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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oil-Free Salad Dressing...seriously?

Yep, and it's tasty too!

I tend to follow a no added oil and low fat plant based diet, which means that salad dressing can't use oil..."oh the horror" you say? Not really. There are plenty of good oil free salad dressings. I hate store bought salad dressing, even before I was plant based, I didn't really like them. It's just not fresh and they use a lot of unhealthy overly processed fats (oil). Whole Foods now has some fairly good oil free mostly vegan dressings in their refrigerated section, but they are pricey and you don't get much for the buck! So I am always experimenting with my own salad dressing. I love balsamic vinegar, so here is what I came up with. 

Oil-Free Balsamic Salad Dressing

2 TBS. water
2 TBS. balsamic vinegar
1 TBS. dijon mustard
1 TBS. rice wine vinegar
1 TBS. roasted raw almonds (ground) *
1 TBS. nutritional yeast
1 tsp chia seeds soaked in 1 TBS water for 5 minutes **
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Put all in a blender and blend well.

* Roasted raw almonds - I make my own almond milk and therefore I always have raw unpasteurized almonds. I buy them online from Bremner Farms Roadside Stand in California (http://shop.organicalmondsraw.com/)

To make the roasted almonds, after soaking, put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then once they are cooled, put them in a flat blade grinder (you can use a coffee grinder - as long as you aren't using it to grind coffee beans!). Then store them in an air tight glass container in the refrigerator and use as needed.

Soaking raw almonds is a MUST! I could go into great detail, but if you want to know why, check out this link from Frugivore.

**chia seeds - I add these because chia seeds are a little powerhouse of Omega 3, but also because they add a bit of bulk to the dressing. When chia seeds meet water, they gel up! You could use flax seed, but flax seeds must be ground before you eat them otherwise they just go right through you...whole! And then you lose much of the benefits of the flax seeds.