Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part XI – Salad Dressings

Removing commercial salad dressings from our diet is a great way to get rid of a lot of empty, negative calories, preservatives, stabilizers, artificial flavorings, artificial colors, sweeteners and MSG.  They are so simple and easy to make and taste amazing! Many of us have heard that just putting a little lime juice or lemon juice on our salads is best, but really?  Who would even want to eat salad?  It doesn’t sound appetizing at all.  I’d rather go with out!  There are SO many amazing recipes out there!Sally Fallon recommends using mostly olive oil and a little bit of flax seed oil for the nutrients it imparts. Olive oil should be cloudy, indicating it is unfiltered, and a golden yellow which comes from ripe olives.  Unrefined flax seed oil is a great source for omega 3s, however it does quickly go rancid. So the shelf life of the dressings aren’t very long if flax seed oil is added.Most Americans like dressings that are 3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar, but Europeans prefer 5 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  Most American find it too oily, so Fallon provides recipes that fall somewhere in the middle.  There is no right or wrong, just want sounds good and suits your palate. The Basic Dressing recipe from [amazon_link id=”0967089735″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nourishing Traditions[/amazon_link] is as follows from page 129:
Basic Dressing
Makes ¾ cups
1 tsp Dijon-type mustard, smooth or grainy
2 TBSP plus 1 tsp raw wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP expeller-expressed flax oil
Dip a fork into the jar of mustard and transfer about 1 tsp to a small bowl.  Add vinegar and mix around.  Add olive oil in a thin stream, stirring all the while with the fork, until oil is well mixed or emulsified.  Add flax oil and use immediately.
This is a good dressing that we have used before and it is a great basis to build on to create a myriad of other flavors.  The book includes lots of other recipes that are built off the basic dressing recipe, including herb, garlic, balsamic, mayo, cilantro lime, Mexican, Caesar, blue cheese, honey lemon, oriental and others.Our favorite dressing is similar to the one above, but has a lot more spices and flavor.  It is on page 258 of the [amazon_link id=”B004ZD9ZSQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Create Recipes[/amazon_link] book that came with my [amazon_link id=”B002KAPEPE” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vitamix[/amazon_link].  The recipe is as follows:
Italian Dressing Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks Makes about 1 cup
5 TBSP red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove pealed (I often just used garlic powder so that the dressing lasts longer)
⅛ tsp dried basil
⅛ tsp dried thyme
⅛ tsp dried oregano
Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Blend on Variable 5 (medium speed) for 10-15 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
I often just mix in a jar and give it a good shake just before using.  I don’t always blend it… especially if I’m not using fresh garlic.Do you make any of your own dressings?  What is your go to recipe?  I’d love to expand my options!

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