Shake things up

No one has to tell you that fresh is best, right? That holds true for homemade salad dressings, too. Make your own dressings at home. You’ll save money when you saunter by the bottles on the shelves unscathed, and you’ll also know exactly what goes into your topping of choice.

Not all salads are created equal, and often, it’s all about the dressing! You can make a great-tasting, lower calorie (and fat) dressing at home, and it will only take you a few minutes. Shake things up the next time you reach for a bunch of lovely greens for a salad, and whip up one of these dressings.

Pour Over These Dressing Tips

The Today show’s diet and nutrition expert, Joy Bauer, recently offered a few tips to keep calorie and fat contents down if you must buy dressing at the grocery store:

  • Buy any “light” or “reduced-calorie” vinaigrette dressing and then dilute it with more of a similar vinegar. For example, if you buy a balsamic vinaigrette, use added balsamic vinegar to dilute it. If you buy a red wine vinaigrette, add more red wine vinegar. Depending on how much vinegar you add, you could decrease the sodium and calories by close to 50% (and end up with double the dressing to keep on hand).
  • If you buy a creamy dressing like ranch or Caesar, dilute it with creamy, low-fat or low-calorie buttermilk. Buttermilk doesn’t actually contain any butter and most buttermilk sold in grocery stores is made with nonfat or 1 percent milk.
  • Store these in airtight, glass containers.

Basic Salad Dressing

Save money, fat and calories with this OA basic dressing you can make once a week and store in a glass container in your fridge. Read the recipe and watch OA’s Laura Klein give a dressing-making demo!

Alice Waters’ Green Goddess Dressing

The herbs and citrus in this delightful dressing brighten up any salad combo. Watch as OA’s Laura Klein demonstrates how to make this tasty salad topping.

Organic Blood Orange Almond Vinaigrette

The beautiful color from the blood oranges – and the lovely flavor – really come through in this delicious vinaigrette dressing. This is super on organic greens, especially mixed with fresh fruit like raspberries or strawberries.

Creamy Feta Vinaigrette

Try this dreamy version of Creamy Feta Vinaigrette from Huffington Post. It’s smooth and tangy with the added tastiness and texture of feta cheese included!

Creamy Honey Mustard

This recipe is courtesy of Rodale. The honey mustard adds the sweetness, and the fat-free yogurt gives the dressing its creaminess but helps keep the fat content to zip. Check it out: 34 calories, no fat and 82.2 mg of sodium.

Toss these dressing options around the next time you’re craving a fresh salad! It only takes a few minutes and a few ingredients to make a great dressing!

image: cinnamon tea and mulberries