(c) 2011, Kathy Fannon
I was asked the other day what I thought about Good Seasons Italian dressing. I was not familiar with the powder packet, so I did a little research. Here is what I found.
I used the "All Natural" version as opposed to the "Zesty".
The first two ingredients are sugar and salt (!), both of which we need to control in out diets. Sugar contributes to obesity and salt we need to be careful not to have too much of.
The next ingredient is sodium citrate, which is an additive to help 'gelling' in liquids and gives salty or acidic flavor and works as a stabilizer.
Xanthan gum is sold at health food stores, but again, it's a processed food additive, used as a thickener.
Maltodextrin (from corn) is also a thickener.
Natural flavor is always something to avoid, along with artificial flavors, as it's a mix of chemicals.
Guar gum is yet another thickener.
Citric acid is a preservative and used to give an acidic flavor.
Then there are the dehydrated ingredients...garlic, onion, red bell peppers, carrots and parsley. My advice? I'd chop fresh veggies and put 'em in the salad! (Or chop 'em super small and add 'em to the dressing.)
So you could do this: make an oil and vinegar dressing and add some garlic powder and parsley flakes (or fresh of both would be even better), and use the fresh veggies.
Making your own dressing doesn't really save you any calories, but it will save the unnecessary chemicals and additives. It will also cut out the sugar and cut WAY back on the salt, as you can sprinkle in a little or none...whatever you want.
Oil and Vinegar Dressing*
1 Part Olive Oil (or Walnut, Grapeseed or Sesame Oil from the health food store)
1 Part Red Wine Vinegar
I'm lazy, so I just measure each seperately into a teaspoon spoon and pour it over my salad. You could mix it in a coffee cup or a Tupperware container with a lid, especially if you add spices/veggies and want to shake it up. (Or if you want to make enough to keep on hand for later.)
*I love vinegar but this ratio may be a little strong for some people. If you're not a vinegar lover use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.
(For just one salad, I use 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of vinegar.)
2 Parts Olive Oil (or Walnut, Grapeseed or Sesame Oil)
1 Part Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic is a rich vinegar and a little goes a long way. It's more expensive, but delicious!
*I love vinegar but this ratio may be a little strong for some people. If you're not a vinegar lover use 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar.
(For just one salad, I use 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of vinegar.)
Do you make salad dressing at home from scratch? I'd love for you to share your favorite recipes, either your own or from somewhere on the world wide web!