Sneaky Salad Dressings!

Who has fallen into the trap of ordering a salad thinking it’s the healthier option but then lashing loads of creamy dressing on top? Some of us might have even thought it would be better to avoid the creamy stuff and stick to oils or lighter dressings, thinking that’s going to be the healthy way to go. Well, we’re sorry to break it to you but you probably should have had a burger and fries…

It’s easy to get tricked by labels, most say they’re good for you or that they’re a lighter version of their full fat counterpart but truth is they’re probably not. What some “healthier” dressings may lack in calories they make up for and then some in sugar and salt, which are equally as bad for you in large amounts. Some dressings contain eighteen grams of fat, and some even contain twelve grams of sugar. Think about that amount of sugar on your cereal and it’s enough to make your teeth vibrate.

For example, Tesco Lighter Choices Balsamic dressing despite the name, is hiding 11.4 grams of sugar inside the bottle. Sainsbury’s Basic French dressing contains a whopping 18.8 grams of fat, and ASDA’s supposedly Good For You French dressing contains even more fat; 23.8 grams to be exact. Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself Honey Mustard dressing contains 10.8 grams of sugar, whereas Tiger Tiger Thai Red dressing has an eye watering 32 grams of sugar… See where this is headed? You’re best off making your own, and here’s how.

Simply take:

  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

And then simply whisk all the ingredients except the olive oil together until well combined, then as you continue whisking pour the olive oil in in a steady stream. Hey presto, a quick and delicious dressing, with half the salt and sugar, with no additives or preservatives.

Another easy way to give a kick to your salad is simply olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice whisked together and tossed very lightly over the leaves. You can use citrus juices too.

French dressing is simple. Finely chop 1/2 of a peeled clove of garlic then place this in a bowl along with 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar, and 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk thoroughly to combine.

For a yummy and cool yoghurt dressing, place 1/3 cup of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a bowl with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well with a fork and serve in a little dish for people to use to taste.

There are lots of easy ways to make your own dressings at home, and with no additives and preservatives or hidden nasties, it’s a lot better for you and fun too. A dressing is something to kids can do, and if you’re a busy bee it’s no trouble at all to whisk a few things together in a bowl. Yummy goodness all round.


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