Wow, yes indeed, a tricky subject is salad dressings. Are they a good thing or a bad thing?
Salads can be very difficult things to eat, and contrary to the popular photos that are banded about of women happily munching on lettuce leaves, well lets face it they just aren't chocolate cream cakes are they?
Personally I do love my salads, the tastes, the scents, the textures are a sensual treat, but they can be ridiculously hard work to eat and although speedy and convenient to put together, they often take a long time to chew and swallow which is no good for lunch on the run if you are a busy busy person.
On the other hand this is not such a bad thing because it means you will eat less and we all know that most of us eat far too much.
Anyhow, what I am getting at is, that most people cannot eat a salad without smothering it in something to help it down; In other words, a salad dressing. Salad dressings of course can also add flavour, but you can blame that need on a boring bland and unpalatable concoction.
What I do is keep two spray bottles, one of olive oil and one of balsamic vinegar and give my salads a light spray of each.
Simple. Sometimes I don't bother. if you have enough tastes such as spicy rocket, sweet basil with its hint of licorice, juicy tomatoes, crunchy apple - all these flavours and crunches are enough to keep my interest up without having to cover it all up with mayonnaise. In fact the mayonnaise can easily spoil a salad by hiding all these wonderful delightful flavours
The big problem however with dressings is that they can make what started out as a healthy meal into an unhealthy one laden with sugar, salt, other unnecessary additives and too many calories which slip down too easily.
So what makes a salad dressing a healthy one?
It all depends what we mean by healthy which it is a totally subjective word. It changes with the changing fashions in health. This is why I am so keen on "real food" If you are eating food as it is given to us by nature, you can't really go wrong and should stay immune to the latest trends. One day it is low fat another day you need to cut out sugar. Then another day fat is fine if its the right kind and then the same with sugar. Eat three square meals a day, then it's eat small frequent meals. have stuff with fibre, and more fibre and added fibre but don't take too much fibre - it goes on and on. Choosing real food is like choosing a classic outfit instead of whatever is latest on the catwalk - it will always look goos and will never date. What will never change with food is that plain food, (not tampered with, not modified, nothing taken away, nothing added) is good food.
With dressings, my opinion is that it is best to go without. If you really must have a dressing make it yourself out of stuff you trust, not just so you know exactly what you are eating, but also because if you have taken the trouble to make it yourself it will be more precious to you and you will use less of it.
Experiment. Take a cleaned small jam jar or other glass jar and fill three quarters with a vinegar of your choice. Add a small quantity of oil, then dried or fresh herbs and spices. I think it is nice to have a little piece of fresh root ginger and a few chunks of fresh garlic soaking in the bottom too. Keep it in the fridge and simply shake and use a spoon to sprinkle
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