By: Sue Pasqual
Who doesn’t love all of the in-season fruits and vegetables during the summer months? I know my refrigerator is packed with colorful variety! But, if you’re topping all of those healthy veggies with processed, high-calorie dressings then you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Ditch the dressings for the healthier options below!
Hitting up my local farmers market is my favorite way to not only support my community but also to support my health and weight loss goals through fresh, local foods. If you’re anything like me, you may have “eyes bigger than your stomach” and overbuy perishables that need to be eaten quickly. My go-to? A nice, large salad to pack them all in!
From fresh fruits and veggies to grass-fed proteins, I love to load up a summer salad with everything I can find and top it off with a tasty sauce! Depending on the variety of flavors you add to your salad, you may not even need a salad dressing, but it’s always good to have healthier options on-hand. So, to help you ditch the dressings, I thought I would discuss some of my favorite salad dressing hacks:
Oil & Vinegar
This one is obvious, but oil and vinegar can actually be very tasty! I love using specialty oils and vinegar since they give me the perfect amount of zest to spruce things up. One of my favorite combinations is lime-infused oil with coconut-infused vinegar. Don’t confuse infused vinegar with the strawberry vinaigrettes at restaurants! Those often have added sugars which, when we consume without being aware, can add up over time. Many specialty stores that infuse oils and vinegar do not use artificial flavors to enhance their oils and those are the ones to opt for. Trust me – these flavors can be life-changing!
If you still need something extra, consider adding spices! The amount of spices I have in my spice rack is unnerving, but there are so many concoctions I can make with them. Just start with some olive oil and play around with whatever you are in the mood for until you find the perfect balance.
It’s that simple! Especially when you’re already buying fresh, it’s easy to add in a few extra ingredients that make a salsa that’ll top…well, anything! Add a half of a whole guacamole and top with fresh salsa so you’re not only getting a salad’s worth of veggies, but also a delicious, veggie-packed salsa kick!
Make Your Own!
Vinegars, as long as they aren’t loaded with sugars, are not the dressings to worry about. But, if you like creamy dressings, then it may be time to shake things up. I suggest you make your own!
It’s so easy, anyone can do it. Simply start with plain Greek yogurt as your base, add in a little citrus, then top it off with your perfect blend of spices! I like to add lemon juice, garlic powder and mix it up. It is my go-to when I just want something creamy!
All in all, making a healthy salad can easily turn it to an unhealthy salad with salad dressings that are loaded with fats and sugars. Before you buy, think about the flavors you are trying to achieve and I guarantee you’ll find it easy to ditch the dressings and find a healthier version for you to master!