If you’re trying to eat healthier, incorporating a lot of fresh, whole veggies is probably one of the best and easiest steps you can take–which can mean a lot of salads. But what you top your leaf piles with could be the difference between a clean, delicious meal, and a bowl of kale and spinach drowning in additives, preservatives and corn syrup.
Because salad dressing tends to include a lot of less-than-stable ingredients (like cheese, buttermilk, or oils that cloud or get weird-looking when they sit on the shelves), many of the bottles you find on your grocer’s shelves don’t just contain “natural ingredients“–they contain emulsifiers and other additives like propylene glycol, and maltodextrin to ensure consistent texture and flavor. Unfortunately, these preservatives may not be something you’d like to consume. Additionally, in an attempt to be “fat free,” many dressings which would otherwise include olive oil and other healthy fats instead use a combination of water and fillers to imitate a creamy or oily texture.
Some store-bought salad dressing does the trick just fine, without too much crud–though they may have some ingredients you wouldn’t personally add, like xanthan gum or lots of sugar. But, if you’re adventurous (and have a few extra moments), you can whip up a super-simple batch of your own drizzle that not only tastes amazing, but is full of good-for-you, less-processed, less-artificial ickiness. And all you need is the stuff you probably already have in your kitchen, like olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and vinegar.
Here are some of the best dressings you can buy (because, let’s be real, some of us have stuff to do)–as well as some of the easiest and tastiest recipes if you’d like to take a stab at making your own. Which, after seeing how simple these recipes are, you definitely will.