What’s on YOUR salad?

All plant based, whole food eaters follow these two basic rules:

  • Eating the tastiest, most satisfying foods possible
  • Getting the maximum nutritional-buck-for-calorie while doing it

The craze for fat-free salad dressings has been the biggest scam – along with all the other fat-free processed foods out there: fat had to be replaced for the sake of taste with something else. And that “something else” is SUGAR.

The absolute WORST part of all the bottled salad dressings is, that

  1. they are devoid of absolutely ALL nutrients: no vitamins, no antioxidants, no phytochemicals, NOTHING
  2. they are HIGH in SODIUM
  3. they contain a lot of added sugar
  4. they contain lots and lots of fat (if not fat free)

This is just a typical example: two table spoons provide over half of their calories from FAT.

Bottled salad dressing is the epitomy of processed, empty food. It does NOT belong on a fresh salad.

So, what’s the alternative?

Answer: your imagination!!!

Let me show you how to get started:

The idea behind building your own nutritious, perfect salad dressing follows the two basic rules stated above. Based on that, here is one of my MANY versions of a salad dressing.

Goji berries: they are nutritional power houses as far as anti-oxidant and other phytochemical contents are concerned. Forget the juice, the pill, the extracts! Buy dried berries, just as you would buy raisins and other dried fruit, and have them on hand at all times.

Walnuts: are a phenomenal source of Omega 3 fats, and other powerful nutrients, as many studies have shown. Buy in bulk and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge; they last for months!

Rice Vinegar: delicious. You can of course substitute the vinegar of your choice. But give this one a try: it is mild and aromatic.

Mustard: everyone has THAT in their fridge!

Miso Paste: now THERE is a superfood, if I have ever known one. I am partial to the South River brand because of the way they manufacture it. It’s “alive” with enzymes and protein, and a superb condiment. Check out their website for excellent information on miso in general. And try out different flavors; I have all of them in the fridge!

Garlic Powder: another kitchen staple to have!

Take a one-cup measure, and fill it with 1/2 cup Goji berries, then cover them with hot filtered water to the one-cup mark. Let sit for about 30 minutes or so: the Goji berries need to soak and absorb the water.

Next, all ingredients listed go into the Vitamix or blender:

  • Goji berries and the soaking water
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (can also be pre-soaked)
  • 1/2 cup (rice) vinegar
  • one heaping teaspoon Miso paste
  • one heaping teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Blend everything to a liquid consistency, and adapt seasonings as necessary, as well as more liquid (either water or vinegar) for desired consistency. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the fridge.

Voila: your super-nutritious, fresh, delicious salad dressing. And the sky is the limit.

Next time use fresh or frozen raspberries as your starter ingredient; add flax seed (not oil!) or almonds as your fat source, and season away! Avoid salting the dressing; prefer seasonings like Miso or herbs instead. Honey or agave can make for wonderful sweetness, but so can soaked dry fruit like dates or raisins!

Start playing – and don’t forget to share your discoveries!!