Food Friday: Homemade dressings



Happy Spring everyone...or not! As I sit here writing this, the huge East Coast blizzard is going on outside my window. It seems like mother nature has yet to get the memo.

I typically recommend warm, hearty food during the winter months, instead of tropical-like foods, as they contain the nutrients we need to thrive in the winter. A wise ND once reminded me that the cells on the inside of our bodies cannot see the sun, so choosing food according to the seasons is important. Their nutrient balance signals our bodies to stimulate production of necessary nutrients, vitamin D for example when we don't get as much sun in the winter.  However, I'm starting to incorporate more fresh raw foods in my diet, including green smoothies and salads, because let's face it...I'm sick of winter! So, instead of dwelling on the snow, let's start tricking ourselves that spring is here. 

We may all have our favourite ingredients but I believe that a good dressing completes the salad. There are lots of great store-bought salad dressings out there, but also a lot of bad ones. Make sure to read the labels, looking for added sugars or preservatives. But why waste your money when you can create mouth watering dressings in your own kitchen. Sure it's convenient, but making your own is pretty simple and can be stored for a few weeks in your fridge. 

The basic ratio of sour, sweet and oil can easily be modified but here are a few easy recipes to get you started:

My go-to vinaigrette: (2-3 servings)

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (a winner to stimulate digestion!)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (stable at low heat therefore great for dressings)
  • 1/2-1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (local honey can even help you desensitize to spring allergies)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard 
  • salt and pepper

All ingredients mixed well in a mason jar and stored in the fridge. (I like a little bit more tang with my salad so the sour is in a higher ratio.)

Balsamic vinaigrette: (Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp tamari

Try changing up the vinegar or adding lemon, garlic, shallots, fresh herbs, or even chia seeds for an extra boost. 

Dairy-free caesar dressing: (Chef Michael Smith)

  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 50g can of anchovies, not drained
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Juice and zest of 3 lemons

In your blender or food processor pulse the garlic, anchovies and salt to a paste. Add the remaining dressing ingredients and process to a smooth dressing.

Try it! I promise you won't be disappointed. Any favourite homemade dressing recipes up your sleeve?

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen