Step : Choose A Liquid For Thinning The Dressing
Finally, youd need to add some extra liquid into your oil-free salad dressing if you choose a quite thick base. For example, think of legumes, nut butters, avocado, miso, and starchy veggies. On the other hand, should you choose to make a yogurt-based dressing, you most probably dont need to add anything to make it thinner. Heres what you can use:
- Broth . However, broth is not recommended in fruit or berry-based salad dressings.
- Fruit and vegetable juices .
How much liquids should you add?
Its simple really pour in enough for desired consistency! Some people prefer thicker and others thinner salad dressings. However, here are some tips you can bare in mind:
- Starchy vegetables and legumes: start by almost covering the ingredients. Then process and add more if necessary.
- Watery vegetables like summer squash: cover by half and then gradually add more until you have desired consistency.
- Very watery ingredients e.g., strawberries and kiwis: dont add any extra liquids.
Accidentally added too much and made your salad dressing runnier than you wanted? No worries, you can fix this in several ways:
- First option is to blend in some more of the main ingredient: beans or chickpeas, starchy veggies, nuts or nut/seed butter, avocado.
- Secondly, thick plant yogurt will be suitable in almost any dressing .
- Thirdly, blend in some ground chia seeds, psyllium husks or psyllium husk powder.
How To Make My Everyday Oil
There is a reason this salad dressing is my go-to, it’s super simple! Just add the lemon juice, dijon mustard, nutritional yeast, and agave or maple syrup to a jar or bowl, and shake it, or whisk it up! I like to use these small jars, but you can also use a leftover jam jar. Pour over your favourite salad greens or store in the fridge to use later.
Things To Keep In Mind
Keep in mind that you may be so used to the taste of oil or mayonnaise that you might find these dressings a little different at first. Yes, theres a certain mouthfeel to oil, but Im betting that once your taste buds adjust youll find the substitutions of nuts, tofu, and beans to your liking.
As we get over the familiar feel and taste of unhealthy foods we discover how much better the healthier stuff truly tastes! Give it a try! All you have to lose is your poor diet!
In fact, Ive become so used to vegan salad dressing without oil that any addition of oil or mayo now just doesnt taste right.
If you just cant get around making a salad dressing without added oil, try reducing the amount of oil each time you make a salad dressing until you gain a new appreciation for healthy, natural flavors and feel.
If you’d like to receive my weekly newsletter with helpful articles and recipes, sign up here and receive this FREE OIL-FREE SALAD DRESSING FORMULA.
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The Chipotle Or Buffalo Ranch Variation
I just looked it up and no joke Hidden Valley sells 12 variations of their ranch dressing.
Thats the beauty of a creamy ranch! Throw in a few spices and it completely transforms the experience.
Chipotle and Buffalo ranch are two of my favorite variations, both of which make it into the regular with my family.
How to Use It:
These variations are great for throwing on a Mexican-style salad or used as dipping sauces.
Use the same ranch recipe from #2 above, only add in additional flavors:
- In the blender, add
- After blending, stir in 1-3 tsp of Franks Red Hot sauce. Amount will vary depending on your taste.
Oil Free Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
All you need is 3 ingredients to make low fat, flavor packed, Oil Free Honey Mustard Salad Dressing! Drizzle over any and all salads.
This post may contain affiliate links.
A few months ago I reconnected with an old friend I met during my MOPS days Anyway, Kim is a Registered Dietitian and is SO. DARN. SMART. One of my favorite things in life is listening to, learning from, and celebrating intelligent women in their element.
I am in awe. I bow down. Who runs the world? We all know the answer to that question. )
During our catch up over coffee, Kim and I started discussing ways we might be able to work together and the topic of an eCookbook for her clients came up. She supplies the recipes/concepts, and I fine tune then photograph them. Ill let you know when its available through her program the dishes are fantastic!
One concept Ive learned about and adopted through writing the eCookbook, is eating vegan until dinnertime. Translation: consuming tons and tons of vegetables, gluten free whole grains, and beans for breakfast, lunch, and snacks in between. In so many forms and combinations it is almost impossible to get bored! Salads are of course part of the program, and one way to jazz up an enormous, vegetable-based salad is drizzling it with 3 ingredient Oil Free Honey Mustard Salad Dressing.
Think salad dressing has to contain oil? Think again! This flavor-concentrated dressing takes 60 seconds to make and will transform the way you eat salads.
