By Chris Newport, MS, RDN/LDN, CISSN
Have you ever looked at the ingredient label on those store bought salad dressings? It’s a little frightening.
Here’s one that claims to be “natural:”
INGREDIENTS: WATER, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, DISTILLED VINEGAR, SUGAR, CORN SUGAR VINEGAR, SALT. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: GARLIC*, ROMANO CHEESE(PASTEURIZED COW’S MILK, SALT, ENZYMES), BASIL, SPICES, ONION*, XANTHAN GUM, PHOSPHORIC ACID, SPINACH EXTRACT (COLOR), LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, NATURAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND SODIUM BENZOATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT QUALITY). *DRIED.
So what’s the big deal about that?
First of all, it’s so dang easy and fast to make your own salad dressing at home, there’s really no excuse NOT to make your own salad dressing. You can make enough for just one salad at a time in less than 5 minutes, or you can make enough to keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The shelf-stable stuff has all those preservatives so it doesn’t turn colors or turn funky. Granted, you’re not going to be preserved from the inside out by consuming those chemicals, but giving your body real foods that it’s familiar with is best.
For example, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranks the safety of food additives. For example, sodium benzoates are safe for most people but can cause a reaction in people who are allergic or sensitive to benzoates. Phosphoric acid can erode tooth enamel.
Regardless, when you make your own dressing, you control what goes into it. With this Superpower Balsamic Vinagrette, you’re using 100% extra virgin olive oil (instead of soybean oil, which is commonly found in most dressings) which is recognized for it’s myriad of positive health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced rates of cancer. Plus, this dressing includes the fresh garlic and ginger, which are powerful in their own rights.
I love my Vitamix, which will blend this dressing in about 20-30 seconds (and I don’t have to chop the ginger first).
I use this regularly in my massaged kale salad, as a veggie dip or over a standard salad.
Give it a shot and let us know what you think!