I have converting my life to a whole plant based diet without added fat. In many ways it’s incredibly easy because I’m not a fan of meat, anyway. I don’t drink cows milk at all, and love almond milk – the only thing I really miss is cheese. Sigh. And I’m one of those weird people who truly love salads. To me, they’re not just a “healthy food” but a positive taste treat. Which brings me to oil-free salad dressing.
Ann Esselstyn is a big name in the plant diet community and she states that the biggest single challenge is finding a salad dressing to really love. Amen, Ann. But at last I have one and there’s a ‘secret’ ingredient that makes it great.
Strawberry Oil Free Dressing Recipe
I got this recipe off the Mrs. Plant in Texas blog.
1 1/2 cups of fresh, organic strawberries
1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar
1 t. dijon mustard
2 t. chia seeds
2 t. sweetener
I made some adjustments, as usual. First, my strawberries were from Costco and weren’t organic but were certainly delicious. Secondly, I only had ‘regular’ balsamic vinegar – no raspberry. I don’t know what kind of mustard I used since I am a mustard freak and have all kinds. And I used agave for the sweetener.
Preparation: Take all of the above and process it until it’s smooth. I used my trusty Ninja and it was beautiful!
The “Secret” Ingredient I Promised You
I have found other dressing flavors that I like, but without oil, the dressing just falls to the bottom of the bowl. Oil clings to lettuce, tomatoes and the goodies in the salad and without oil there is no “clinginess”. But the chia seeds make the difference. After you make your dressing, let in sit in the refrigerator for a few hours and it will get thick because of the chia seeds. Then it clings beautifully. I just ate a side salad of artisan lettuce and organic cherry tomatoes and the dressing was all over my lettuce and tomatoes.
The results of this recipe is a thick dressing that is beautiful, sweet and tart. It’s delicious.
How To Vary This Dressing
#1: Use all kinds of different berries and fruits rather than only strawberries. Like:
> Uncommon berries like chokecherries, boysenberries, gooseberries
There are fruits that might work:
I’m not sure if apples will work because it doesn’t blend into a smooth liquid like the other fruits.
#2: Flaxseeds might work as well as chia seeds for making the dressing thick. It’s definitely worth a bit of experimentation.
#3: It would be easy to experiment with different sweeteners, mustards and vinegars.
It will be easy to create an entire repertoire of dressings. And now I have to end this article because I’m off to make a gorgeous blueberry dressing. :-)