I’ve never been a fan of creamy salad dressings but since I no longer consume oil based salad dressings (too high in fat and no nutrient value), it was time to get creative in my kitchen and figure something out. I created this creamy mango salad dressing a few weeks ago and it wasn’t too bad so I thought I would give it another go with a new flavour. This flavour being ‘Ranch.’ Your typical ranch salad dressing is made with sour cream and mayonnaise which is loaded in fat and contains little or no nutrients. I see so many people eat all of these wonderful tasty raw vegetables and dark leafy greens only to top it off with a dressing that is pure fat whether it be creamy or an oil based dressing.
Since we are well into harvest season, the vegetables are plenty and I actually prefer this salad dressing as a dip for vegetables instead. My body just seems to crave more fresh vegetables and fruits this time of year so why deny it? Just keeping feeding it a rainbow of foods that are either organic or local. Summer is the season for eating more raw foods so what better way to jazz up some veggies than with a whole foods, plant-based dip or salad dressing.
You can make this version of a ranch salad dressing really thick or thin it out by adding more water (thinning) or by adding more cashews (creamier). With a little bit of tweaking, I was able to find the right amount of ingredients to have it taste very similar to a non plant-based ranch salad dressing. Anything creamy in the plant-based world (if you want to keep it as whole as possible with the foods) always starts with cashews.
So why cashews? Well, besides containing fat which our bodies need by the way, it is fairly rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, and zine. Some vitamins such as A and some B vitamins are present along with a variety of phytonutrients. Cashews are always a nutritious substitute for dairy and mayonnaise (contains eggs & a lot of oil) so you can enjoy all the creaminess with this recipe without hesitation.
Tip: I generally soak my cashews longer for a creamier version of this recipe (up to 8 hours)
- 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours) rinsed
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup water (use more if you want to thin it out)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup (use more if desired)
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- chives for garnish (optional)
1.Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Taste and alter to desired consistency.
2. Garnish with fresh chives.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well
Your Compassionate Coach,