also the perfect addition to my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad.
Homemade And Healthy Salad Dressings
“Lose Weight by Eating Gummi Bears!””Get 5 Servings of Vegetables in One Glass of Chocolate Milk!” It seems there is a continuous stream of health and diet advice coming at us via TV, radio and the web. Some information makes sense others, like the examples above, are ludicrous. Though it’s hard to keep the details straight, thankfully, there’s some consensus. When it comes to salads, research supports eating your fair share. After all, salads are:
- a great source of fiber
- an excellent way of getting multiple fruit and veggie servings
- a filling dish that usually has a low calorie count
But, having a salad alone doesn’t ensure good nutrition. Too much cheese, fried meats, and bread can ruin a healthy salad. Another culprit is the salad dressing itself. Often, store-bought dressings have lots of transfats , sugars, artificial ingredients, and a surprising number of calories. As for your non-fat options — sometimes the bottle tastes better than the salad dressing itself.
So, what’s a health-conscious, calorie-conscious person to do? Start from scratch! Homemade salad dressings give you the flexibility to use fresh, natural ingredients and make healthy substitutions where needed. Read on to learn what delicious, nutritious concoctions you can make in your own kitchen, all courtesy of TLC Cooking.
- 2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese
Optional ingredients used in serving:
- Romaine lettuce hearts torn into bite-sized pieces
- Toasted chopped walnuts
Low Calorie Salad Dressing Recipes
On top of being healthy, these salad dressings are all low calorie salad dressing recipes that are much healthier than the bottle! I used less oil and no sugar to make these dressings healthy. In my creamy dressings like my Ranch, Ceasar, and Poppyseed I used a base of greek yogurt so they would still taste amazingly creamy AND have some health benefits.
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Why This Recipe Works
No added salt but still has great flavor!
Combines well – Without going into a dissertation on food chemistry, let’s just note that fats and oils are non-polar and hydrophobic-meaning they don’t like water. Vinegar, on the other hand is just the opposite – polar and hydrophilic- which means vinegar likes water.
So, you can see that these two ingredients are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to mixing well and getting along.
What they need is something to bring them together…a catalyst. In this instance, that “secret something” is Balsamic Vinegar and dry mustard.
Balsamic vinegars, both dark and white, are made from cooked grapes. As the grapes cook and brown, they produce polymers called melanoidins. Melanoidins have emulsifying properties which help bind the oil and vinegar.
Dry mustard also has emulsifying properties. So, the inclusion of these two ingredients in this White Balsamic vinaigrette allow the two opposite ingredients to combine and produce a nice, smooth vinaigrette.
Now that I’ve bored you with the details of WHY……let’s whip up a batch of this white balsamic, low-sodium dressing!
Healthy Homemade Greek Salad Dressing
This classic Greek Salad Dressing is inspired by the salad at my favorite Greek restaurant. It’s made with zesty lemons and familiar greek style herbs like oregano. It has a slightly higher vinegar to olive oil ratio making it a bit lighter in taste and calories. It goes great on everything from a classic greek salad to a summer pasta salad. You can also use it as a marinade for fish, vegetables, or meat.
You can also serve this dressing with so many things including my Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad.
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Meal Prep And Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Since the flavors only get better with time, make these up at least 24 hours before using.
- To Store: Glass jars that have an airtight seal, such as these 4-ounce and 8-ounce mason jars, are the best since glass does not leach a plastic taste into ingredients. Recipes with fresh ingredients will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Dressings without perishable ingredients will last for up to 2 weeks, or even longer, when refrigerated.
- To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze as the ingredients will separate upon thawing.
- To Serve: Allow it to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then shake and drizzle.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Low-sodium/Healthy: most bottled vinaigrettes contain a plethora of ingredients including emulsifiers and sodium. A typical oil and vinegar dressing contains 270- 320 mg per 2 tablespoons this recipe contains 1 mg of sodium per 2 tablespoons, which naturally occurs in dried mustard.
- Versatile: you can put your own spin on this basic vinaigrette dressing by using different herbs and spices
- Stores well: due to the specific ratios of ingredients in this recipe, the dressing doesn’t separate as much as other oil and vinegar combinations one quick shake of it and it’s smooth!
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What Ingredients Do I Need For These Dressings
Below, Im sharing fifteen of my favorite simple, easy, and healthy salad dressing recipes that you can make at home. Honestly, you probably have most of the ingredients to make most of the dressings already in your pantry and fridgethere are no fancy pants ingredients that youll have to track down at a specialty store.
