Healthy Salad Dressings

Healthy Salad Dressings

To make a healthy salad dressings, you could start by reducing the amount of saturated fat in the creamy dressings. Replace 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with half an avocado that has been pureed in a food processor or blender. This makes a delicious green dressing. You may also replace the oil in dressings. Just substitute strong brewed tea for one-third of the oil in a standard vinaigrette. (The tea helps balance the acidity of the vinegar.) Or whisk in other liquids, such as broth, fruit juice, fruit nectars, fruit purees, vegetable juice, or vegetable purees. If using thin liquids such as fruit juice or broth, thicken the dressing with cornstarch, arrowroot or gelatin so that it coats the greens better.

To make a tomato-flavored vinaigrette with extra body, you can cut 1 fresh tomato in half and grate the halves on a hand grater into a bowl (the skins will be left behind). Use the fresh tomato pulp to replace about one-fourth of the oil. Another way to add body to a reduced-oil dressing is to puree it in a blender with 1/4 cup well-cooked rice or a chunk of cooked potato.

Five Low-Fat Creamy Salad Dressings

Rich, creamy salad dressings don't have to be sky-high in fat and calories. Try the basic recipe below or make the variations. Each makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Basic Low-Fat Creamy Dressing : Whisk together 3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

Low-Fat Green Goddess Dressing : Stir in 3 tablespoons each chopped scallions and chopped fresh parsley, and 1/2 crushed garlic clove.

Low-Fat Russian Dressing : Add 1/3 cup bottled chili sauce, 2 tablespoons each chopped celery and pimiento and another 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Low-Fat Creamy Italian Dressing : Add 1 teaspoon jarred roasted garlic, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 chopped scallion, and 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil.

Low-Fat Ranch Dressing : Replace the white wine vinegar with cider vinegar. Add 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 teaspoon each sugar, dried celery flakes and celery seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder.

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