Knowing how to make organic healthy vinaigrette salad dressing is the difference between consuming an antioxidant rich dressing or a topping that should be stamped with a skull and crossbones. High sugar content in some dressings becomes catalysts for free radicals, while preservatives may induce allergic-like reactions in individuals. A vinaigrette salad dressing boasts antioxidants found in olive oil and flavorful nuances found in balsamic or red wine vinegar. Toss in a shredded, fresh herb leaf, and in less than ten minutes, you have a dressing that helps keep your arteries running smoothly.
To make an organic vinaigrette dressing, you will need:
- 1 tablespoon of organic, extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of organic balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1 organic, fresh Italian parsley leaf or approximately three organic, fresh common thyme leaves. You may choose a combination of two herbs.
- wide-mouth jar
Pour the extra virgin olive oil into a wide mouth jar. Because you will be stirring ingredients in this jar, the jar's mouth should be wide enough to accommodate a spoon.
Add vinegar to olive oil. If you like vinaigrette dressing on the slightly sweet and spicy side, choose a balsamic vinegar. If tartness is your cup of tea, opt for a red wine vinegar.
- Mix the two ingredients, and sample the flavor. Note that oil and vinegar tend to separate. Whip the two ingredients constantly. If you make the vinaigrette dressing too oily for your liking, add more vinegar. If the vinegar's flavor is too strong, add more olive oil. Bear in mind that the taste will "spread out" and become diluted when you sprinkle the mixture over veggies, salad greens, and nuts.
- Shred the herbs, and stir bits of herbs into the dressing. Fresh herbs are potent to the palate. Add the herbs in pinches rather than dump the entire amount of herbs in the mixture. Of course, you can sprinkle the bits directly on the salad, and toss the salad to evenly distribute the herbs. Lightly drizzle the dressing over salad.
Whip up your healthy, organic vinaigrette salad dressing in small batches. You do not have the benefit of preservatives, which prolong shelf life.
The green, white, and brown USDA organic label suggests the products have met standards set by the National Organic Program. Check for "best when purchased by" dates on bottles of products. Never buy olive oil that is cloudy, but remember olive oil becomes cloudy when placed in the refrigerator.
When you purchase fresh herbs, take the whiff test. Fresh parsley has a mild, weedy odor but should never smell like moldy, sweaty gym socks. Thyme's fragrance is earthy. If you are unfamiliar with herbs but wish to purchase them from a farmer's market, take along a book which helps you identify herbs and their usages. Ask the farmer or vendor if the herbs were grown by organic methods.
Herbal lore states that some herbs have reputed health benefits. Parsley contains vitamins A and C, and thyme is reputed to have antioxidant qualities. Never use herbs as a dietary supplement or medicine without knowing the contraindications, side effects, and proper dosages of herbs.