Health

Use home-made salad dressings instead

Fuelling Your Body

BY FITZ-GEORGE RATTRAY

Sunday, May 27, 2018

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WITHOUT question, adding fresh salads to your daily diet is among the healthiest things you can do for your body. Unfortunately, because unhealthy eating provides a higher level of enjoyability than healthy eating, many people cannot fully appreciate the deliciousness of a salad.

The easy solution to this is adding flavour and savouriness through dressings.

Many health benefits can be undone by drenching your salad in loads of unhealthy oils, creams, sugars, and chemicals in the form of store-bought dressings, but you can enhance your salads with herbs, seasonings or healthy oils, adding both nutritional value and taste.

The absolute best salad dressing is the one you make. Store-bought salad dressing will need to have preservatives and may contain unwanted types of oils, sugars, colourings, and artificial flavours, as they cannot have the fresh flavour of one home-made. Dressings made at home can last five days to two weeks in the fridge and you control the amount that is made. Think of it as mixing your favourite drink — it is often that easy. Just be aware of the nutritional content of your ingredients and keep your sugar under five grams and calorie content under 20 per serving.

Check out a few ideas and recipes for salad dressings below that anyone can make.

 

Simple oil and vinegar-free dressing ideas

1. Lemon juice

2. Orange juice blended, including pulp

3. Tomato mango blend — peeled mango and tomato

4. Pico De Gallo… onions, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro

5. Fermented vegetables: sauerkraut, kimchi, garden vegetable kimchi

 

Honey mustard vinaigrette recipe

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

• 1/4 cup cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup honey (use maple syrup to keep recipe vegan)

• 1/4 cup filtered water

• 2 teaspoons salt

• Fresh, ground black pepper

 

Directions

1. Place everything into your food processor and blend until you have a nice, thin dressing — makes about one cup.

 

Carrot ginger salad dressing recipe

Ingredients

• 3/4 cup chopped carrots (4 small-medium carrots)

• 1 tablespoon grated ginger

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 1/4 cup chopped onion

• 1/4 cup orange juice

• 1 tablespoon lime juice

• 1/4 cup water

• 1-2 tbsp lime salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. Pop everything into a high-powered blender until all the ingredients have broken down and you have a pourable dressing — makes about one cup.

 

An occasion may arise when you did not get to travel with your home-made dressing and instead of eating your salad au naturelle, you are considering a commercial dressing. Well, if you must, here are a few guidelines:

• The dressing should not be more than 40 calories per tablespoon.

• The total sugar per serving should be fewer than six grams.

• Choose a vinaigrette dressing.

 

If you choose a dressing with oil, look for healthier oils such as monounsaturated fats (found in olives), and polyunsaturated fats (found in safflower, sunflower and other seed oils containing omega-3). Avoid trans- fats and saturated fats and always check your nutritional label.

So, when you are thinking about your salad, think of it as a natural prevention and cure, and when you are thinking about salad dressings, you can do the absolute best thing and make your own with flavourful seasonings, spices, fruits, and vinegar.

Most of all, remember, the salad is the star. Learn to drizzle, not pour your dressing, even as little as a teaspoon or less per serving.

 

Fitz-George Rattray is the director of Intekai Academy, which is focused on helping people live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and weight management. If you are interested in losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, give them a call at 968-8238, or visit their website at intekaiacademy.org .

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