Take a peek in your pantry and fridge. Chances are you have all the ingredients you need to bottle up your own salad dressing. Why do that? Some store-bought dressings are full of artificial ingredients, chemical stabilizers and preservatives, including modified food starch, monosodium glutamate, artificial flavors and disodium phosphate. And others can be overloaded with sodium or simply not very fresh. Luckily, it's easy to make your own dressing. We've got seven delicious ways to go DIY.
1. Superfood Tahini Salad Dressing
If you like your salad dressing creamy, there's none creamier than this one. Tahini provides a distinct velvety consistency. And if you like your dressing loaded with superfood ingredients, this is once again a winner, thanks to the delightful combination of tahini, green tea, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and turmeric. Providing a lovely golden color, turmeric contains powerful, anti-inflammatory benefits. And as a bonus, this tangy, creamy dressing is vegan! Enjoy it with a leafy Mediterranean-style salad.
2. Sriracha Skyr “Ranch” Dressing
What's the most popular salad dressing in America? Ranch, according to the NPD Group, who calls it the "Swiss army knife of salad dressings." Unfortunately, it's frequently overloaded with unnatural ingredients. But you can have your ranch dressing and eat it too. It features skyr, an Icelandic-style yogurt rich in protein and probiotics. Or, if you prefer, use Greek yogurt. And don't forget the generous splash of Sriracha for a spicy kick. Drizzle it onto an all-American salad or drunk your raw veggies in it.
3. Green Goodness Dressing
This creamy vegan dressing is full of fresh goodness, thanks to all of its ingredients. What makes it vivid green? Avocado, parsley, chives, tarragon and culinary matcha. Matcha consists of stone-ground green tea leaves that can have a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels and fat metabolism. Pair this dressing with a leafy green salad (or dollop onto a baked sweet potato or grilled chicken).
Read more: For the Full Recipe: Green Goodness Dressing
4. Tropical Mango-Mint Vinaigrette
Sometimes salad needs a sweet balance. Sure, toss on fruit. Or for more fun, whirl that fruit in a blender with extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, red onion, fresh mint and pinch of sea salt. Nearly any fruit will do. Our recipe contains mango for a creamy, sweet, tropical twist. Mangoes are a key source of potentially cancer-protective polyphenols. Serve this refreshing vinaigrette on a salad containing dark greens and nuts, or drizzle over grilled fish.
5. Maple-Spiked Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The sweetness comes from no-sugar-added applesauce and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. The "heat" is mainly from chili paste. The end result? Delicious! Mix into a shredded cabbage salad, or toss it with a mixture of soba noodles, veggies and fresh cilantro.
6. Vegan Avocado “Caesar” Dressing
Obviously, you can't make Caesar salad without Caesar dressing. But you can make it with a new-fangled "Caesar" dressing. If you shout "no way" at the sight of anchovies or raw egg yolks, this dressing allows you to fully enjoy a memorable bowl of Caesar salad. Avocado provides creaminess (and a surprising amount of fiber; three grams per a third of a medium avocado). Vegan Worcestershire sauce and naturally brewed tamari give it a kick of umami. Toss the flavor-packed dressing with romaine and whole-grain croutons. If you're not a vegan — or just a part-time one — toss in some Parmesan cheese!
7. Anjou Pear-Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Anjou pear may sound fancy, but it's actually a commonly available pear. It provides natural sweetness and texture to this vinaigrette. But you need to know the trick: Gently press the pear's neck using your thumb; it's ripe when it yields to that pressure. When ripe, toss into your blender to create this fruity vinaigrette. The natural peach color comes from the addition of 100 percent pomegranate juice. The juice has more antioxidant potency than an equivalent amount of acai juice or red wine! Enjoy this vinaigrette on the salad of your choosing.
What Do YOU Think?
What's your favorite salad dressing? Have you ever made your own before? Which of these dressings most appeals to you?