The Secrets of Homemade Vegan Salad Dressing

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Plant-based eaters are inevitably, one likes to think voluntarily, going to get into salads, and while all the vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and surprise ingredients combine for a good start — the finishing touch to any good salad is the dressing. Make the best bed imaginable, organic greens, an eclectic mix of healthy seeds, then smother it in something from a store-bought bottle and all the efforts maybe lost, overpowered, or chemically corrupted. Why not prepare a quick homemade salad dressing?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of us out there who have little to no idea how easy it is to concoct DIY salad dressings, and without a doubt, one time is enough to leave those bottles of Italian behind for good. Not only do homemade dressings taste better, with the luxury of tweaking them to personal preferences, but they allow for much more variety, especially for fellow vegans who can’t normally get most of the store-bought selections.

The Fatty Goodness

Most salad dressings have one of two bases, either oil or mayonnaise, and the difference is fairly easy to recognize: If it is creamy, then the likely culprit is mayonnaise, and if it’s oily, well, that seems even more obvious. While some variation from this can exist, ninety percent of the time, the basics of good salad dressing start here.

So then, for a plant-based eater and the mayonnaise thing, it’s easy enough to buy one of the vegan varieties (Just Mayo rocks) or it’s not overly challenging to just make vegan mayonnaise as well. As for oil, olive is the default and consistently delicious but safe bet, but things can get a little more complicated as there are many oils that can alter flavors and up the ante. Almond, coconut, sesame, macadamia and other extra virgin presses are all viable choices.

The Underlying Zip

After the fat comes the zippiness, which more or less comes down to vinegar, and regardless if the dressing has gone the mayo or oil route, this is what cuts the fat and helps sharpen the texture and flavor of the dressing. It doesn’t take much, but it’s important nonetheless. Like with oil, a little extra money goes along way for both taste and health purposes, and generally, a one-to-one ratio with fat feels right (but be aware if other acidic components, such as mustard, are being added).

Some favorite salad vinegars include balsamic, apple cider, rice, and red or white wine vinegar. Going for organic will mean stronger flavor and retained health benefits, apple cider vinegar being renown for its medicinal majesty. As well, it‘s possible to infuse vinegars (or oils for that matter) simply by adding some sprigs of herbs and spices (cloves of garlic, hunks of ginger), letting it all meld for a few days.

The Powerful Palate

With the primary ingredients in place, which truthfully can constitute an entire and delicious dressing on their own, it’s time to start shaping the direction of this particular topping. There are plenty of options here, including all sorts of condiments, as well as fruit juices. Syrups are on the table, as are nut and seed butters or pureed vegetables. Add them sparingly until the mixture feels right.

From the oft-utilized Dijon mustard to soy sauce and even ketchup (make your own!) for those Thousand Island fans, condiments aplenty appear in many of our favorite dressings. Citrus juices are a perfect standout, acidic flavor against the oil, but other fruit and even vegetable juices (try beets!) are amazing. Maple syrup or fruity reductions can set the sweet tone if that’s the idea, or something thick and creamy like tahini can change the whole complexion as well.

The Final Notes

Then, ultimately, the thing that elevates a humdrum dressing into something exceptional is the subtle tones of herbs and spices. They are what play lead to the rest of the ingredients, signaling to our tongues just what genre we are dealing in. It’s the herbs and spices that let us know this is an Asian-influenced coleslaw or a Mediterranean salad.

Despite the distinctions they make, choosing the right additions is not rocket science. We know that certain flavors — lemongrass, ginger, pepper — suggest Thai food or that familiar herbs — oregano, basil, thyme, garlic — put us along the southern coast of Europe. Just take the herbs and spices from the recipes of main dishes and have them interplay in the dressing as well.

Check out this fantastic list of dressing recipes to get this little DIY mission underway, and then, when the ratios start feeling natural, venture into new inventions, as of yet unheard of masterpieces, sauces that anyone would be happy to toss in a bed of greens.

Source: www.onegreenplanet.org

2015-05-05T12:20:38+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: What kind of dressing I can use on my salad. I tried the olive oil,lemon juice and sea salt salad dressing and I didn't like it at all. Please help this is day 3 for me. Thanks

    A: We have numerous raw salad dressing recipes available on our recipe section. The salad dressing you tried, might be better with apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice in addition to adding the sea salt and herbs & spices of your choice.

