There are more than a few ways to make homemade salad dressing. You can keep it really simple and start with apple cider vinegar and hemp or flax oil. I prefer flax oil because it has a nice profile of Omega Fatty Acids 3,6 and 9. This is my personal favorite brand (Nutiva) and best price to buy it. I use apple cider vinegar by Braggs. There are several options out there for Apple Cider Vinegar but always look for a brand that says, "with the mother" on the label. Sounds a little weird but it basically means that it's unfiltered and that it will contain strands of beneficial bacterias and enzymes, the "living" part of the venegar that makes it so beneficial to you. This is great for anyone with digestive issues like acid reflux or indigestion of any kind too.
So Oil and Vinegar are the 2 basic components; But what do you want to flavor your oil and vinegar with? Well you can't go wrong with the following herbs:
One of the coolest things I did recently was I had a basil plant that went to flower and I collected a handful of hte flowers. I soaked them in apple cider vinegar for about 2 months and the vinegar is left with this really pleasant basil aroma- nice! I did the same thing with olive oil over the summer too. I simply harvested some basil (or just buy some), chopped them up and soaked them in olive oil for about 4 weeks. The oil absorbes the flavor of whatever herb you soak it in so it works quite nicely with any of the above herbs.
So, on to the recipe. Here's what you need:
- 3/4 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Organic Hemp Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1/4 of a small Yellow or White Onion
- 1 tsp of Rosemary
- 1 tsp of Sage
- 1/2 packet of stevia (or make to taste)
- 1/2 tsp of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Combine all ingredients in a canning jar. If your herbs are fresh, chop them finely or use a mortar and pestle to grind them up first. I like to use a Garlic Press on my garlic and onion, it creates alot of juice from them which flavors the dressing nicely.
Place a lid on the dressing and shake once per day for 4 days. This gives the dressing time to really marinate in the flavors of the herbs. You can either keep it in a cupboard or a window, it doesn't really matter. If the herbs are fresh it is advisable to cover the jar with a paper towel and stir instead of shake. Water in fresh herbs can then escape and this will help the dressing keep longer to inhibit bacterial growth.
After 4 days or so you can either strain all the herbs out or you can leave them in there. I say LEAVE THEM; this way it will continue to get more flavorful as time passes. Also it gives the dressing a nice texture this way.
Dressings that are homemade are healthier and when made with herbs like garlic, sage and rosemary they even have a medicinal effect on the body. Garlic is strongly antibiotic, sage is a great respiratory herb and rosemary is stimulating and beneficial for digestion making it a perfect addition to dressings. AND it's darn tasty.
Don't have time for this? Combine vinegar and oil portion of the dressing and pick up a young living orange essential oil to flavor it. It's the easiest dressing I've ever made and it's surprisingly flavorful. Just add about 15 drops to start to the vinegar and oil combo and add more based on your tastes. You can also sweeten this quick and easy recipe with that half a packet of stevia from the Herb Dressing recipe I mentioned. I like Tree of Life brand stevia. Less is more with that stuff though. 1 tsp of Stevia equals 1 cup of sugar in sweetness so go easy on it!
Let me know some of your dressing recipes as I'm always interested to hear what others are creating. Enjoy!