Need salad dressing? Think outside the jar

DIY salad dressingThe next time you want to top off a delicious salad you just made, think about using dressing you make yourself. Salad dressing is one of the easiest, fastest things you can make—plus homemade versions use a lot fewer ingredients than many of the bottled varieties.

The key to a good dressing is balancing acid with oil and incorporating something to bind the two (an emulsifier). Oils that are good for salad dressing include olive, canola, walnut (or other nut) and sesame. Acids could be any of the various vinegars (apple cider, white wine, red wine, sherry or fruit flavored ones) as well as citrus juices like lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit. Good binders would be Dijon mustard, peanut butter, sugar and even sour cream or, better yet, Greek yogurt.

The real fun starts when you begin to experiment with adding other flavors, like cheese, fruit, nuts, seasonings and fresh herbs. With each variation, add all ingredients to a canning jar, stir quickly with a fork, then cover tightly with a lid and shake for 30 seconds. Even kids, or your guests who say they can’t cook, can help out. Then just adjust seasoning with salt and fresh ground black pepper.


Classic Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

Dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information (Makes 4 servings)

Per serving: 122 calories; 14g total fat; 219mg sodium; 17g carbohydrates; 3g fiber;1g protein


Raspberry Walnut Dressing

4 ripe raspberries, slightly crushed with a fork

1 tablespoon chopped walnuts

8 tablespoons walnut oil

2  tablespoons raspberry vinegar

Nutritional Information (Makes 6 servings)

Per serving: 78 calories; 6g total fat; 5 mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 0g protein


Honey Garlic Dressing

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 tablespoons canola oil

Nutritional Information (Makes 4 servings)

Per serving: 134 calories; 7g total fat; 5mg sodium; 20g carbohydrates; 1g fiber;1g protein


Parmesan Dressing

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

3 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Nutritional Information (Makes 12 servings)

Per serving: 58 calories; 5g total fat; 100mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 2g fiber;3g protein



Photo credit: Tracy Benjamin





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