Make Healthier Salad Dressing Slideshow
June 25, 2013
7 simple tips to help you slim down salad dressing at home
Go Upside Down
Maybe the golden rule isn't so golden anymore. Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, has the following suggestion when making vinaigrette: "Instead of the usual ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar to make vinaigrette, flip it. Do three parts vinegar to one part oil (for example, 3 tablespoons vinegar to 1 tablespoon oil). Or at least aim to go half and half — equal parts oil and vinegar."
You'll get more flavor out of less dressing, that way, and cut down on fat.
Freshen It Up
"Whirl [the dressing] in a blender with English cucumbers," says Newgent. More specifically, she says, "Try this — 2 tablespoons chopped cucumber blended into ¼ cup vinaigrette."
Make It Fruity
"Blend together ¼ cup cubed seasonal fruit of choice, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon vinegar," says Newgent, for a fruity twist on vinaigrette with less oil.
Give It a Punch
Or if "fruity" isn't your speed, Newgent says, "Whisk one small minced shallot and/or small clove garlic into ¼ cup vinaigrette." That way, says Newgent, "You’ll need only a little dressing to please."
"Stretch" the Vinaigrette
We don't want to say we're thinning out the dressing here; that would be a bit uncharitable. But we are cutting down on some unnecessary calories without impacting flavor too much. How? Newgent advises, "Add 1 or 2 tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth or unsweetened green tea to ¼ cup vinaigrette."
Create Nutrient-Rich Creaminess
Love creamy dressing but want to cut out empty calories? Eliminate the fat- and calorie-bombs that have little else to offer and try Newgent's simple subs instead of sour cream or heavy cream. Newgent says, "Purée vinaigrette with varying amounts of Hass avocado, silken tofu, no-salt-added white beans, or tahini for a deliciously velvety salad dressing."
Dressing on the Side? Nope!
"Forget about the 'dressing-on-the-side rule'!" says Newgent. "You might be tempted to dump every bit of the 'side' dressing onto your salad. Rather, toss your salad lightly but completely with about half of the dressing you think it might need. Every bite will be dressed nicely — and you'll likely not feel the need to add any more dressing."