DIY Salad Dressings

Salads are an important part of eating a healthy, whole food, plant based, diet.  I eat at least one, and often two huge salads a day.  For me, the key to enjoying so much salad, is to keep them flavorful and interesting.  Making a new dressing does that in an instant, and add some fresh fruit, nuts, or seeds on top and you will end up with something that is very easy to enjoy.

This isn’t exactly a recipe, it’s a formula, or a guideline.  You’ll see below, there are 3 items that are going to leave you guessing, and that’s where your creativity comes into play.  You get to switch and swap those 3 items to literally create hundreds of different salad dressings based on whatever you feel like having at that time!

Salad Dressings
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup nuts
  • 1 cup fruit
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

That really is all there is to it.  Throw everything into a blender, and let it spin.  If you want it to be thicker, just add less water.  If you want it to be thinner add more.  If you don’t have basil, use something else.  You want a little kick, add some crushed red or cayenne pepper. You want it to be even more sweet, add some raisins, or a date.  The point is, you can make it into whatever you like!

Most of our recipes start out like this.

For the vinegar, use whatever kind you like.  We often use a regular balsamic, but others work very well too.  Here are some suggestions, but I think you will get the point.  Use whatever you want, like, or happen to have on hand.

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champaign vinegar
  • Red Wine vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Pomegranate vinegar
  • Waldburg Star Apple vinegar
  • Pear balsamic

For the nuts, you already know what I’m going to say…   Use whatever you want!  Almonds work well with a dark vinegar, cashews tend to give a more neutral flavor and work well with lighter fruits, peanuts can give you more of a Thai flavor, and others work just as well too.  We’ve used all of these with excellent results.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • pine nuts

For the fruit, I’m not even going to say it…  We use everything!  I’m particularly into apples, blueberries, cherries, and mango at the moment.  I mostly use frozen fruit, except for things like apples and pear that we always have fresh.  Try some of these:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Pear
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple

Beyond that, you can do whatever you want with the garlic, herbs, and spices to tweak the flavors.  I always taste the dressing before taking it out of the blender, just in case I think it needs a little something else.  Some other things you might consider adding are:

  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Flax Seeds
  • Raisins
  • Citrus (A few orange sections, or some lemon)

While I really like the idea of using the formula and making whatever I feel like at the moment, I know some of you will appreciate starting with a tried and true recipe.  So, here are 2.  I’ve made all of these, and completely enjoyed them.  I hope you do too!

 

Apple Champagne Vinaigrette
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 apple
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

 

Cherry Pecan Balsamic
5.0 from 1 reviews
Print
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 1 cup dark cherries (frozen is fine)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

If you come up with a winning combination of your own, comment below so the rest of us can give that a try too!!

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Orange Ginger
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup rice vinegar
    1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
    1 cup fresh orange
    3 cloves garlic
    3 dates
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon soy sauce.

    I really like this “formula” or “guideline” style of recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: