Salad Dressings Making or Breaking your Meal?

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Salads are a staple of a healthy diet as they are an easy way to get a whole range of green leafy and fresh vegetables in, full of nutrients and live enzymes. Plus a good salad can taste great and be satisfying as well but the quickest way to make or spoil a salad is through the dressing you use. I highly recommend staying  far away from any of the dressing in the supermarkets and trying some super simple delicious options yourself that are really are a no brainer. Supermarket salads are full of so many ingredients and most of them are chemicals and bad oils which defeats the purpose of the beautiful bowl of goodness!

Whether it is Caesar, Italian or Thousand Island, most salad dressing are made from either soybean, sunflower or canola oil. These are cheaper oils and unless organic, are grown with high amounts of pesticides and are often genetically modified. They are also high in poly-unsaturated fats which has links to cancer and heart disease. There is often partially hydrogenated oils included to increase shelf life. These lower good (HDL) cholesterol, increase levels of atherosclerosis-causing lipoprotein-,interfere with insulin, increase anti-cardiovascular C-reactive protein and interfere with the functioning of the immune system. Eek!

" Canola oil goes through the process of refining, bleaching and degumming-all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorised." 

Choosing the "Light" or "Fat-free" options is not doing you any favours either as they are normally much higher in salt and sugar content, which really backfires on your intent of trying to choose the "healthier" version that is better for your thighs. Sugar is converted to fat in the body and causes a host of other health issues. Sugar is added to these as the food companies know that it tastes good, is addictive and most people don't even realise its hidden in there! I think it is just plain mean that this marketing technique is used to persuade unknowing consumers who are trying to do the right thing!

The health conscious community is aware that the days of being scared of fats are over but there is still a huge hang over effect going on, especially my parents generation and who can blame them with all the propaganda that went on about it. Fat is not the culprit- good fats do not make you fat and are a necessity for our body to make hormones- but it must be good quality.  I either use cold-pressed organic olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil (the saturated fat in the coconut is a good addition to our diet not bad!) or sometimes sesame oil for my asian dishes.

Supermarket dressings are also full of additives.

I'm talking thickeners, artificial flavours and colours, emulsifiers, preservatives, and food acids to name a few. These are highly processed extras that not only are not needed but come with potential health risks including headaches, diarrhoea, fatigue, depression to name a few. Check out the back of the bottle next time you go to buy and see how many non food ingredients there actually are. My rule of thumb with any food, is that if you can’t make it at home, don’t eat it.

I am not one to spend too much time making difficult recipes in the kitchen but salad dressing are simple and easy! No additives or sugar needed!

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My easy mixes include;

  • Flaxseed Oil,  Bragg's, 1/4 cup of tahini, and crushed garlic clove

  • Sesame oil, half a chopped fresh red chilli, half a bunch of coriander chopped.

  • Olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and pinch of himalayan salt

The following are easy and great mixed in a food processor.

Japanese dressing

  • 2 Tbsp organic miso paste
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp raw sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp  Japanese soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onions

Avocado dressing

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Mexican dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup coriander, chopped
  • 1 green jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • Celtic salt to taste