For most salad dressings, youll need:
- Something acidic. Lemon juice, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar are all good choices.
- Some fat. Oil is a standard ingredient in most vinaigrette-style dressings. With a few exceptions , you want a mildly-flavored oil that wont stand out in the dressing. Extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil are my favorites.
- Something sweet. A little sweetness can bring all the flavors together and round out the dressing. Honey is my go-to, but maple syrup, agave, or even a bit of granulated sugar will work as well.
- Salt, pepper, garlic, and other herbs and spices. Salt and pepper will enhance the flavor of the other ingredientsdont skip them where they are called for!
All of these recipes can be made using the jar-and-shake method. Just grab a jar with a tight-fitting lid , toss in all the ingredients, and shake the dickens out of it until its well-blended. There are a couple of recipes below that could be made smoother if you use a food processor or a blenderbut you dont have to if youre fine with a chunkier dressing.
Sodium Notes By Registered Dietician Alex G
Often, the toppings on a salad, such as the dressing, cheese, and croutons, add the bulk of the sodium to your otherwise healthy salad. Bottled ranch dressing is an especially tough choice if youre counting your sodium intake, as one 2 tablespoon serving can contain 260 mg of sodium. Also, it can be hard to stick to a single serving if you really enjoy ranch dressing. This Low Sodium Ranch Seasoning and Dressing is here to help you stay within your sodium goals without sacrificing the flavors you enjoy. The low-fat milk and yogurt add the creaminess, and the seven different low sodium herbs and spices add all the familiar flavors you expect in a ranch dressing.
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Emeril’s Green Onion And Cilantro Dressing
A common myth is that to eat healthy, you have to give up taste. Chef Emeril Lagasse keeps the flavor in this green onion and cilantro dressing.
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground white pepper
Combine ingredients and blend until smooth and — Bam! — a great salad dressing.
Of course, dieters may have raised eyebrows at the mention of grape seed oil — a high-calorie oil . But, on the plus side, it is a low cholesterol, low sodium and low saturated fat oil — one of the healthy ones, if you will. Additionally, it is an antioxidant supplement and a good source of Vitamin E. So, a little grape seed oil in your dressing, combined with these other fresh, healthy ingredients is a good use of your calories and fat grams.
A Couple Of Notes About This Recipe:
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How To Store Homemade Salad Dressing
I recommend storing your homemade dressing in a glass container in the refrigerator. I like to use mason jars! One thing to note: homemade dressings made with olive oil tend to harden and separate when stored in the fridge. This is completely normal! Take the dressing out of the fridge about 20 minutes before using so it can come to room temperature and then give it a quick shake to recombine the ingredients.
Why Use Mason Jars
Mason jars are perfect for making homemade salad dressings.
With them being glass, you dont have to worry about any nasty chemicals leaking into your food from unsafe plastics.
They are easy to wash and reuse. Buy a few and they will last for years! They’re also dishwasher safe.
If you buy the mason jars with a wide mouth, you can even get a utensil down in the jar!
Plus, the ring and lid seal tightly, making you confident about giving the dressing a good shake before serving.
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Choosing The Oil For The Dressing
Low Sodium Greek Salad Dressing is primarily made with extra-virgin olive oil.
When I cook with olive oil I like to use the lower price store-branded oil. While still good, when making a dressing, dipping sauce, or marinade I like to use higher quality olive oil. I think it has a better refined, lighter taste.
Usually, youll be making small batches in an uncooked form so its worth spending a little more in my opinion. Dont worry though the dressing still comes out great either way its just about nuances.
The Easiest Healthy Salad Dressing
My last salad dressing is the salad dressing you can make when you really don’t have much time! This is what I do when I’m making a fast lunch just for myself and don’t have any other dressings on hand. It’s basically the perfect combination of lemon, olive oil, and vinegar over fresh greens.
to see my demonstration video to make it.
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Vinegar Is Key In Your Low Sodium Italian Dressing
Vinegar is a major flavor component that adds the acidity to you Low Sodium Italian Dressing. I like to use one tablespoon each of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar in my recipe. Which is why the dressing in my photos may appear a little darker then what you may be used to seeing. Thats just my personal preference. Thats the great thing about making your own, you can try any vinegar you want such as plain white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Dont be afraid to experiment! Each yields a slightly different taste.
The Sad Truth About Bottled Dressings
If you go to a restaurant or walk down the salad dressing aisle at the store, it is almost impossible to find a low sodium salad dressing at all. Yes, we can go with plain vinegar and oil, but I can only have that so often on a salad before I am burnt out. I quickly determined that if I wanted to keep salad dressings in my low sodium life, I would need to hack the salt and make them at home.
So far I have a rocking Low Sodium Ranch Dressing and a really fun Low Sodium Creamy Dill Pickle Dressing. Now I have a great Low Sodium French Dressing. This is one of the recipes from my new cookbook: The Easy Low Sodium Diet Plan & Cookbook available on Amazon and in stores now.
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How Long Can You Store Them
These homemade salad dressing will last for two months in the refrigerator. That means you can always have a few on hand. Just as you would buy a few varieties at the store, make several flavors and rotate to keep your salads fresh.
If you use just oil and vinegar in your dressing, it will be shelf stable. The vinegar is acidic enough to keep it fresh. However, if there are any fresh ingredients like garlic, dairy products or fresh herbs, it should be refrigerated.
Healthy & Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing
This dressing is nothing short of dreamy! My Healthy & Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing features all the flavors of guacamole but in a healthy salad dressing package. If you love avocado, lime, and cilantro… this is for you.
Serve this dressing with any salad or even as a drizzle on top of tacos. It’s also great with my Vegetarian Taco Salad.
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Creamy & Healthy Thai Peanut Dressing
Do you love that peanut sauce at Thai restaurants? This salad dressing tastes JUST like that but in a salad dressing form. My Creamy and Healthy Thai Peanut Dressing is so good you’ll want to drink it out of the bottle! It’s great on any Asian inspired salad, as a dip, and even as a pasta sauce.
Serve it with my Thai Peanut Noodle Salad.
Serve it with my Shrimp Avocado and Lime Salad.
+ Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes You Should Make At Home
Whenever I tell someone I love healthy food, the first thing they inevitably ask me is if I eat salad all day. Heres the truth for you: I actually dont really like salad that much. I am definitely not one of those people who grab a mixing bowl from the cabinet, dump in a bunch of greens, and happily go to town. I am not a rabbit, and I dont enjoy eating like one.
For me, for a salad to be good, it has to be something substantial. It has to have a great mix of flavors, textures, and really good dressing. I love veggies, but lets call a spade a spadeveggies can be boring-tastic if you dont do something to spice them up a little bit. And a good salad dressing goes a looooooong way to making veggies exciting .
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Easy Low Sodium Ranch Dressing
This recipe for low-sodium ranch dressing gives us all the flavors of ranch dressing we know and love, without all the unnecessary extra sodium. When youre being conscious of your sodium intake, the last thing you need is things like sauces, dressings and dips adding unwanted amounts of sodium. Thats why I love this recipe. Its also real easy to make and uses just a handful of simple ingredients.
Ranch dressing awesome on a fresh salad as a dip for fresh vegetables and its superb with fresh grilled chicken breast and so much more.
Approximate sodium content: 22mg per serving
Make These Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings At Home
I hope you’ll give some of these Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings a try at home. They are all so tasty and unique. With this variety, you’ll never have to buy the bottle again.
If you make these recipes, Id love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and a star rating below. Make sure to follow me on , , and too!
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Healthy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing
This twist on classic Ranch dressing tastes so good you’ll never realize it’s good for you! Instead of being made with mayo, the base is greek yogurt making it a rich and creamy dressing without the calories. It’s even filled with probiotics from the yogurt.
The Healthy Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing can be used as a dressing or a dip and is great on any salad you’d normally serve with ranch. Try it with my Vegetarian Cobb Salad. It’s also great as a dip for my Baked Zucchini Fries.
What Exactly Is Ranch Dressing
Ranch salad dressing is traditionally a buttermilk based dressing that is flavored with herbs and spices which commonly include parsley, dill, onion, garlic, chive, pepper, and of course, salt. It can also include mayonnaise, sour cream or other forms of dairy. The origins of ranch dressing come from the company Hidden Valley. Apparently, the house dressing developed on a ranch in Alaska became whats now known as Ranch Dressing.
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Creamy Ranch Dressing Recipe With Fresh Herbs Is A Low
My husband had a heart attack in 2016. That spurred my shopping spree for heart-healthy cookbooks and salt-free seasonings. This easy ranch dressing recipe from an American Heart Association cookbook has fresh herbs and is lower in sodium than most salad dressings.
Cuisine: AmericanPrep Time: 5 minutes plus 2 hours to chill Cook Time: 0 minutesTotal Time: 5 minutes plus 2 hours to chill Servings: Makes about 1 3/4 cups