Salad dressing; the secret sauce that brings a potentially boring salad to life and infuses it with flavor!
Now I get it, in the busy-ness of life, you may not be making all your own dressings. Bottled salad dressings can be a time saver, and many household fridges boast a host of varieties in the fridge door.
Scan the grocery store shelves, and you have a bewildering array of bottled salad dressings, all offering ready to go convenience.
Good Fats/Bad Fats
The problem is, most of these commercial bottled salad dressings are made with inferior oils and preservatives that are not great for your health! Fats and oils are key for good health, certain oils can be pro inflammatory while others can be anti-inflammatory.
In the massive line up of salad dressings in the grocery store, the vast majority are made with inferior oils such as canola and soybean oil, which are potentially pro-inflammatory and not the best choice.
Very few will be made with pure olive oil, as olive oil is much more expensive, so manufacturers will employ a marketing trick of perceived value, where at first glance it appears as a healthy product.
This is where reading labels is SO important!
When looking at a label, you may not realize what’s really in the product unless you read the ingredients. Let’s take for example this label below, at first glance this appears to be a win, made with organic ingredients and olive oil, right?!
Look at the ingredient label below, and you will see the label on the front ‘Red Wine & Olive Oil’ is actually very misleading, along with the olive oil this product contains soybean oil!
What’s the problem with soybean oil? Many people are allergic with soybean products, so if you’re not being vigilant about reading labels you would miss this. Even though this soybean oil (1.) is organic, and non GMO, I am still not a fan of soybean oil as a health food.
Inherently unfermented soy contains goitrogens and anti-nutrients which can interfere with thyroid and hormonal activity. Soy also contains phytic acids which inhibit the absorption of minerals and it is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can be pro inflammatory when consumed out of balance to essential fatty acids.
Here’s another example, this product appears to be a simple Olive oil vinaigrette yet contains canola oil and soybean oil as well as undesirable preservatives and additives.
Out of all the cheap vegetable oils, canola oil (2.) is probably the one I have the biggest issue with. Made from the seed of the rapeseed plant, canola oil goes through a strenuous manufacturing process using a solvent called hexane, high heat, rollers and steam to extract the oil from the tint little seeds.
The end result product is really a potentially good thing gone bad; the natural omega 3 oils become denatured and unstable, as well as changing the trans-fat profile.
The solution! Make your own salad dressing at home where you can control which fats and oils are used in the product.
My best recommendations for your home-made salad dressing is either good quality extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (3.). Olive oil is predominantly a mono-unsaturated fat, rich in polyphenols with anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Avocado oil is relatively new on the scene as health food, and a great option for as a salad oil or for homemade mayonnaise and pestos. Predominantly a monounsaturated fat, avocado oil is high in heart healthy oleic acid and lutein.
I love to make my own salad dressings, dreaming up different flavor combinations to dress my latest salad creation. Now if you’re thinking that all too much work, take a look at my vinaigrette salad dressing ‘formula’.
It’s all about the proportions, making your own dressings is super quick and easy without a recipe using the salad dressing ‘formula’. First you need one-part acid base, to two parts oil, plus the seasonings.
Adjust this according to ingredients and taste, and the sky is the limit!
Lemons are just the perfect ingredient in recipes, enjoy my signature Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette!Print
- https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/04/13/ask-the-expert-concerns-about-canola-oil/ https://www.naturalnews.com/043948_canola_oil_hidden_health_dangers_food_bar.html