Okay, so you just spent approximately $3 on a salad dressing at the grocery store. The problem? It's loaded with way too many unnecessary ingredients. Have you ever read the label on most salad dressings? They put everything from sugar (yes, you heard that right) to Calcium Disodium EDTA in it (to "protect freshness"). No thanks. I'm good. Instead, I like to make my own salad dressings at home. Here are eight DIY salad dressings that are actually healthy for you and require no unnatural sweeteners. Or weird chemicals you can't even pronounce. Get ready to enjoy your summer salads even more!
This is one of my personal favorites when it comes to salad dressings. I especially love it over green lettuce, chopped tomatoes, baby carrots, and cucumbers. Yum.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. To make, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl. Then, transfer into a glass bottle. It's literally that simple. To store, just keep it in the refrigerator. I suggest eating it within a couple of weeks so that it doesn't sit for too long.
Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
In the mood for a creamy salad? I got you covered. This one is super yummy and great for anyone who loves a little tart to their salad dressings (thanks to the lime).
- 1 avocado
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup low-fat sour-cream (or Greek yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice (or white vinegar)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about ⅓ cup water (give or take) until it reaches desired consistency. Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
This salad dressing has the perfect blend of sweet and spicy (with a slight tang to it). The sweet overpowers the spicy, but the mustard does add a nice touch.
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil
1. To make, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl. Then, transfer into a glass bottle. To store, just keep it in the refrigerator.
Creamy Green Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Lemon-garlic -- isn't that an interesting combo? This dressing is perfect for anyone who's vegan or just prefers a creamy salad dressing without heavy dairy influences.
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Handful of fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
My mom and I really love eating Asian sesame dressing, but it's even more fun to make it on your own. Just a little FYI, this does have a some kick to it, so you might want to lower the amount of ginger in it if you want it to be milder.
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated, peeled ginger
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pepper to taste
1. To make, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl. Then, transfer into a glass bottle. To store, keep it in the refrigerator.
Perfect for anyone who likes sweet salad dressings (like me), this goes great on a strawberry, arugula, and berry salad. Just saying.
- 1 cup strawberries, rinsed and sliced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon coconut (or sunflower) oil
- Place strawberries, vinegar, pepper, sugar and salt in a blender until pureed. Add 2 tablespoons oil and process until smooth. To store, keep in the refrigerator.
Carrot and Ginger Salad Dressing
Have you ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant and gotten one of their salads? Perhaps you saw it was orange-yellow and had a zing to it? Well, this is my attempt to replicate that. It's not too hard to do and is totally healthy.
- ½ pound of carrots, tops removed and peeled
- ¼ of a small red onion
- 2 tablespoons of lightly dried ginger
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of tamari/gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup of avocado (or grapeseed) oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, and oils to a blender or food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Small bits of carrot and ginger are good and add to the texture. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Store in the fridge.
Raspberry season is right around the corner, so why not give this raspberry vinaigrette a shot? I notice that in the summer, my body craves fruity salad dressings more than in the winter. So something tells me this will become a staple in my household real soon.
- 2 cups frozen raspberries (thawed)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and all ingredients are combined. Store in an airtight container for 1 week.
Note: To help the environment, please try purchasing the ingredients on this list in bulk. Shopping in bulk helps reduce plastic waste. To find a bulk food store near you, visit this nifty website. Also, try to purchase any fruits, herbs, or vegetables recommended organically. Your local farmers market is the perfect place for this: They usually have organic produce, and it can all be purchased in bulk too. So make sure to find the closest farmers market to you!