5 Fantastic Fermented Salad Dressings Full of Healthy Probiotics

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Anyone who is interested in getting healthy or losing some weight knows that turning to salads is a great way to do both. However, the main problem with salads is the dressings most people use. Those commercially made dressings certainly taste good, but they are loaded with tons of things you don’t want, such as hydrogenated oils, GMO oils, artificial colors, artificial flavors, excess salt, and sugars. Although some people enjoy salads with nothing more than fresh lemon or lime juice, which is a great option, most of us have a hard time enjoying a salad without a yummy dressing.

Fermented salad dressings are a wonderful way to enjoy your salad while adding important enzymes and probiotics. While the ingredients in commercially made salad dressings can cause digestive upset and inflammation, naturally fermented dressings fight inflammation in the body and give your digestive system a healthy boost of the good bacteria that are often killed by the toxins we encounter every day. Read more about potential uses of probiotics.

We have 5 great recipes for you, which means that you can have a different dressing every day of the week if you like. You can also vary the flavor by trading some of the suggested fruits and vegetables listed to make a dressing that suits your tastes.

A common salad dressing many people make at home is simply a mixture of apple cider vinegar and some olive oil. This is a very basic recipe and there is nothing wrong with it, though it does tend to get old after a few weeks. So if you are craving a little variety for your salad, keep reading for 5 fantastic recipes that are sure to wake up your taste buds and make your tummy happy at the same time.

 

1.  Really Good Ranch Dressing

If you love the typical Ranch or blue cheese dressings then you will love this one. It has all of the flavor but none of the junk those commercially made dressings contain. This recipe uses yogurt but if you like a thinner consistency, you can use kefir. If you really want a little sour punch of flavor, such as what you get with blue cheese, use sour cream. You can even mix them using perhaps 1 cup of sour cream and half a cup of kefir. This dressing is so rich and creamy, you will not believe it’s healthy for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of plain yogurt (use yogurt with active cultures)
  • 2 Medium organic garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Teaspoons of fresh, organic lemon juice

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Shake vigorously to combine or place in a blender and pulse on low until well blended.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Store this in the refrigerator.
Kombucha Tea 1

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2.  Krazy for Kombucha Vinaigrette

Have you ever let your kombucha ferment just a few days too long? Then you know that vinegary flavor it can get. This is actually really good for you. That bite of flavor is acetic acid, the same type of acid that vinegar contains. If you brew your own kombucha at home and you love it, then this is the recipe for you. You can make your own dressing with some of your kombucha, even if it got a little more fermented than you had planned. If you don’t brew kombucha, you can still use this recipe; simply replace the kombucha with white or apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup of kombucha or vinegar of your choice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 medium organic garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ Teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

 

SEE ALSO: Top Reasons You Must Drink More Kombucha

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Shake thoroughly until well combined.
  • This is a good recipe to keep at the office because it doesn’t need refrigeration.
Sauerkraut With Carrot In Wooden Bowl, Garlic, Spices, Cabbage O

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3. Very Veggie Dressing

If you have some sauerkraut, dill pickles, kimchi, or some other type of fermented vegetable that sat around a bit too long and got mushy, you don’t have to throw it out; use it as a base for a salad dressing!

Put the entire thing in a blender (including the brine) and turn it into a nice puree. Now add this to equal parts of olive oil (for example, if you have one cup of pureed pickles then mix it with one cup of olive oil) and you have a truly unique dressing that is loaded with flavor and fermented goodness.

Some of the flavors might sound a bit strange (sauerkraut dressing?) but you will be really surprised at how good these taste!

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Garlic Mustard Quick Mix Dressing

This is a quick and simple dressing you can whip up in about 5 minutes. When you are in a hurry, this one is a real time saver but it’s also loaded with flavor. You can always add fresh or dried herbs along with other spices to suit your taste, but this recipe is the base that you will turn to again and again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 3 Medium organic garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1.5 Cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ Cup of raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, mix the mustard, vinegar, garlic and seasonings.
  • Add 1 cup of the olive oil and mix well.
  • Taste and add the other ½ cup of oil if it tastes too strong for you.
  • Transfer to a glass jar and shake well before serving.
  • This will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

5. Make Ahead Fermented Veggie Dressing

You can also make your dressings a few days ahead. This is a great way to use up leftover veggies on Friday and turn them into super healthy and delicious dressings by Monday.

Take your favorite veggies, herbs and spices and put them in the blender. For example, you might try some tomatoes, basil, zucchini, red peppers and cilantro. Or try cucumbers, onions, and garlic with a touch of rosemary. The possibilities are endless. Put these in the blender and mix them into a puree. Now add 1 teaspoon of salt for every pint of puree you have. Mix again, and then taste to see if you would like to add more salt. Once the salt level is to your liking, add 1 Tablespoon of starter culture for every pint of vegetable puree.

For your brine starter, use some brine from another batch of fermented vegetables, such as pickles or sauerkraut. Mix well and transfer to a glass jar and allow to sit at room temperature. Burp the container about twice per day to remove excess carbon dioxide. After 48 hours, mix your fermented puree with extra virgin olive oil. You can make these dressings throughout the week as you need to. This is a great way to use up vegetables that are getting old or that you have plenty of from your garden.

Also, you might want to think of topping off your salad with a couple tablespoons of fermented veggies, brine and all, and try that as a “dressing”.

Salads made with fermented veggies and dressings such as the ones above will satisfy your hunger and really give your body the nutrition that it really needs. Read also how to make vegan/paleo, no soy, no egg mayo.

References:

Eurekalert.org

Library.wur.nl

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov