What times like these, or the warmer weather that’s soon upcoming does is promotes lighter eating, healthier more natural foods which contains lower fat and calories.
What goes on the back burner are those hearty meals, such as the beef stews and the heavy chili dinners and casseroles, which comforts our stomachs and appetites.
What summer provides is eating more of what mother nature has to offer.
Healthier foods such as crisp dark green salads along with wholesome garden fresh fruits and vegetables, which bursts with flavor while agreeing with our waistline.
Although eating lighter foods is more favorable, what can often be overlooked is the actual belief there’s a real reduction in calorie intake, because of eating more of these natural foods.
The truth being, this always isn’t the case.
Beware The Salad Dressing
What’s been identified as the main culprit of unwanted fat and empty caloric sugar, are the store bought dressings which we use in abundance on these garden salads.
These salad dressings which are pre-made are extremely heavy in calories and preservatives, regardless if they’re creamy, oil based, or low-fat.
So the best solution, is to moderate the amount of these types of fatty salad dressings that are consumed.
The majority of these traditionally available mass produced dressings, can turn a healthy nutritious salad into a fat laden, calorie heavy meal which rivals any fast food burger.
These bottled dressings contains a lot of longevity chemicals and preservatives, while also containing anywhere from 10 to 25 grams of fat per average serving.
So the solution is to just make your own healthy salad dressing.
This way, you can then control the taste, ingredients and the calorie intake.
Preparation Basics For Your Own Healthy Low-Fat Salad Dressing
There are a variety of commercial dressings which are actually “low-fat” in calories.
But they are often masked with unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, preservatives, and unhealthy amounts of sodium to enhance its taste.
The best way to counteract this, is to just make your own delicious homemade dressing.
The key to preparing them is by regulating the amount and the types of oils used, along with controlling other fats, while using ingredients which adds flavor and texture.
What the base oil that’s used in any salad dressing does is it serves a few specific purposes, the most important being they provide a “cling” and “binding” factor to the dressing.
The reason this is necessary, is because it balances out the acidic flavored ingredients that’s used.
For instance, the herbs and vinegar’s won’t sink to the bottom of the salad bowl.
What adding oil does, is it distributes the ingredients evenly while keeping them in motion.
What the oil base also does, is it serves to soften and then balances out the stronger acids, so that the taste becomes more pleasing to the palate.
The Types Of Healthy Salad Dressings
When thinking of a healthy dressing, the majority will usually prefer the creamier based variety of dressing in favor of a more vinaigrette and oil base liquid dressing.
The classic vinaigrette dressing usually uses a 3-to-1 or a 4-to-1 ratio of fats to acid.
So when using red wine vinegar and olive oil for instance, the ratio will usually yield at least 12 grams of fat per every tablespoon of dressing.
The Constitution Of A Healthy Salad Dressing
Beginning With The Oils
When you’re initially choosing the oils for your dressing, first think of the flavors you’re wanting to establish in your homemade dressing.
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), is the most popular and always an excellent and flavorful healthy choice to use.
There are also a variety of other healthy oils, as exotic as they may be, such as certain nut oils which includes: macadamia, almond or hazelnut.
What each of these oils contributes, are different yet complex subtle flavors which can complement the tone and texture of a salad.
Olive oil, as well as most of the nut oils are also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for you.
What you can also do is reduce the amount of oil in any dressing, this by up to 40% percent or so, provided that the other ingredients which balances out the dressing don’t become too acidic.
One of the most common complaints when reducing oil content, is the lack of a thick texture that the oil usually brings to the various recipes.
What you can then do is use a substitute, such as Dijon mustard which acts as an emulsifier, making up for the reduced oil.
Similar to oil, the mustard is thick enough so it will bind with the other ingredients while adding that tangy zip.
Preparing Healthy Creamy Dressings
When it comes to preparing healthy homemade low calorie creamy dressings, the most popular emulsifiers used are mayonnaise, sour cream or oil.
What these ingredients provides, is a healthy option when it comes to an excellent tasting dressing, while also being easy to prepare.
Excellent substitutes which can be used when preparing creamy dressing includes:
• Fat reduced sour cream
• Nonfat yogurt, or
• Low calorie mayonnaise
They all add their own unique flavor, and are capable of producing a delicious dressing which can coat the vegetables quite well.
You can also try using buttermilk since it’s already usually reduced in fat, or completely nonfat altogether.
Buttermilk is also thick in texture as well as tangy and mild, which adds a unique flavor to the dressing.
Once you begin using a bit of creativity and ingenuity, it becomes possible to make a healthy salad dressing.
All without needing to sacrifice taste and nutrition, by cutting down down or completely eliminating the fat, calories, preservatives, and chemicals.