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    Q: I was wondering if it is okay to mix Mrs. Dash season blend with Olive Oil as a dressing for my salad? It tastes real bad with just Olive Oil alone, and I don't like the bitterness taste of lemon juice, and apple vinegar cider. Plus, what would you recommend for toppings to make the salad more interesting? Can I put olives, and cucumbers, etc.?

    A:

    Do as you please as far as dressing goes! Just stay away from harmful ingredients! Mrs. Dash, seasonings, Olive Oil,

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    Q: Lunch is organic salad dressing allowed or maybe fresh lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (cold pressed)

    A:

    Organic salad dressing is a healthy alternative, but because they're bottled they usually contain preservatives to sustain their condition on store shelves. We recommend sticking to raw and fresh ingredients like using extra virgin olive oil as a base for homemade dressings. Adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salts and other spices are common ingredients for homemade dressings.

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    Q: I started the full body detox today, and found that I DO NOT like the salad dressing I made with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I found I could not tolerate it on my salad. What can I do instead? Another question is... I noticed lentils on the food combining chart. Those have to be cooked. Are those actually allowed to be consumed warm? I love the raw fruits and vegetables. I don?t have a problem, cause I love salads. I just need help on what I can have on it.

    A:

    Check out our website for raw salad dressing recipes. You are bound to find one you like.

    As for lentils, you are NOT allowed to have them while on the cleanse.

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    Q: I'm doing the Full Body Cleanse and I have a few questions about it: I get tired of drinking just the distilled water and I'd like to drink the herbal teas, but I don't like it by itself. Would it mess things up to add a pack or two of Splenda to my tea or maybe honey? I can't stand the salads with the olive oil or apple cider vinegar or the lemon juice as dressing and it makes me gag. I have To have some sort of salad dressing. What kind would be suitable? Do I look for sugar-free? Or organic and natural? I found one that is organic and natural, but it has 3 grams of sugar in it. Without eating all my whole grained breads and other fiber, I haven't had much of a bowel movement in 3 days, should I wait a while yet? (I had surgery on my bowels and always had to take fiber tablets and eat lots of grains to get my bowels to move.) I haven't done the enemas yet, (low on money) should I try that? Or should I resume my fiber tablets I normally take? Any type of fiber I could add to my fruit smoothies in the morning? I want to also do the female cleanse. Is it ok to do that immediately after I finish the full body cleanse or should I wait for a little while? Thank you for all your help, I feel much better than I did before and I just started this detox a week ago, lost 10 pounds, too, woohoooooo! Thank you

    A:

    1. Instead of splenda, use agave, stevia, or grade b maple syrup as a sweetener.

    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

    3. The fiber pills are not part of the cleanse, so we wouldn't advise those. Fruit is you best choice of fiber so look into eating more papaya, mango, figs, etc. And yes, colonics (and enemas) would greatly help you - undoubtedly!

    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Q: I'm on my 9th day of the FULL BODY DETOX which I am performing to heal from genital herpes. I am also am suffering from a yeast infection at the moment. I know that under your â€CANDIDA ALBICANS: YEAST INFECTION†article you suggested to do the full body detox. My question is will performing only the full body detox kit wipe away the yeast infection or do I HAVE TO TAKE EXTRA HERBS ON THE SIDE TO TAKE OF THAT problem including the genital herpes problem? During the FULL BODY DETOX you said lemon juice and sea salt for salad dressings but by any chance is regular dressing such as Italian, ranch or blue cheese or even hot sauce ok to eat the salads with? Are we able to eat crouton with our salads while performing the FULL BODY DETOX and anti-viral?

    A:

    After the FULL BODY DETOX, please perform the 10-DAY SUPREME CANDIDA CLEANSE. No commercial brand salad dressings (unless you use Anne's, Follow Your Heart, etc. available from Whole Foods Market). No croutons. Please read the article â€WHAT IS RAW FOODS†because if you know what raw foods are, many questions will automatically be answered on your own (not that it's a problem, simply for your edification).

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    Q:

    A: No you cannot consume that type of seasoning. You can only use seasonings that do not contain salt. Sea salt is the only type of salt you can consume while on the cleanse. It should be consumed in moderation.

