We all have busy schedules, and sometimes it feels like you can’t possibly fit one more thing into your already jammed-packed day. Lately, this has been my reason for not making my own salad dressing. I know it sounds silly, but I always think it’s more complicated than it actually is. One of my favourite bloggers & nutritionists, Lauren Slayton, wrote a great post that includes a really easy lemon vinaigrette recipe, and it inspired me. I’m now going to commit the extra 5 – 10 minutes per week to start making my own salad dressing again.
What’s wrong with store-bought dressings you ask? Well, most of them have a laundry list of ingredients/preservatives that are difficult to pronounce & not something you want to be consuming, lots of added refined sugar, are high in fat (the creamy ones) and can be quite expensive.
Here are some benefits of making your own dressing:
Natural – you know & can pronounce all the ingredients that go into it
Easy – make a batch at the beginning of the week and use throughout the week
Versatile – if you just make the lemon vinaigrette base, you can transfer to another jar, and mix in different vinegars & spices throughout the week to have a different salad dressing everyday!
Cheaper – most people have olive oil, lemon and vinegar in their house anyways, so you can save some money by not having to buy a few different dressings that can run you about $5 each
Custom – you can add in whatever you want to match the salad you’re making: Dijon mustard, fresh herbs, minced garlic, orange juice, cranberry juice, honey or maple syrup. And instead of lemon as the acid; you can use balsamic vinegar, white or red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
A good rule of thumb: depending on how much acid you use (ex. 2 tbsp); always double the amount of oil (ex. 4 tbsp).
And remember, just because you’re making your own dressing doesn’t mean you can dump it on. Oil-based dressings are still about 60 calories per tbsp, so take it easy.
Here’s the easy recipe from Lauren S:
Easy Lemon Vinaigrette
You will need:
-1 small jar (you can buy Mason jars at Canadian Tire) or salad dressing emulsifier (Williams-Sonoma makes a great one – I love mine, thanks mom)
-1 lemon (lemons produce three to four Tbsp of juice)
-Olive Oil (double the amount of lemon juice)
-Salt (optional) and Pepper
Squeeze lemon juice in jar, add oil and shake. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Easy right?