How do you make a healthy salad unhealthy? By pouring on dressings made with inflammatory omega 6 oils like vegetable, corn, and safflower. Ideally the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be 1:1, but in our culture, the ratio is more like 20:1 due to processed foods and commercial salad dressings. That high ratio increases our risk of inflammatory chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, dementia, and cancer. Since taking fish oil is useless for preventing heart disease and also increases risk of aggressive prostate cancer, we really need to reduce the amount of omega 6 oils in our diets by switching to better oils like olive, coconut, grapeseed, and avocado and using more nuts instead. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make your own dressings, which also taste so much better!
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Here’s an easy, versatile dressing that harnesses the amazing powers of Apple Cider Vinegar!
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup RAW apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s)
- 2 tsp raw local honey
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Happy Belly Dressing
Everyone loves this dressing, and your belly will too!
- ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Pinch of sea salt
- Dash of freshly ground pepper
Whisk the ingredients together, or blend in a blender.
This version is oil free, which is really the healthiest option of all. Soaked cashews stand in for the oil, which is delicious and stays emulsified even in the fridge. Nuts are a “whole food” and contain fiber, minerals, protein, and other nutrients. This is friendlier for your wasitline and also for your heart.
- ¼ cup cashew pieces, soaked for 1-2 hours
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- A dash of freshly ground pepper
If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, simply place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Otherwise, first soak the cashews for at least an hour to soften. Then blend cashews and remaining ingredients for a few minutes, using a spatula intermittently to scrape sides down, until completely smooth.
Tahini Miso Dressing
This ultra simple dressing is my go-to. It’s delicious, satisfying, and so incredibly healthy! The tahini replaces the oil, and yummy miso offers many health benefits, including probiotics.
- 1 heaping Tbsp tahini
- 1 heaping Tbsp white miso
Mix the tahini and miso together with about 2 Tbsp water in a small bowl with a fork. Continue to blend until smooth. Add more water until the desired consistency is achieved. I personally like it thick, but pourable.
Image Credit: The Veg Space on flickr.com