What the warmer weather promotes is eating lighter, those healthier and more natural foods with lower calories.
On the back burner goes those hearty meals such as the beef stews and the heavy chili dinners and casseroles, which comforts our stomachs and appetites.
What summer provides is eating more of what nature has to offer, healthier foods such as crisp dark green salads along with wholesome garden fresh fruits and vegetables, which bursts with flavor while agreeing with our waistline.
Although eating lighter foods is more favorable, what can often be overlooked is the actual belief that there’s a reduction in ones calorie intake because of eating more of these natural foods.
The truth being that this always isn’t the case, and what’s been identified as the main culprit of unwanted fat and empty caloric sugar are the store bought dressings which we use in abundance on these garden salads.
These salad dressings which are pre-made are extremely heavy in calories and preservatives, regardless if they’re creamy, oil based, or low-fat. The best solution being attempting to moderate the amount of dressing that’s used.
The majority of these traditionally available mass produced salad dressings can turn an usually healthy salad into a fat laden, calorie heavy meal which rivals any fast food burger.
These bottled dressings contains a lot of longevity chemicals and preservatives, while also containing anywhere from 10 to 25 grams of fat per average serving.
So the solution is to just make your own healthy salad dressings, where you can control the taste, ingredients, and the calorie content.
Preparation Basics For Your Own Healthy Low-Fat Salad Dressing
There are a variety of commercial dressings which are actually “low-fat” in calories, but are often masked with unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy amounts of sodium to enhance its taste.
The best way to counteract this is to just make your own delicious homemade dressing. The key to preparing them is by regulating the amount and the types of oils used, along with controlling the other fats, while using ingredients which adds flavor and texture.
What the base oil that’s used in any salad dressing does is it serves a few specific purposes, the most important being they provide a “cling” and “binding” factor to the dressing.
The reason this is necessary is because it balances out your acidic flavored ingredients that you use. For instance, the herbs and vinegars won’t sink to the bottom of the salad bowl, as what the oil does is it will distribute them evenly while keeping them in motion.
What the oil base also does is it serves to soften and then balances out the stronger acids, so that the taste becomes more pleasing to the palate.
The Types Of Healthy Salad Dressings
When thinking of a healthy dressing, the majority will usually prefer the creamier based variety of dressing in favor of a more vinaigrette and oil base liquid dressing.
The classic vinaigrette will also usually use a 3-to-1 or a 4-to-1 ratio of fats to acid. So when using red wine vinegar and olive oil, the ratio will usually yield at least 12 grams of fat per every tablespoon of dressing.
The Constitution Of A Healthy Salad Dressing
Beginning With The Oils
When you’re initially choosing the oils for your dressing, first think of the flavors that you’re wanting to establish. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the most popular and always an excellent and flavorful healthy choice to use.
But there are other varieties of oil, as exotic as they may be, such as certain nut oils which includes: macadamia, almond, and hazelnut oils.
What each of these oils contributes are different yet complex subtle flavors which can complement the tone and texture of a salad. Olive oil, as well as most of the nut oils are also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, the good fats.
What you can also do is reduce the amount of oil in any dressing, this by up to 40% percent or so, provided that the other ingredients which balances out the dressing don’t become too acidic.
One of the most common complaints when reducing the content of oil is the lack of a thick texture which oil usually brings to the various recipes.
What you can then do is use a substitute such as Dijon mustard which acts as an emulsifier, making up for the reduced oil. Similar to oil, the mustard is thick enough so it will bind with the other ingredients while adding that tangy zip.
Preparing Healthy Creamy Dressings
When it comes to preparing healthy homemade low calorie creamy dressings, the most popular emulsifiers which are most often used are mayonnaise or sour cream, along with oil.
What these ingredients provides for is a healthy option when it comes to providing an excellent tasting dressing, while also being easy to prepare.
Excellent substitutes which can be used when preparing creamy dressing includes: fat reduced sour cream, nonfat yogurt, or low calorie mayonnaise. They all add their own unique flavor, being capable of producing a delicious dressing which can coat the vegetables quite well.
You can also try using buttermilk since it’s also usually reduced in fat, or completely nonfat altogether. Buttermilk is also thick in texture as well as tangy and mild, which adds a unique flavor to the dressing.
Once you begin using a bit of creativity and ingenuity, it then becomes possible to make a healthy salad dressing without needing to sacrifice taste and nutrition by cutting down down or completely eliminating the fat, calories, preservatives, and chemicals.