I will confess to being a BLUE CHEESE DRESSING ADDICT! It is my very favorite and it is so not a good choice. So many calories, so much saturated fat. So I decided it was time to find better alternatives. I started making my own and want to share some ideas with you. Let me say there are some AMAZING Balsamic out there that you can just use those and save 100’s of calories. Let’s start with what you will need.
Choose your fat:
When choosing your fat and wanting to stay healthy we want to choose the most healthy fats. The ones with the least saturated fat and are vitamin rich. These are good choices and won’t overwhelm so they work well in dressings and marinades.
- Olive Oil
- Avocado oil
- Grape seed oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
Choose your Emulsifier
An emulsifier is important to hold it all together. But because we are choosing to stay healthy and lower calories we stay away from our mayo’s (unless light) and sour creams. Here are some good choices. Using small amounts of he sweeteners however.
- Mustards: Whole grain, yellow, brown, spicy
- Honey, maple syrup, agave
- Tomato paste
- Greek Yogurt
- Avocado (if using this as emulsifier you will need to use within. 2 to 4 days and right away is BETTER)
Choose your Acid
Acid brings out the flavor in everything else. You can go anywhere here. Here are some suggestions.
- Juices: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Pineapple
- Vinegars: Balsamic, Rice wine, Champagne, Red Wine, Apple Cider, White Wine
Choose a Seasoning
You are only limited by your own imagination here. I love going to the spice aisle but honestly anything works. Here are some suggestions but open the cabinet and see what you have. Remember there really isn’t any right or wrong and you are making small batches so if you don’t like it you won’t be wasting much.
- Salt: white, pink, black, seasoning
- Pepper; White, black, pink, green
- Mrs Dash ( a no salt alternative with tons of variety’s)
- Ranch Seasoning
- Italian Seasoning
Choose a Aromatic
These add and heightened your flavor and round out a complete dressing.
- Minced Shallots: dried, fresh, roasted
- Minced Garlic: roasted, fresh, dried
- Zests: Orange, lime, lemon
- Ginger :freshly grated or dried
- Chiles: diced or dried (choose your heat)
Most dressings can be made and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Except Fruit dressings they should be used within 4 days. Below you will find some fun and easy recipes. You can make them in small amounts and have new dressings often. All of them can also be used as marinades fro fish, shrimp and chicken.
Raspberry Or Strawberry Dressing
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries Or strawberries
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil or Avocado oil
- 1 tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 tbsp. honey
- Optional for the strawberry Dressing add 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Add all ingredients (Except poppy seeds is making strawberry poppy seed add after emulsifying) to Food processor or blender until smooth. Use within 4 days.
Lemon Garlic Dressing
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic (Minced)
- 1/8 cup Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Put all ingredients in a jar and Shake well before use. Can be kept refrigerated for up To 2 weeks. Can be Doubled or Tripled.
Greek Yogurt Ranch
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons Ranch mix
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Lime juice
- 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Put all Ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Avocado Lime Dressing
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 teaspoon minced Roasted garlic
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- salt and pepper to taste
Put the avocado flesh, minced garlic, lime juice, olive oil and greek yogurt into a food processor. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Use within 3 days But immediately is best.
Sesame Ginger Dressing or Marinade
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water
Put all ingredients in a Jar and shake before use. Should be used within 2 weeks.
Perfect Italian dressing or Marinade
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey, to taste
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Put all ingredients in a Jar and shake before use. Should be used within 2 weeks. This one is perfect for pasta salad too.
I hope this has given you a lot of ideas to created your own dressings and cut both calories and fat from your dressings and marinades. Super easy and super fast. Feel free to share your favorites too! I love hearing your ideas.