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    Q: First of all I just wanted to thank you so much for enlightening me. I have become a devoted reader daily, for the last 6 months. I have become vegatarian and almost vegan. I eat very little dairy by products such as salad dressing ect. I personally want to thank you for the knowledge that you have shared with us. I had my gallbladder removed about 16 years ago, and I was reading the article on High Cholesterol, and I have a question. Since I do not have a storage place for stomach bile. What dangers can come about with the bile just circulating in my body? When I was unconcious I never though about not having my gallbladder. The doctor said you have gallstones, and you need your gallbladder taken out. I did not ask any questions, due to my ignorance and enormous cramp like pains. At times, I wonder if the bile which has an acid taste is eating away at my organs. Please forgive my ignorance, but my mind wonders. So is there a herb that I can take that will do what my lack of gallbladder should do?

    A:

    Thank you for your words! I'd suggest you perform the Full Body Detox and after completion of the cleanse start taking the Liver-Gallbladder-Spleen formula. Bile is alkaline so it's not that bad. However, the bile should not be circulating in your blood.

    Product Link:
    Full Body Detox
    Liver and Gallbladder Formula

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I am on day 4 of the FULL BODY DETOX and was wondering what else can or should I eat besides toss salad and fruits and veggies. I know I can do organic non-salt nuts, steamed veggies, fruits smoothies and wild rice but is they’re anything I am not suppose to eat besides meat and sweets (sodas)? I have eaten toss salad was it ok that I put cheese on it? I am struggling to find other food options. Please help!!

    A:

    I WOULD SUGGEST YOU ORDER OUR ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL E-BOOK. IT HAS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. IT'S A GREAT RESOURCE.

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    Q: I was reading your article about vinegar being harmful to the body because of its acids and I was curious to know what you think of the Organic unpasturized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother? I saw that at the end of the article it stated that "if you must" use vinegar to use the organic apple cider vinegar but, I have read many places that it has many health benefits such as reducing bad cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, eliminating toxic waste from the body, fighting fungal and bacterial infections, helping relieve joint pains, breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction.

    A:

    I approve of apple cider vinegar for health purposes. Some good stuff!

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    Q: I am interested in purchasing the 20 day cleanse. However I just read the diet while taking it. My only concern is that I do not eat salad or raw vegetables now. I do not like the taste and they do not agree with my stomach I eat almost every vegetable steamed. Is there any way to get around this. I can do fruit smoothies but for 20 days? Do you have any suggestions? thank you

    A: Cooking foods takes out the nutrients and enzymes that are beneficial to our bodies, so eating food in it’s most natural state is best. Unfortunately there's no alternative diet to the regimen. The herbs work in conjunction with the raw food diet. You would need to consume some vegetables while on the cleanse. You can incorporate raw vegetables into smoothies, but it would be best to also consume whole foods.

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    Q: I have received my FULL BODY DETOX what kind of dressing can I put on my salads?

    A:

    Any natural brand, i.e. Anne's, 365 (Whole Foods), Follow Your Heart, etc. See our E-Book ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL as we list them in this E-book (as well as FULL BODY DETOX COMPANION). Only $10

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I have incorporated fish into my diet because I have been craving. Is moderation okay.... meaning my fruits for breakfast a regular lunch with salad and a salad for dinner okay to pretty much moderate other foods? It is challenging for me to become a vegan. Do you have any suggestions on how to still eat healthy to maintain an alkalized body with certain foods with moderation that are not raw? I still drink my green veggies at least twice a day. I am praying that my results will be negative.

    A:

    FISH IN MODERATION IS OKAY FOR YOU. TO MAINTAIN ALKALINITY, DESPITE THE ACID-FORMING THINGS YOU EAT, JUST MAKE SURE TO EAT AS MANY GREEN FOODS AS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN ALSO TAKE 6 CAPSULES OF ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD TOO! YOU’RE DOING GOOD SO KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS POSITIVE AND ON YOUR DESIRES.

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    Q: I have ordered the detox cleanse, and the weight cleanse. Both state to eat a raw diet of veggies and fruit, nuts, nut pastes??, legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea veggies??,and fresh juices. It mentions Vegan Diet. What are my options when it comes to these choices? What do I eat and how often to keep my sugar from dropping, and feeling sick? Usually mid am, and mid afternoon?

    A:

    The best way to balance blood sugar and keep your body in a fat burning zone is to eat low fat and every 3-4 hours. Also high raw and high carb. Here are some options. Just a general outline.

