Three Salad Dressings You Need to Try

Toss Your Other Dressings Aside

When you think of a healthy meal, what comes to mind? We are willing to bet “a salad” made it somewhere on that list of possibilities. But even a salad full of your favorite greens, proteins, grains and veggies can take a turn for the worse with one simple ingredient: salad dressing.

Yes, this finishing touch on our bowl of otherwise-healthy goodness may be loaded with bad fats, sugar, artificial flavors, sodium and preservatives. Yikes. What’s a salad lover to do?

That’s easy; make your own dressing! From a lower-fat Caesar and tangy Italian dressing to an oil-free vinaigrette, we have three simple recipes that will help keep your salad choices fresh, flavorful and fun to eat. You can even customize these to your own taste. All you need is a blender and some airtight containers (like a Mason jar), and you’re ready to dress up your next meal!

Try one—or all three—and share a pic with #TakingOnHealthy.

Oil-Free Balsamic Strawberry Dressing

Oil-Free Balsamic Strawberry Dressing

Who doesn’t love a good vinaigrette? They’re delicious. However, if you’re watching your fat intake, an oil-based dressing may not be your best option. To cut the fat but not the flavor, you need this dressing in your life. With strawberries as the star and applesauce instead of oil, it’s a refreshing twist on your typical vinaigrette. Bonus: It can also be used as dipping sauce for a loaf of fresh crusty bread or even as a marinade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup fresh strawberries, washed, stems and hulls removed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup water to thin as needed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, agave or organic sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add water to thin to desired consistency, and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pour into a sealed container and keep refrigerated.

Nutrition information per serving:

Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Makes: 1.5 cups

Calories:7
Fat:0 g
Carbs:1.8 g
Protein:0.1g

Oil-Free Balsamic Strawberry Dressing

Lower-Fat and Flavorful Creamy Caesar Dressing

If you love Caesar salad but not the fat that comes with it, then this is like the holy grail of salad dressings. We have finally found a Caesar dressing that cuts down on unwanted fat without losing the classic Caesar flavor—because, really, this salad is basically just lettuce without the dressing, right? Greek yogurt gives it the creamy texture we crave, while things like parmesan cheese, garlic and capers give it that punch we’re all looking for. And don’t worry; we didn’t forget the anchovies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt or nondairy yogurt for vegan version
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 cloves garlic—more for the daring!
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or substitute vegan parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Optional: 2 anchovy fillets (skip for vegan version)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to the blender except the olive oil. Slowly add olive oil to emulsify to desired texture.

Nutrition information per serving (includes anchovy fillets):

Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Makes: 1 cup

Calories:28
Fat:1 g
Carbs:2 g
Protein:3 g
Fiber:0.2 g
Sugar:1 g
Sodium:77 mg

Oil-Free Balsamic Strawberry Dressing

Low-Fat Tangy Italian Dressing (naturally vegan)

Italian food is a staple of many households. Whether it’s a homemade marinara sauce or those go-to meatballs that even the kiddos love, we have the perfect accompaniment to your next Italian feast. Our version of Italian dressing is lower in fat but boasts an amazing tanginess that’s great as a dressing for salads, including antipasto and pasta salads; as a marinade; or as a dip for those irresistible breadsticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons your favorite Italian herb blend
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:

In a Mason jar with a lid, add the broth and the xanthan gum. Shake together and let sit 1 or 2 minutes, and then shake again. Let sit another minute. This thickens the mixture and creates the dressing base to give body to the dressing, sans oil. Now add all the remaining ingredients, except the oil. Shake together until well blended. Add the olive oil and shake one final time.

Nutrition information per serving:

Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Makes: 1 cup

Calories:21
Fat:1 g
Carbs:3 g
Protein:1 g
Fiber:1 g
Sugar:2 g
Sodium:147 mg

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