Hold the Sugar: 3 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

In this day and age, we are bombarded with hidden sugars. They are quite literally lurking everywhere: in our cereals, breads, yogurts, tomato sauces, and even in our salad dressings. Seriously? Did you intend to order that salad with a side of insulin-spiking Italian or its candy-bar equivalent, Honey Dijon? In fact, while reading the label of one popular dressing, I noted the second, third and fourth ingredients were high-fructose corn syrup, honey and sugar. Why not just call it what it is? It's sugar, sugar and still more sugar!

Why are the big brands doing this? It is really quite simple: Sugar is addictive, especially when mixed with the perfect ratio of dietary fats. Many of the big food corporations have entire research teams dedicated to finding the perfect ratio of sugar and fats to ensure you keep coming back for more ... and more ... and more.

The reality is, you can spend hours analyzing labels and searching for terms like grape sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, molasses, raw sugar, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, turbinado sugar and xylitol (to name a few), or you can make your own salad dressing from healthy, natural ingredients (none of which include sugar!).

Here are three of my personal favorites:

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Serving size: 2 T

This is perfect for when you're in the mood for something a little bit sweet and a little bit tart. It pairs beautifully with bright-green baby spinach, toasted almonds and freshly sliced strawberries.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 c Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c Fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Ground thyme
  • 2 tsp Pepper

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Lemon-Dijon Dressing

Serving size: 1 T

This is the perfect way to add a little bit of tang into your meal. Consider tossing it with mixed greens, tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c Water
  • 9 T Dijon mustard
  • 6 T Fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T Extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tsp Pepper
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Tahini Dressing

Serving size: 1 T

This is my go-to recipe for when I’m craving something creamy and a bit heavier. When massaged thoroughly, it hangs on every kale leaf as though they were meant to be lifetime partners!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c Tahini
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T Low-sodium tamari
  • ¼ tsp Onion powder
  • 2 T Lemon juice
  • ¼ c Water (add until it reaches the desired consistency)

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.


Jennifer is a holistic health coach and owner of Holistic Peace, LLC. She is dedicated to supporting individuals as they find the peace to live healthy and happy lives. To invest in your own health and happiness, contact her at jflanaganhhc@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook.

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