     

    6am 

    Muesli - fruit smoothie-green smoothie

    9am

    2-3 pieces of fruit

    12pm

    Raw wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    3pm

    2-3 peices of fruit

    6pm

    wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    9pm

    Sorbet

     

    I suggest reading "Beauty detox solution" by Snyder, "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Karr, or 80-10-10 by Graham.

     

    I also recommend to check out my health coaching program www.theveganefect.com for more info.

     

    I hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I'm a raw vegan, and still suffering from acne. I stay away from all sweeteners, except fresh whole fruits. I started to have lots of greens juices these days, and my skin has improved a little bit. What about spices such a cayenne pepper, is it bad for your skin? What about goji berries? I know they are diet fruits, thats why I stay away from them for a while. I even fast for a while. I just don't know how my skin can getter better.

    A:

    Greetings! Have you detoxed (Full Body Detox)? Acne is a blood disorder. Please read our article "Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder" for more information. Our Healing Facial Kit will be out later this month. Recommended reading: The Mental Science Manual. Stay positive! Don't focus so much on the problem. Use visualization techniques, and see yourself as you desire to see yourself, with flawless skin.

    Article:
    Skin Disorder = Blood Disorder

    Product Links:
    Full Body Detox
    The Mental Science Manual

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    Q: Today makes day 9 of my FULL BODY DETOX (FBD). This morning I have an outbreak on my hand. I have been practicing telling myself I am Healing, but my job is stressful and yesterday I had a stressful day and this morning the outbreak on my right hand. Could this be part of my healing process? Can you suggest what I can do to alleviate the stress at work so this will not block my healing process of herpes? I am following the diet; however I have been kind of burnt out at times on the salads so I at least eat a salad and a bowl of steamed brown rice and frozen green peas that are steamed for 3 min. Is that considered following the diet? I still eat my fruit for breakfast daily, my salad for lunch and steamed broccoli (5min) and for dinner another salad, but for a few days I have eaten the rice and steam green peas. I basically want to know is it alright so if I eat it in the future.

    A:

    You have to learn to deal with your stress and stop reacting to it. Your subconscious mind is greatly blocked and therefore you have to realize your healing will come very slow. At a deep level you still believe herpes is incurable and your body is giving you this (despite the healing crisis of outbreaks on the hand). Your dietary deviation is understandable and not that bad but if you are tiring of salads opt for other things to eat. We list a few raw foods alternative recipes in our "ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL" e-book available for download. Check it out!

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    Q: I am currently doing the Full Body Cleanse and my "meal" is typically a salad. To keep it interesting, I add different vegetables and fruits to it. I am not creative enough to think of other meals that I can possibly eat that consists of only raw foods. Any suggestions. I am struggling and I have two weeks to go.

    A:

    A typical detox raw food program looks like this

    Breakfast:

    Green smoothie: 1 1/2- 2 cups water / 1 cup greens / 3-5 medium pieces of fruit blended.

    (see "Green Smoothie Revolution" Boutenko for more info)

    Bridge: 2-3 medium sized fruits

    Lunch:

    Raw Wraps: collard greens as wraps/ tomato, cucumber, bell pepper / fresh herbs / Sauce (salsa/tahini/guacamole/ etc))

    Bridge:2-3 medium pieces of fruit

    Dinner:

    Raw pasta: Zuchini sliced with a potato peeler / veggies / Homemade pasta sauce made in blender / sprouted quinoa or legumes 

    Snack: Sorbet: Blended frozen fruit in a blender

     

    Hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I am 27 years old, 5'7", 125 lbs. I'm in good health; I haven't had any major health problems. The only health complaint I have is horrible menstrual cycles. After coming upon your website, I've decided to make major dietary changes. I've also decided to do the TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE, and I've also ordered the maintenance herbs you've suggested for after the cleanse. I'd like to begin doing the TOTAL WOMAN CLEANSE and the FULL BODY DETOX regularly according to the seasons. I didn't order both at the same time due to financial reasons. My plan is to do the total woman cleanse at the start of fall...the full body detox at the start of winter...then again the woman's cleanse at the start of spring...and the FULL BODY DETOX at the start of summer. Is this a good plan? Or is there a more beneficial way for me to get the results I want?

    A:

    It's a great plan and you'll love these cleanses and your body will thank you (and you can kiss those menstrual problems away as well). Thank you for your interest in Dherbs.Com!