Welcome back to Make It or Buy It! Up today: Salad dressing. I’m trying to eat less sugar in the New Year (more on that later…), so have been starting to pay more attention to the added sugars in processed foods.
I don’t have a lot of salad dressing in my house right now (spoiler alert…), but looked at one of the Wish-Bone E.V.O.O. dressings, an organic vinaigrette from ALDI, and a bottle of Ken’s chunky blue cheese. Each had added sugar, and even these less sweet dressings tend to have 1-2 grams sugar per serving — with blue cheese containing the least sugar, but the most other things I don’t necessarily want to be eating.
When I make salad dressing at home, I do sometimes add a little honey if it’s also being used in a marinade, as in this chipotle lime marinade & dressing for shrimp taco salad. When the dressing is just for salad, however, I generally don’t, as in this Parmesan vinaigrette. If I’m trying to retrain my taste buds to enjoy veggies over sugar, it seems counterproductive to then pour sugar onto my salads, no?
And, I didn’t add honey today when I threw together this simple avocado vinaigrette! This little $.99 salad dressing container from Goodwill was a great investment, but you can use a mason jar or whatever you have handy to hold homemade salad dressing.
One ripe avocado
Juice of 1/2 a small lime
1 large garlic clove
Sea salt, to taste
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Blend all ingredients together in a small food chopper. Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator for up to a week. (The avocado in it does mean will start turning browner after a while, but it remains tasty.)
So… Make It, or Buy It?
No, really — you probably don’t even need to guess after my heavy-handed buildup, right? Salad dressing is super easy to make, and when you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in there and can adjust the flavor to your own tastes. Try using cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar and see how it changes the taste of your vinaigrettes. Try adding Parmesan or blue cheese crumbles or pepper or oregano or mustard… make it creamy with a little plain yogurt… add lemon juice or lime juice… and taste it, mess with it, and taste it again.
Homemade salad dressing just tastes better
Fresh ingredients make a difference, and I also love using herbs from the garden during the summer to jazz up a batch of salad dressing. When I have both homemade and store-bought dressing in the fridge, I find myself reaching for the homemade every time.
Homemade dressing is pretty affordable
I had one of those $.59 avocados from ALDI this week getting a little mushy in the fridge, so threw that into today’s dressing on a whim (then ended up adding some water to thin it out, but the flavor is good! Heads up: It gets more garlicky after a bit of time in the fridge, too. 🙂 ) A basic vinaigrette, though, just calls for olive oil, vinegar, and spices of your choice — which can be as simple as salt and pepper, for you minimalists out there.
I try to keep some in my fridge at all times now
When I have a few minutes to spare, I whip up a little batch of homemade salad dressing and keep it in the fridge for the week. I know myself, and I’m much more likely to use the homemade if it’s at the ready and not one more thing to think of throwing together at the last minute. Give it a try, and see how making it vs. buying it works for you!
Avocado Vinaigrette, printable recipe
- One ripe avocado
- Juice of ½ a lime
- 1 large garlic clove
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ tsp cayenne (optional)
- Blend all ingredients together in a small food chopper.
- Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator up to a week. (The avocado in it means it will start turning browner after a while, but it remains tasty.)
More Make It or Buy It?
Hope you enjoy this new feature on Mashup Mom! Browse more Make It Or Buy It posts as I add them, here.