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Kick the Bottle to the Curb!

"My teenage daughter was eating the dressing from the Caesar Salad with Avocado Dressing with a spoon!"

"I was skeptical about the Maple Almond Vinaigrette, but followed the recipe and the salad was a huge hit at a recent family get-together!  This might become my new go-to recipe for potlucks."

"This dressing tastes so fresh...of course it does, it's homemade with fresh ingredients!"

"I don't like most Waldorf creamy dressings because they are mayo-based, but the Kale Waldorf Salad dressing made with walnuts and apples is incredible!"

What do you think when you hear "homemade salad dressings?"

Does the thought "who has time for that?" cross your mind?  That is what we used to think.  Believe it or not, homemade salad dressings are super-easy to make with a few simple REAL ingredients!  Once you try it, you will never want to buy the bottled versions, you will save money!

Salads are a part of almost every one of our meals, especially now when we can savor the incredible springtime greens at the farmer's market!  Of course, fresh and in-season REAL ingredients are a big part of great salads...and the right dressing can take a salad to another level.  Homemade dressings taste so much better…and are much better for you!

Have you ever stopped to look at the ingredients in a typical salad dressing?

It may surprise you!  We know, some of us have personal and strong relationships with our favorite dressings, but reading the ingredients could change your perspective.

Most bottled dressings have ingredients that can be difficult to pronounce and many of these ingredients are added to extend shelf-life or add texture, color or flavor.

For example, one dressing promoted as "healthy" is Kraft Zesty Italian (after all, the label says it's fat free!), but check out the ingredients:

Dressing PhotoINGREDIENTS:  Water, Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Soybean Oil, Dried Garlic, Garlic, Modified Food Starch, Xanthan Gum, Dried Red Bell Peppers, Dried Onions, Spice, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Potassium Sorbate and Calcium Disodium EDTA as preservatives.

Are all of these ingredients really needed?  And, keep in mind, this dressing isn't as bad as some of the others on the shelf!


It is so simple!

We have learned that the great thing about salad dressings is they are super easy – and inexpensive – to prepare at home.  Our favorite quick and easy, "no time to think about it" dressing is simply a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  It just takes seconds to throw together...3 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of balsamic or red wine vinegar.  Just blend, shake or whisk together - that's it!  This is our go-to dressing when we are in a hurry -- it's simple, easy and tastes great!

And, you don't need a fancy dressing shaker -- mason jars work perfectly!  You can even make your dressings ahead of time and then store them in the refrigerator.  Then, you have pre-made dressing for your entire week!

No Fail Formula:

A general guide is:  oil + acid + salt + pepper to make a great homemade dressing!  Acids include various types of vinegars and citrus juices.  We like using the 3 to 1 ratio, 3 Tablespoons of oil to 1 Tablespoon of acid, but feel free to adjust to your taste.  Some people prefer 2 Tbsp of olive oil to 1 Tbsp of acid.

Once you have this basic dressing down, get creative!  We have also learned how to make great tasting creamy dressings...without the cream!

Check out these ideas!



Include a variety of ingredients into your homemade dressings:


Other creative combinations:

Extra virgin olive oil + white wine vinegar + Dijon mustard + minced shallot or red onion

Sunflower oil + red wine vinegar + minced garlic + grated parmesan

Peanut oil + rice wine vinegar + soy sauce + minced fresh ginger and scallions

Avocado oil + lemon juice + lemon peel + poppy seeds

Hazelnut oil + cider vinegar + dijon mustard + chopped chives + salt

Walnut oil + white wine vinegar + chopped parsley + dried herbs (thyme, marjoram, basil, chives or tarragon)

The possibilities are endless!

Start making simple dressings at home -- you will know EXACTLY what is in your, you get the benefit of great taste and save some money too!


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