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Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing
This super simple Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing is bright and electric when it comes to flavor. And, itâs great over any of your favorite salad greens. It has become our salad dressing of choice. Its such an easy recipe you wont believe how good it is. It makes a great dipping sauce too )
Vegan Caesar Dressing No Oil
- 112 ouncebox Silken Tofu soft for salad dressings
- 1TablespoonJOI Oat Milk Powder
- 1TablespoonChia Seeds white or black
- 1teaspoonKelp granules rounded teaspoon
- 1TablespoonCapers low sodium 0r soak the capers in cold water to remove some of the sodium
- 3TablespoonsApple Cider Vinegar
- 2TablespoonsWestbrae no salt added mustard or Dijon mustard
- 6-8garlic cloves
- 2Medjool dates about 1 ounce or 4 Deglet Noor Dates or 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2teaspoongarlic powder
- 2tablespoonsNutritional Yeast optional
- 1/2teaspoonSalt Substitute we use WYW Stardust
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
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Nut Free Vegan Ranch Dressing
If one oil-free, vegan ranch dressing recipe is good, TWO are even better. This Ranch Dressing from Zardy Plants is nut free! Creamy, zesty, and traditional in flavor, this Vegan Ranch Dressing is easy to make and free of oils, nuts, and sugar. Its also packed with plant-based protein and takes just 5 minutes to make in any kind of blender!
No Oil Balsamic Salad Dressing
You really cant go wrong with a nice balsamic dressing. Most have oil but this Balsamic Dressing Recipe from Cooktoria is oil-free and contains only 3 ingredients. It is both tangy and sweet. You can make it ahead and alter the recipe to your preference, making it perfect for your salads, veggies, and marinades.
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A Good Salad Starts With The Dressing
A few years ago I wrote a post about my familys Sauce System how we often start with whatever sauce sounds the most appealing, and build our meals around that.
Today, I want to share a similar technique for building salads, only with healthy, homemade, oil-free dressings instead of sauces.
The technique goes, if you learn a few simple dressing recipes, then you can shape nearly anything in your kitchen into a delicious salad of your choosing.
But before we get to the recipes, lets talk about why Im going oil free with these seven staple recipes.
Pro Tips & Substitutions
- These ingredients can be switched out with other variations if desired. For instance, though the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, other vinegar such as pomegranate, red wine, as well as others can be substituted.
- The same goes for the mustard. I personally like Dijon in this dressing, but brown spicy, yellow, and others would likely be delicious too.
- If maple syrup isnt a favorite for you, try agave, brown rice syrup, or another sweetener of your choice.
- Another 3-ingredient oil-free salad dressing that I love is this 5-Minute Tangy Vinegar Dressing that is actually from my favorite Thai restaurant where they use it as a dipping sauce for their fresh garden spring rolls.
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Vegan Green Goddess Dressing
Before I went dairy-free, one of my all-time favorite dressings was Newman’s Own Green Goddess. It was herby, it was creamy, it was tangy and it was SO yum! Butit has sour cream, expeller pressed canola oil, and sugar, all of which I don’t like to eat anymore.
So I developed my own version of green goddess dressing using vegan coconut yogurt, fresh herbs, and maple syrup. I have to say it tastes even better than Newman’s Own.
Vegan Green Goddess goes well with:
Creamy Vegan Caesar Dressing
Caesar dressing instantly takes me back to my childhood. It was the salad I ordered most often, mostly because of the creamy dressing and crunchy croutons.
But while most vegan Caesar dressings are loaded with oil and vegan mayo, theres a simple way to make it oil-free, and its actually really tasty.
How to Use It:
I tend to stick with the classic Caesar salad: Romain lettuce, vegan parm, and croutons. While not the most nutritious salad, you really cant go wrong with a Caesar.
- 1/2 Tbsp soy or vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 2 tsp capers, mashed with a bit of juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
In a blender combine all the ingredients except for the lemon zest, capers, and salt and pepper. Blend until youve reached the desired thickness.
In a bowl, empty the dressing from the blender and mix in the remaining ingredients.
The dressing will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days but will thicken over time, so you may need to add in more water.
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Perfect For Your Weight And Health
A whole plant foods dressing.
However, many of the phytonutrients in salads are fat-soluble and our body needs fat to absorb them. The healthiest way to add fats to your diet is from whole foods, like nuts and seeds.
And this delicious vegan salad dressing is made from raw almonds. They are fiber-rich and slow to digest so that you stay full for longer.
The nutritional yeast adds not only a great flavor but is rich in most of the B vitamins.
You also get those essential for brain and overall body health Omega-3 fats from the flax seeds.
The lemon and garlic are super rich in micronutrients and antioxidants which help detox your system and satiate your hunger better.
Why Would You Consider Making Oil
Some doctors refer to heart-healthy oils. However, is there really such a thing? Most people do not have problem understanding the adverse effects of highly processed foods like sugar and refined flours. However, for some reason, when it comes to oils, people tend to get very protective. In reality, oils are as processed as sugars and refined flours.
Think of how oils are made. Lets take olive oil as an example. It all starts with whole olives that are very beneficial to us. Its noteworthy that whole olives contain 11-15% of fat, the majority of which are monounsaturated fats. The latter is what many people struggle to get into their diets unless they eat olive oil straight up. Other good sources of monounsaturated fats are avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
So, by the time you get the oil extracted from the olives, youre left with the mere 11-15% of their weight. This means that 89-85% of the olives goodness is left behind i.e., the fibre, and most of the vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, whole olives are a good source of vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium, and antioxidants. That being said, one study showed that eating a pulpy residue from olives significantly increased blood levels of glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body.
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Easy Vegan Peanut Sauce
The Asian-inspired Peanut Dressing is delicious and super easy to make. Its perfect for salads, veggie spring rolls, and your favorite Buddha Bowl. All you need is five minutes and five ingredients to make this delicious sauce.
I love pouring this over a chilled raw salad, hearty whole grains, or traditional green salad then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Its also great on top of cooked sweet potato. AMAZING!
To Make The Dressing:
Combine 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, the juice from 2 lemons, 1/2 teaspoon curry, a tiny pinch of cayenne and black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup or liquid stevia . *If you use a piece of dried fruit as your sweetener, you may want to let it soak in the water used 30 minutes to soften before making this . For a creamier flavor, add 2 tablespoons either tahini, almond butter or cashew butter in addition to the other ingredients called for. Blend, drizzle, and serve.
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Step : Include Something Sweet
Sometimes a tiny pinch of a sweet taste in your oil-free salad dressings goes a long way but its not always necessary. Sweetness can come from:
- Fruit juice or whole fruits .
- Vegetable juice or whole vegetables .
- Oven baked or steamed veggies .
- Dried fruits like figs and dates.
- Date sugar, date syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, erythritol.
How much sweeteners to add?
To be honest, it totally depends on your tastebuds and what you picked as main ingredients. In case your dressing is made with sweet potato, you probably wont need to use anything on top of that. However, heres how much I would use in a cup of dressing:
- Fruit and vegetable juice: ¼ cup or less
- Dried fruit: 1 fruit or less
- Mesquite: 1 tablespoon or less
- Sugars and syrups: about 1 teaspoon
To find out more about how to add healthy sweet taste to your dressings and other dishes, read my article on low glycemic sweeteners.
How To Make Oil Free Salad Dressing
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
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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.
How To Mix And Match
In case youre new to oil-free dressings or you simply struggle to figure out the best options, here are some delicious combinations:
- Miso + tahini + lemon juice + garlic
- Miso + yogurt + lemon juice + turmeric + horseradish
- White beans + lemon juice + mustard + garlic + tamari
- Chickpeas + yogurt + peanut butter + lemon juice + mustard + turmeric + black salt
- Avocado + edamame beans + lemon juice + garlic + tamari or miso + black pepper
- Avocado + lemon juice + basil
- Strawberries + avocado + lemon juice + garlic + mesquite + ginger
- Sweet potato + potato + onion + garlic + tamari + nutritional yeast
- Eggplant + carrot + zucchini + peanut butter + garlic + lemon juice + turmeric + black salt
- Peanut butter + miso + lemon juice + garlic + Indian spice mix + turmeric
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Vegan Thousand Island Dressing
This has to be one of my favorite salad dressings of all time. Who doesnât remember making a salad as a kid with nothing but lettuce and a ton of Thousand Island Salad dressing? Yeah, you feel me.
And, what about the time you discovered Big Mac sauce was the same thing youâd been puttinâ on your lettuce? It was like the heavens parting and giving you revelation.
Vegan Thousand Island is such a versatile dressing. Its perfect for salads, sandwiches, veggie burgers, and anything else you can imagine.
Everyday Tahini Salad Dressing
Tahini is one of my go-to ingredients. I drizzle it on everything, use it in energy balls, make cookies with it and it’s definitely the base of my go-to salad dressing. Our first staple vegan salad dressing is my fave: my everyday tahini! It’s the one I make most often, the one I find goes with everything and you will always find it in my fridge!
Everyday Tahini Dressing goes well with:
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