You won’t find loads of sugar and corn syrup in these easy salad dressings.
We’ve all been there: We eat a glorious, healthy-looking salad for dinner, and expect the universe to reward us for our efforts by turning us into Wonder Woman. Is that really so much to ask? But as we’re crawling into bed just two hours later, we feel a little less like Wonder Woman…and a little more like Wonder Woman’s sidekick, Etta Candy, who is remembered among comic book fans for her love of candy and her shouts of “For the love of chocolate!”
The not-so-shocking culprit is often the dressing. After all, salad dressing manufacturers are known to load up on sugar and other sweeteners to make something that’s seemingly healthy taste out-of-this-world good.
The problem, of course, is that even when you’re channeling Wonder Woman in every which way, you’re likely to grab store-bought salad dressing just because it’s convenient.
But homemade salad dressing can turn a blah-tasting bowl of romaine into one that’s packed with fresh and bright flavor. “Dressing is the star of the meal—it makes any salad sing,” says Gaby Dalkin, the creator of What’s Gaby Cooking and the author of Eat What You Want. “Go spicy, creamy, tangy—the sky is the limit. You can experiment with all kinds of ingredients and have some fun with the flavor profile.”
If you’ve never made a homemade dressing in your life (no shame), turn to these easy salad dressing recipes. Not only are they sugar-free, but they also require just three ingredients each. (And sometimes that third ingredient is water.) Plus, the easy salad dressings mix up in a couple of minutes with no fuss.
For the record, Etta Candy’s a pretty awesome character. But you’re not sidekick material. You’re a superhero. Now get stirring.
Easy Salad Dressing Formula
If you want to DIY, here’s a simple formula for easy salad dressings that will work with anything you have on-hand.
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil (such as olive, sesame, or avocado)
- 1/4 cup of acid (such as lemon or lime juice; a vinegar, like balsamic, champagne, or rice wine; or kimchi brine)
- Unlimited seasonings (as much as you like of garlic, shallots, tahini, honey, ginger, soy sauce, miso, fresh tarragon or chives, or dried oregano)
(Also read: 12 Healthy Salad Dressings You Can Make At Home)
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes
Raspberries + Lemon Juice + Olive Oil:
In a medium bowl, mash 6 ounces fresh raspberries using a fork. Add to a glass jar, then pour in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, a liberal pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Goat Cheese + Cumin + Water:
Add 2 ounces of creamy goat cheese (bonus-pick one with herbs already added in!) to a jar, then throw in 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin. Add 1/3 cup water, a liberal pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. Close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. Continue to shake and add more water until it reaches a creamy consistency of your liking. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Avocado + Cilantro + Water:
Mash one-half of a very ripe avocado in a medium bowl, and add to a glass jar. Throw in 1/3 cup minced cilantro, 1/2 cup water, a liberal pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. Continue to shake and add more water until it reaches a creamy consistency of your liking. Taste; add more salt and pepper as needed.
(Also read: 11 Must-Try Avocado Dishes in Singapore)
Tahini + Apple Cider Vinegar + Honey:
Add 4 tablespoons of tahini to a jar, then pour in 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons honey, and 1/3 cup water. Add a liberal pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. Add more water and continue to shake until it reaches a creamy consistency of your liking.
(Also read: Is Manuka Honey Worth Its Price)
Dijon Mustard + Balsamic Vinegar + Olive Oil:
In a jar, mix 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard with 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Add a liberal pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then close the jar tightly and shake vigorously. Season with more salt and pepper as needed, and add more olive oil if you find the taste too acidic.
(Also read: Tomatoes Are Even Healthier With Olive Oil)
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