Long gone are the days of hearty soups, stews, and roasted root vegetables that kept our souls warm and our bellies nourished all winter long. Spring and Summer mark a time to celebrate fresh, light, and vibrant vegetables. It's salad season!
While salads are probably one of the healthiest meals of all, how we dress our salad can totally make or break our healthiest intentions. In fact, store bought dressings can oftentimes be what I call the "undo" button, capable of completely sabotaging what could have been a delicious and nourishing meal.
Don't believe me? Head to your fridge or pantry, pick up a store-bought dressing, and take a glance at the list of ingredients. More times than not, you will find a long list of highly processed ingredients, including sneaky sugar, excess sodium, and highly refined oils, along with an assortment of artificial additives and preservatives.
So, how do we dress our salads for success? You can start by learning what to look for when reading the nutrition label of store-bought salad dressing, which I explained in detail here. And while there are a few good products currently on the market, such as Tessemae's All Natural Dressings, the truth is, you're better off making your own. DIY dressing is a no brainer - it's healthier, more affordable, and puts you back in the driver's seat.
The idea of making your own salad dressing may feel intimidating, but after a little practice, it becomes second nature. To make it extra simple, here's a step-by-step guide to DIY salad dressings.
When it comes to making a salad dressing, I follow a simple acronym: FASSS — Fat, Acid, Seasoning, Salt & Sweet. FASSS represents the 5 key components of a delicious and nutrient-rich salad dressing, with no recipe required! Let's break it down:
Here's an example of the FASSS method:
Everyday Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
I make this at the beginning of every week so that it's in the fridge ready to go. It's super simple to make, and incredibly versatile - I love it on salads, roasted veggies, fish, chicken - you name it. Here's the FASSS breakdown:
Now take what you learned and put it into practice. Here's your homework assignment for the week:
- Save an old glass condiment container, or buy a case of mason jars.
- Pick a dressing to try (I've included a few of my favorite combinations below for your to experiment with, or try hacking your favorite store bought dressing)
- Jot down the FASSS ingredients you plan to use
- Add them to the mason jar, give it a shake. Store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- Report back - I want to hear, how did it go for you? Leave comments below.
For more DIY dressing ideas, see additional recipes below!