Sarah Pope is a local chapter leader in Florida. She also blogs as The Healthy Home Economist.
Transcript: Salad Dressings and Basic Sauces
By Sarah Pope
Hello! Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader here with you again to demonstrate how to quickly and easily make healthy salad dressings and sauces for your family.
Salad dressings have gotten a bad rap in recent years due to confusion about fats; and this has led dieticians and nutritionists to advise against them – suggesting either lowfat dressings or lemon juice as alternatives.
The problem is that salads dressed only in lemon juice are tasteless and unappetizing. Lowfat commercial dressings are loaded with neurotoxic MSG in the form of hydrolyzed vegetable protein or hidden away under the “natural flavors” label.
Even the regular versions of bottled, commercial dressings are made with cheap, low quality oils that have been made rancid with high temperature processing. Stabilizers, preservatives, artificial flavors, colors and belly-bulging corn syrup add further insult to injury.
Even organic healthfood store dressings made with canola oil should be avoided. Canola oil is high in brain boosting omega 3 fats, but it goes rancid very easily, requiring manufacturers to deodorize the oil to hide the off smell; the deodorizing process forms a dangerous form of trans fat, not listed on the label of these supposedly healthy dressings.
The solution to the many problems with store bought dressings is to make your own. Excellent dressing takes very little time to make and requires no other equipment than a fork and a bowl. Homemade dressing should include extra virgin olive oil plus raw vinegar or lemon juice in proportions that suit your personal taste.
Extra virgin olive oil provides oleic acid, which is a very stable monounsaturated fatty acid with numerous health benefits including protection from heart disease. Look for olive oil that is cloudy and golden yellow in color, which indicates unfiltered oil that has been pressed from ripe olives.
A small amount of expeller-pressed flax oil can also be added to provide valuable, heart healthy omega 3 fats. It is best to skip the flax oil or substitute walnut oil if you have thyroid or other hormonal issues, however, as flax can be slightly goitrogenic.
Let me show you how easy it is to make a fresh, healthy dressing yourself with quality ingredients.
To make a basic salad dressing, dip a fork into the jar of mustard, scoop out about a teaspoon and place in a small bowl. Add 2 TBL plus 1 tsp raw wine or apple cider vinegar and mix with a fork. Add ½ cup olive oil in a thin stream stirring constantly with the fork until the oil is emulsified. Add 1 tsp flax oil and use immediately.
An easy variation on this basic dressing is to make a creamy dressing by adding ¼ cup of cultured cream or creme fraiche to ¾ cup of this basic dressing and blend with a fork.
Like salad dressings, mayonnaise is a condiment that has a reputation for bulging the backside and contributing to heart disease and other inflammatory conditions.
While this may be true for store bought mayo, homemade versions impart valuable enzymes and nutrients to your meal!
Food needn’t be dry and bland! Learning to make your own mayo will add zest to any meal that you can feel great about eating.
To make mayo, wash 2 eggs in warm soapy water, dry and then crack one egg into a small food processor. Separate the other egg and add the yolk. Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 ½ TBL lemon juice and a generous pinch of sea salt.
You may also add 1 TBL homemade whey – this is optional but adds several weeks of refrigerated shelf life to mayo. To learn how to make liquid whey, see the video on my blog (thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/05/video-liquid-whey-and-cream-cheese)
Pulse the food processor to mix.
Next add ¾ – 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil, expeller-pressed sesame oil, coconut oil or ghee, or a combination of these oils in a thin stream while pulsing the food processor. That’s all there is to it!
A delicious variation on the homemade mayo is to add a tsp or two of onion powder for a mouth watering ranch dressing for salads and dips!
Ketchup is unquestionably the King of Condiments. Americans alone consume over a half a billion bottles of ketchup every year!
Unfortunately, the main ingredient in grocery store ketchup after tomatoes is inflammation producing high fructose corn syrup, eyed as a key player in the obesity epidemic.
Making ketchup yourself is easy and transforms this popular condiment from health villain to a beneficial digestive aid.
Mix 3 cups tomato paste, preferably organic in glass jars to avoid the chemical BPA, ¼ cup liquid whey (thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/05/video-liquid-whey-and-cream-cheese), 1 TBL sea salt, ½ cup maple syrup, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 3 peeled and crushed cloves of garlic, and ½ cup fish sauce in a wide mouth mason jar taking care to leave at least an inch at the top.
Additive free fish sauce can be obtained from an Asian supermarket. Mix well, secure the lid and leave on the counter for 2 days to ferment and then refrigerate.
Homemade ketchup lasts several months in the refrigerator and can then be used to quickly mix up other popular sauces.
Most teriyaki sauces from the store is loaded with additives. Make your own healthy alternative quickly and easily by simply mixing 1 TBL freshly grated ginger, 3 peeled and mashed garlic cloves, 1 TBL toasted sesame oil, 1 TBL rice vinegar, 1 TBL raw honey, and ½ cup naturally fermented soy sauce! This recipe makes about ¾ cup.
Barbeque sauce from the store is loaded with MSG! Once you have made your own ketchup and teriyaki sauce, though, it is a snap to make your own. To make in a snap, mix ¾ cup of homemade ketchup and ¾ cup of teriyaki sauce. It’s that simple!
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Sweet and sour sauce is just as simple. Mix 1 cup homemade ketchup, ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup maple syrup. This sauce is one of my children’s favorites.
Cocktail sauce is a must with all your delicious homemade seafood dishes. To make at home, mix ¾ cup homemade ketchup with ¼ cup fresh horseradish. Could anything be simpler?
Thousand Island Dressing
Thousand Island Dressing is one of the most popular salad dressings available commercially. To make your own delicious version, mix ½ cup homemade ketchup and ½ cup homemade mayonnaise. Add ¼ cup pickled sweet relish if desired and serve.
I hope this video has motivated you to start making your own dressings and sauces right away. This is one of the easiest changes you can make in your kitchen, one that will be certain to improve the digestibility of your meals, make the home-cooked meals you prepare more appealing to your family, and help you avoid the neurotoxic additives and rancid vegetable oils in commercial sauces and dressings.
If time is a premium and your food budget generous, you can also mail order quality dressings from small scale businesses. A list of such artisanal producers can be found in the Weston A. Price Shopping Guide and the advertising section at the back of Wise Traditions Magazine.
Until next time, this is Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader wishing you all the best in the kitchen!