Monday, March 10, 2014

White Balsamic, Garlic and Cumin Salad Dressing aka: Sweet & Sour Dressing

I am dedicating this post to my Moms friend Carol who is here from Nevada helping us to care for my Mom. She loves this dressing and asks me to make it at least a few times a week.

One of the advantages of having many food allergies is that you can no longer eat the commercial brands of condiments and salad dressings. I say this is an advantage as I enjoy the homemade dressing so much better than the bought dressing that it is now an advantage. I do not know why we always eat packaged dressings as it only takes minutes to mix up a beautiful fresh batch every few days. I use mine for about a week if it is refrigerated. Just like in cooking fresh is the best, fresh also counts in your salad dressing. 

By using fresh ingredients in your dressing it enhances the flavours of your fresh salad.  My Dad and his fiancĂ©e gave me this beautiful bottle for my last birthday. It is perfect for my homemade dressing. 

The funnel helps to get all of the dressing in the bottle 
 The secret to a great dressing is to add good quality oil. I usually use cold pressed olive oil or avocado oil. And sometimes I use flax seed oil. I always use fresh garlic, not the bottled stuff and definitely not the granulated kind. I also always use fresh lemon juice and not the bottled stuff. Before you juice your lemon, you can use a zester and get a little bit of fresh lemon zest for your dressing. It’s not on the ingredients list, but you would add about a tsp. of finely chopped lemon zest. Waste not, want not and it adds even more lovely fresh lemon tang.

I do not eat sugar so I like to use unpasteurised honey, agave or real maple syrup to sweeten the dressing. My current favourite vinegar right now is white balsamic. But you can use White or Red Wine vinegar if that is what you have.

When you are buying spices like cumin and turmeric that are possibly coming from overseas my Naturopathic Doctor says we should use organic. Some of the overseas companies have no government controls on chemicals used to grow plants. Also some countries have bad chemicals in their soil prior to planting. Take extra time looking for spices grown in India and China, these you do not want.

My sister and her husband went to Vietnam last year and found out that even the poorest families in Vietnam (far poorer than anyone we see in our daily lives) will not use products from China even though they are less expensive. This has had such an impact on my sister and her husband that they no longer eat anything from China. Spices are concentrates of herbs and flavourings so any toxins would also be concentrated. I have been able to find most of my spices at the health food store at a fair price. I consider that a bottle of organic spice lasts for months and it is only a few dollars more to buy organic.

White Balsamic, Garlic and Cumin Salad Dressing aka: Sweet & Sour Dressing

                ½ cup of white balsamic vinegar
                ¼ cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
                1 tsp of lemon rind, finely minced
                ¼ cup of liquid honey, agave or real maple syrup
                ¼ cup of cold pressed olive oil or other healthy oil
                ½ tsp of ground cumin
                ½ tsp of ground turmeric             
                1 clove of fresh garlic, crushed
                Salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground)

This is the easy part. Measure all ingredients into a glass jar and shake to combine all of the flavours. I usually make this in a medium canning jar to mix it and then I use a small funnel to pour it into my tall and pretty jar. So you can see how easy that is. It took longer to read the ingredients than it did to make it. I hope you enjoy. I have followers that are in love with this dressing. I like this dressing with salads that require a light dressing. Like more delicate lettuces and salads that have that sweet and spicey thing going on. I been eating a new type of bagged salad that is in the stores lately with a mix of cabbage and kale. It comes with dressing but I prefer to use my homemade dressing that I know contains only whole good food. You will find this dressing in my recipe for My most requested recipe: Potluck Quinoa tossed Salad with Sweet & Sour Dressing 

Bon Appetit

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