5 Healthy Homemade Salad Dressings

Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing by Of Houses and Trees | Healthy homemade salad dressing takes a bit of extra work, but the benefits are so worth it. Here are five of my favourites!

Once upon a time I ate “healthy.” This is what people do when they mean well and count calories and eat things labelled “low fat.” But a few years ago I turned into the “read every ingredient on the label and then painstakingly research it” kind of person and let me tell you, it was terrifying. On salad dressing labels alone: calcium sodium EDTA, high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch. If you’ve ever made a simple homemade salad dressing, you know that all you really need is balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil… which is exactly how you make one of my recipes!

Yes, homemade salad dressings take a bit of extra work compared to grabbing a bottle out of the fridge, but once you get used to making them it becomes second nature. Want a spinach salad with caesar dressing? Grab an avocado and some garlic. How about a Mexican side salad with ranch? Try a cucumber and some apple cider vinegar. If these directions are too vague for your liking (and boring – I’m all for simple recipes, but come on) then read on to discover how to make five different and versatile dressings for all kinds of food situations.

All of these recipes are vegan (just substitute a different sweetener for the honey). If that floats your boat, great. If not, feel free to use your own non-vegan ingredients. Also note that I play it pretty fast and loose with ingredient amounts and basically do the whole “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” thing when whipping these up. Consider the below measurements to be a rough guideline – feel free to adjust as necessary!


Avocado Caesar Dressing

Avocado Caesar Dressing | Healthy homemade salad dressing with avocado, vegan mayo and lemon juice.

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes / Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: North American / Description: Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing / Dietary Info: Dairy Free, Meat Free

Ingredients:

1 avocado, sliced

2 tbsp Vegenaise (or other mayo product)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh if available)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine avocado, Vegenaise, lemon juice and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Notes:

My bastardized version of a caesar salad is spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, grated carrots and croutons or almonds for crunch. If you eat dairy you can add some shaved parmesan cheese, you lucky dog you.


Creamy Cucumber Ranch Dressing

Creamy Cucumber Ranch Dressing | Healthy homemade salad dressing with cucumber, vegan mayo and apple cider vinegar.

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes / Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: North American / Description: Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing / Dietary Info: Dairy Free, Meat Free

Ingredients:

1/4 of a medium cucumber, sliced

2 tbsp Vegenaise (or other mayo product)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp dried chives (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp dried dill (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp dried parsley (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh if available)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine cucumber, Vegenaise and apple cider vinegar in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add chives, dill, parsley and salt and pepper.

3. Serve immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Notes:

I usually pair this with a Mexican-style salad – spinach, grape tomatoes, red peppers, green onions and pumpkin seeds with black beans for protein. It also works great as a dip, although you might want to up the Vegenaise to make it thicker.


Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette

 

Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette | Healthy homemade salad dressing with soy sauce, rice vinegar, olive oil and sesame seeds.Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes / Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: Asian / Description: Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing / Dietary Info: Dairy Free, Meat Free

Ingredients:

2 tbsp soy sauce (or soy sauce alternative)

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I like to use garlic flavoured oil)

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp water

1/4 tsp ground ginger (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional, for spice)

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Notes:

This one goes with my “famous” Asian Noodle Salad – spinach, cucumbers, grated carrots, green onions, cooked rice noodles and almonds with tofu for protein. I also use it as the sauce for my Ginger Sesame Stir Fry – white onions, snap peas, carrots and tofu served over rice or rice noodles.


Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette | Healthy homemade salad dressing with dijon, vegan mayo, honey and apple cider vinegar.

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes / Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: North American / Description: Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing / Dietary Info: Dairy Free, Meat Free

Ingredients:

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp Vegenaise (or other mayo product)

1 tbsp liquid honey (or honey alternative such as agave syrup or coconut nectar)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp turmeric (optional, for added flavour and colour)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a cup and stir well.

2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Notes:

This is what I use for coleslaw dressing, but it really could be used for anything – including dip! Also works great with a kale slaw or broccoli slaw.


Lemon Dill Balsamic Vinaigrette

Lemon Dill Balsamic Vinaigrette | Healthy homemade salad dressing with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil.

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Total Time: 5 minutes / Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: North American / Description: Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing / Dietary Info: Dairy Free, Meat Free

Ingredients:

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I like to use garlic flavoured oil)

2 tbsp water

1/4 tsp dried dill (or fresh if available)

1/4 tsp garlic powder (or fresh if available)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a cup and stir well.

2. Serve immediately or refrigerate for future use.

Notes:

This is a fabulous all-purpose dressing. I use it on green salads, pasta salads, grain salads – even on cooked pasta dishes!


Do you make your own salad dressings? What’s your favourite salad dish? These days I’m loving a hearty salad bowl – baked chickpeas, veggies, served over rice and drizzled with one of the above. Yumma yumma… Don’t forget to subscribe for more recipes as well as posts on architecture, interior design, DIY projects, sustainability, gardening, home decor and healthy eating. You can also now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

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Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing | Healthy homemade salad dressing takes a bit of extra work, but the benefits are so worth it. Here are five of my favourites!

Posted on September 3, 2017

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